Rebekah Hand (38), mother to Mallory (20), Ethan (15), Evan (8), and Eric (5 - pictured).
Venice, FL | Photographed in Seattle, Washington
Rebekah shares -
"I've experienced loss from an adoption as a birth parent. I had Mallory when I was 17, and made the decision to place her for adoption. My boyfriend and I got to pick her adoptive parents and decided that we wanted an open adoption. I was so incredibly lucky to see pictures and get letters all throughout her childhood and then finally met her when she was 8. We spent the next few years talking on the phone, emailing, and texting. I'm the luckiest girl in the world to say that we have a wonderful relationship now where she is part of mine and my husband and sons life and she comes to see us at Thanksgiving every year. I've experienced the stages of loss and grief and come out whole on the other side. I know not many can say that. I'm grateful.
Talk about ups and downs, a bit of self loathing. It's a continual battle to not hate the way I look. I'm working on it!!
After Mallory was born and we left the hospital without her, I felt alone. That deep cavernous alone. My boyfriend shut down. My family didn't know what to say. My friends were there but couldn't relate. They tried but it was so awkward. I learned what depression was in the first three years after her birth. I am comforted by her presence in my life now, but the depression lingers.
I want to encourage others to try and look past today. Even when today is the hardest day ever. There is tomorrow and it is worth it.
I have four children, and they each tell a very different story of that part of my life. Each child is a chapter of my story, so unique and so mine. I'm proud of my life, the steps I've taken and how I've come out whole despite the challenges.
I wanted to participate to show mothers that there is joy through the pains of motherhood. So much joy, you just have to let yourself see it!"