Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dear Birth Mother

When people ask me if I know “what happened to my kids’ ‘real’ parents,” I tell them that yes, I know what happened to their birth parents.  Sometimes, I smile and say, “Hubby and I are real.”  Mostly though, I let it go and just use proper adoption language in hopes they’ll get it.  Often, people will press for details.  I only share details on a need-to-know basis  (either my need or my kids’ need, depending upon the situation and the person).  Usually, I say, “No former orphan has a pretty story.”

My kids do not have a pretty story.  Honestly, most of what I know of their story is pretty ugly.  I haven’t heard a whole lot of good.  However, I know there was good.  Surely, there was good because my kids are awesome! 

Still, Mother’s Day is always hard around here.  They struggle.  I often wonder what I would say to their birth mother if I had the chance for some one-on-one time with her.  Even as recent as last Mother’s Day, I probably would have reamed her up one side and down the other.  Now, even though the things that happened still make me quite angry when I think of them, I have more compassion.  I wonder how I would have handled having the kind of life I know she’s had, and the kind of life I imagine she must have had to be where she is now.  I’m not so self-righteous anymore.  I know now I cannot know what I have not lived – not really.

So now, if I had a chance, this would be my letter to the woman who gave birth to my two youngest children.


Dear Birth Mother,

We celebrate Mother’s Day in America on the second Sunday in May each year.  It’s a little bit like Women’s Day, which is celebrated in most every other country around the world, including in Eastern Europe.  Mothers are honored on this day.  We receive cards, notes, and gifts.  Sometimes, we are taken to a restaurant by our families for a nice lunch or dinner.  Granted, it’s not like this for ALL mothers in America.  Some struggle.  Some are raising young children alone.  Some grieve on this day.  However, I am blessed -- very, very blessed.

You and I have never met.  All I know about you are the things written in court documents, or the things told to me by translators who have visited people who knew you.  All I know are the things my children remember about you and have shared with me.  Quite frankly, none of it is good.  Still, I believe – I truly believe, there MUST BE good in you, because my children came from you, and they are very, very good.

I understand your life has been unbelievably difficult.  However, I am no longer shocked by much.  I can believe the things you’ve gone through – the things people tell me you go through now, and it breaks my heart.  I want you to know I wish peace for you.  And health.  A home.  Redemption.  Self worth.  Forgiveness.  Love.

I also want you to know my children love you.  Quite frankly, that scares them.  I won’t kid you.  But they do love you.  My Youngest Son, your first born, cares very much for your well-being.  He often asks me if I think you are doing better.  He dreams of finding you one day and helping you to be better.  My Princess, your second born, remembers a pair of shoes you gave her once.  She loved those shoes.  She believes she gets her love of fashion from you.  She certainly doesn’t get it from me. 

My children are beautiful – truly good-looking kids, lovely inside and out.  They are healthy, smart, talented, intelligent, caring people who want to do well in life.  They are healing from the hurt they’ve been through.  We are working on it together.  There is so much good in them, and I am so blessed to be their Mom.  I know there are things I cannot give them – things that came from you and from their birth father.  I know these are good things. 

Mother’s Day is really hard for my kids.  They have come so far.  I know they love me, but they love you, too.  It’s hard for them to understand they can do this, and to feel like this is okay, because of the hard things they’ve known.  I want you to know I’ve forgiven you.  The kids are still working on it, but they’re getting there.  I am teaching them it is okay to love you even though they hate the things that happened.  They are learning your hard life didn’t “just” happen.  They are beginning to understand you had a rough start, too, and that you did not have anyone to help you overcome that.

I want you to know I am teaching my children to honor themselves, because they got so much of what is good in them from you.  I want you to know I am teaching them to honor you for that.

I also want you to know I understand it was never your plan for Youngest Son and The Princess to become my children.  But I am grateful.  I love them so much.  I cannot imagine my life without them.  Youngest Son has come so far.  He’s grown so much!  You’d be amazed at the changes in this boy these last four and a half years.  The Princess is a sweet, sweet girl.  She, too, has grown tremendously.  She is SO smart and she is an amazing care-giver.  I love to watch her with little children or small animals.  She is so good with them.

I also want you to know we pray for you on Mother’s Day.  We pray you’ll know we are all thankful. 

  The Lord bless you 
    and keep you; 
   the Lord make his face shine on you 

    and be gracious to you; 
   the Lord turn his face toward you

    and give you peace. ”’ – Numbers 6:24-26

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