Dear Birth Mother,
Being adopted is something that has always been part of my identity. I was adopted, my gene pool was a mystery. The thought of dating always scared me a little, because what if I started dating a biological cousin or brother by mistake?? (You think I am kidding, but that thought made my skin crawl in college!)
When I was about fourteen, I dreamed of finding you, of knowing what you looked like. I wanted to know if I looked like you, if we liked the same things, I wanted to find that connection, and that part of myself.
At the tender age of fourteen, like most people, I was lost and confused. I was trying to find myself. On top of that, I had lost my grandfather, whom I was very close to, very unexpectedly. I was constantly fighting with my parents, and giving them more grief than they deserved. From forging my mom’s signature on homework (sorry mom! You have to admit, it was pretty good if it took the teacher a whole quarter to figure it out! 😉) To making poor life choices. I was truly struggling.
I started to question what my life would be like if you hadn’t given me up. What kind of life would I lead? Where would I have lived? Would I have stayed in Oregon? Or would we be somewhere else?
I felt like, if I could know you, then maybe I could understand why I felt so lost, and that maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t feel so lost anymore. I approached my parents about it, and they gave me a paper, which had a generic physical description, as well as some of your hobbies. It also listed my birth Father’s information. I treasured that piece of paper. I would look at it, and try to find pieces of myself in it. I found my love for music in both of you, as well as a love for animals, crafts, piano and more. I wondered who I looked like more. Did I look like you, or my birth father?
As I got older, and got out of that ‘lost’ phase that everyone goes through, I put that paper away. Yet, every time I would go through a rough patch I would wonder, am I just like her? Or him? Did they go through this?
Fast forward to today. I have a beautiful baby boy, who I love dearly. When he was born, I wanted so badly to at least find out your name, and see a picture. I wanted to know if my son had any of your characteristics, or if he had any traits. I wanted to know medical histories. Was my child in danger of any genetic illnesses that I was unaware of? I also wanted to do some family history work.
I approached my parents about these concerns, and they lovingly told me that, from what they had been told, you wanted nothing to do with me. At first, I was heart broken. I didn’t understand why you didn’t even want to know me. I couldn’t understand why you didn’t want pictures of me as a baby, or how you could go a lifetime without ever knowing the child you gave up. I don’t think I ever could.
Eventually I got over the feelings of hurt, and came to accept everything for what it was. When people ask me for a genetic medical history, I still get to tell them that it is a mystery. And that is something I am finally okay with.
Birth mother, I really want to thank you though. I know it must have been so hard to give me up. When I gave birth to my baby boy, I couldn’t imagine life without him. When I heard him cry, the fact that I was now a mother was all too real. I don’t know how you did what you did, and I don’t know why, but thank you.
Thank you for giving me to such a wonderful family. Thank you for making that sacrifice. You gave me to a family who was so full of love. While we had our ups, our downs, and while I didn’t always get along with my parents, they were, in the long run, just what I needed. They are patient, and kind. They knew how to handle my ADHD, and they saw the signs at a very young age. They have given me and my siblings so many opportunities, and amazing memories! They are also amazing grandparents!
If you hadn’t given me up, my life would have been so different. I never would have met the wonderful siblings that I have, or made amazing memories with them. I never would have experienced camping in the mountains with them, and making up plays to perform for our parents. I don’t know what I would do without my sister, and two goofball brothers.
I also never would have met my husband, Jon. We wouldn’t have this amazing life together, or the handsome little boy that we do.
So thank you. A thousand times, thank you. Please know, if you don’t already, that your sacrifice has meant the world to me, and to my family. To put it simply, our world wouldn’t be as amazing as it is, if you hadn’t made the decision that you did.
Your Biological Daughter.