All Things Written

All The Things I Want To Tell You

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Bittersweet Goodbye (Journey to Adoption 3)

Growing up I wanted nothing more than to leave Texas, my home state, the same place I grew up for nearly my whole life. I held onto this fairytale notion that escaping the monotony of everything might set my soul free. I wanted to travel East, and this was our chance. I received my acceptance letter from The University of Pittsburgh, and your father, a recent college graduate, already had a job lined up in the area.

We left a few days after Christmas. I sat in the passenger side of the U-Haul observing my town slowly creep behind us. The parks and restaurants that once faded to the backdrop of my everyday life now stood out, my brain taking a mental picture of a place that suddenly didn’t seem so bad.

I hugged you tightly a few days before, not knowing when I’d see you again. It felt wrong somehow, but I couldn’t understand exactly why. We didn’t know what soon would follow. You were still in their custody at the time and a large part of us hoped it might work out, that they might muster the strength to pull it together eventually. And so, we left, in a U-Haul passing the most familiar place I’ve ever known and deeply missing you.

-Aubrey Cofield

The Journey to Adoption (2)

Twenty-one for me looked a lot like the rising silence before the gale and pour of a drawn out storm. In all honesty, at that time in my life, I didn’t want kids. I knew having kids meant I’d need to give up a large part of my adolescence; the part that only needed to worry about my own future.

But my plans would soon crumble, and crumble, and crumble some more until I accepted the inevitability of change, and the reshaping of plans that naturally follows.

One of my favorite memories with you takes me back to when you were about seven months old. Your father and I just got married a few months prior and lived in one of his mom’s (your Nanny) homes in Universal City, TX. A three-bedroom home in an established neighborhood. Your father was about to graduate college and also working his first big boy job from home. I was taking classes and working part-time as a teller at a local bank.

Nanny was too generous with us and didn’t charge us any rent. It was such a transitionary period in my life. It felt like nothing belonged to me, like so much future lie ahead, but no actual means to get somewhere. I had a lot of reasons to believe everything would work out for the best. I married a person who brings me up, loves, and supports me. But this was also a time when I witnessed your future being decided for you. There was just as much excitement as there was apprehension. Events were happening around you out of your control but negatively effecting your life, which inevitably, effected ours.

You should know, loving you was inevitable. I knew even then, the softness of your little soul. You rarely cried and smiled often at everyone. Your outgoing personality already taking shape. During that time, you were frequently dropped off with your father and I. Some weeks every morning. We’d wake up to your sweet face, an unexpected, but always welcomed surprise. That’s it, the memory I love the most, waking up to your chunky face smiling back at me. The day unexpectedly altered with the presence of your smile. Morning snuggles always proceeded bottle time, then we’d change your diaper, play, rock you for nap time, then play some more until we had to leave, until we figured out who’d take care of you next.

I remember distinctly, the moment my mind changed. The me that kept children at a far, far distant future. I remember telling your father something that changed the way we approached our life going forward. We were in the kitchen on a morning you didn’t come over. I missed you. I wanted to know where you were. My stomach dropped as the possibilities ran through my mind. I stared at your formula left from a few days prior and felt my fickle plans reshaping. I looked at your father and spoke, “I think I could be a Mom. Sometimes I feel God pulling me, maybe somewhere I’m needed? I don’t know, I’m scared, but I feel it so strongly and when I think of Jaxson…” he looked at me and with just as much hesitation said, “Yea, I feel the same way.”

Aubrey Cofield

Will You be Happy?

In the rare quiet moments, past exhaustion, my whole body grieves knowing the affliction you’ll bear.

You see, I know you, your kind soul… I know it so well. I can see already the vulnerable parts of you, the strong parts too. I let my mind run and I see what lies ahead for you. The way the world will treat you for the things you do or don’t do.

I see myself in you and I know right then you’ll feel it too. Everything. Everything that hurts, that’s good, that’s funny, that’s sad. You’ll feel it too. I found rest in the continuous questioning of something greater than myself, but will you? How will you see the world? How will you treat people? I know you’ll be good, right? Will you be good? Your future scares me because I know it won’t all be good. You’ll meet and curse the ache of loss. Then my chest tightens and throat closes at the thought of you ever mingling with the idea to take your own life.

I hope you remember pain creates strength through perseverance. You’ll come out of it. So learn from the anguish, acknowledge it, and move forward in-spite of it.

Observing the world, I know you’ll witness desperation. Will I raise you to help? To heal through truth? I hope so. At what point do I let go and let you clean your own scrapes? I would take all the bad away if I could. I would take every ounce of sorrow that you’ll ever feel and turn it into moments of overflowing happiness. And then you’ll smile; I love your smile.

I have to remember though, I have to remind myself what I’ve learned through the varying emotions and stages of my life. The inevitability of life only scares us when we believe there’s no purpose. Find yours my love. You were created with deep meaning. Something inclusive of, but much deeper than, happiness alone.

Aubrey Cofield

Baby Boy

You’re my second child, my baby boy. Loving you is terrifying.

Exhaustion blankets me today. We’re working on sleep training you, a concept I’m struggling to follow. Hearing you cry creates anguish filling and consuming me.

Perhaps it’s out of my conscious control. I once read an article in The Atlantic about the biochemical changes that take place in a new mothers brain. The studies of various neurologists found the way a mother reacts to her child directly after birth is correlated with the biochemical reactions taking place in her brain just before and subsequent to birth. The regions of the brain most effected control emotions like anxiety and empathy.

It’s clear a new mother’s brain is chemically altered in order to attain hypersensitivity to her child’s needs. It’s likely this contributes to my anguish when letting you cry. It never lasts too long, I can’t stand it. Instead many times I bounce you until you stop crying, until your eyes close, until you fall asleep.

Bouncing you I notice your eyelashes, so long but straight, just like mine. I fade in and out of conscious thought. It could take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes for you to finally fall asleep. My back hurts as I bounce, bounce, bounce you on the yoga ball I bought on Amazon before I had you, not knowing just how much I’d actually use it. 49, 50, 51, 52, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce… then through the heavy weight of your eyes closing my fatigued mind assembles a thought.  It whispers, “you’ll miss this one day.” The moments I can provide you a place to rest and know with certainty you’re ok.

Aubrey Cofield 

You Need To Know

You need to know I love you. Every part of you. Even the parts I said I hated yesterday. At my worst I’ll take you down, picking at everything you do; articulating every annoyance. This is why it’s essential you read this over and over again. Because I’m no good at apologizing like you are. It takes all my strength to release grip on the part of myself that knows I was wrong, that knows yelling out, “I’m leaving you” for the 30th time still hurts and I need to evaluate what I say before I say it. If I believed in soulmates, you’d be mine.

Knowing you meant stepping into a greater variant of myself. You make me better by simply believing I am good. You challenge the fragile parts of my brain and help grow them stronger. You are a servant before anything. A servant to Christ, to me, to your sons. You lead with a servant heart. I believe there’s no greater example of leadership than this. I love you for the way you love others. I love every quirk, every nuisance, yes, even your lack of shame and the chronic flatulence that goes along with it.

There’s something tremendous about feeling understood. You understand me deeply. You understand much of my irritation uttered is really just an empty stomach needing sustenance… RIGHT NOW. You oblige, taking my anger lightly as you hand me an egg-roll. You understand I find more joy reading to you on a Friday night than going out, and so you don’t just let me read out loud but you listen, you really listen, and I love you for that. I love the way fatherhood compliments, and in some ways reveals, fascists of your personality. You accept defeat like any good teacher or guardian keeping an open heart, growing and making changes as needed.

You are a kind human despite the demons you wrestle with.

When we first started dating you said the thing you fear the most is yourself. I don’t know which self you meant. Maybe the self that had a smoking addiction? The self that lacked a stable father figure? The self that slept around? The bullied self? The emotional self? All of it? I hope you rest easy now knowing the pain that once haunted you, beautifully becomes you. A you I love. A you known. A you who is, among many things, a good man.

Aubrey Cofield


The Journey to Adoption (1) – A Story in Snippets

We adopted Jaxson when he was three years old. Prior to adoption we were Aunt Aubrey and Uncle Jason. We’ve been a large part of Jaxson’s life since the moment he was brought into the world.

His section of the blog will slowly reveal our story of adoption. I’m aiming to convey the rawness of it all as best I can without writing anything disrespectful towards others involved. The overall goal is to create pieces I can eventually give him when he’s older. Pieces that’ll help him understand his early years. Pieces that he can hold when he feels disoriented and alone.

The truth is the whole experience was at times painful and confusing. It didn’t stay there though. I grew in areas I didn’t know needed attention. Through this you’ll find there’s a little boy, too amazing not to write about, whom I love more than myself. There’s a family quilted in a strength only adversary provides. And there’s a God, whose love continues to prevail through the darkness.

I’m also writing for those who may be going through something similar. May all the lessons we’ve learned grow you or, at the very least, provide you comfort.

Aubrey Cofield

Follow along with Jaxson’s adoption story here.

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