To the loving, wonderful woman who adopted my daughter, thank you for being there to adopt my beautiful baby when I could not raise her. Please let her know that I gave her up so she could have a good life. I was only six days past my 15th birthday when she was born, and there was no way I could keep her. No one has parenting skills at 15. In fact, for years, I never even dreamed about thinking of her as mine.
What I was told about you is that you were a teacher when you adopted her. I asked for my daughter’s adoptive family to have an ethnic background similar to mine. And I was also told that your husband was an engineer. After the adoption went through, I was told that you kept the name I gave her as her middle name, and gave her a new first name. I was told that name.
I am so thankful that you took her in and loved her. You dealt with the sleepless nights, tons of diapers, the fussing, whining, tantrums and meltdowns that comes with raising a little one. And for your reward, you enjoyed laughter, smiles, hugs, and a little one calling you Mommy.
For a long time, I could only think of my daughter with the pain of loss, and the shame in which she was conceived. But now, when I think of her, she is a grown up woman with her own life. I imagine that she played the flute or the violin. And she played basketball, field hockey, and swam on the high school team. She got to the beach in the summer, and went boating. She went to a four-year college, got out and worked until she met Mr. Right. I imagine she’s married and has children of her own.
In my mind, I can pretend I have even the tiniest clue how my daughter grew up. But, only you know her. You bandaged skinned knees and helped her learn to ride a bike. You have been there through all of the teenage angst and drama. You watched her as she changed as fast as the fashion trends during the 80’s and 90’s. You helped her with homework. You were there when she graduated from school. You have dealt with the rainbow of moods and you have her love. You are her mother. And for that I am grateful.
Last December I received a box in the mail. A mystery box. There was no return address. The only clue as to where it came from was the postal stamp, the one with the zip code. Inside the box was some beautiful red and gold paper wrapped around a corked test tube that was filled with some sand, seashells, and a note that was rolled up and tied. The note thanked me for my daughter Elizabeth. There was a little more to it, but that was the gist of the note. Next to the day that my newborn son came home from the NICU (neonatal intensive care), that note was the best present I’ve ever received. Thank you.
In case you were wondering, I grew up and went through school, worked, got married and finally, in my late 30’s had a beautiful boy. I hope that one day I will meet my daughter. I’d love to see if she resembles me, or if we have anything in common. I’d love to give her a hug and answer any questions she might have about me. And I’d love to give you a big hug of gratitude.
Thank you for being my daughter’s mother.