Tag Archives: birth mother

Happy Birthday Baby Girl

September 15, 1979 at 1:17am, my baby girl was born. After 25 hours of labor, she was pulled into the world with a pair of forceps. Back then, hospitals didn’t kick you out the door 24 hours after giving birth, so I spent 3 days with my girl before leaving without her.

At the time, I had been a resident at a home for unwed mothers. Back in the late 70’s being a pregnant teenager was a disgrace. Being single and pregnant was a disgrace. Being a very young, pregnant teenager who was impregnated by molestation was the most disgraceful thing to be.

During those 3 days at the hospital, I got to hold my baby and to bottle feed her. Being just six days past my 15th birthday, the whole thing was quite surreal. Because I never entertained the notion that I could actually bring my baby home and keep her, I didn’t bond with her particularly. And being so young, I was very clueless in general. But I loved her nevertheless.

Initially after her birth, I was placed in a room with 3 other mothers whose new babies spent a lot of time with them. When the mothers needed to sleep, the babies were taken back to the nursery, where nurses looked after them.

I remember sitting, eating a bowl of cereal for breakfast one day, talking with one of the other girls from the home for unwed mothers that had delivered a day after I had. Something she said brought me to tears. I bawled at the thought of leaving my daughter. When I couldn’t stop crying, a nurse came in and asked me what was wrong. She figured out that I would be better off in a single room. Why no one thought of this in the first place baffles me.

I can still remember the day I walked out that hospital without my daughter. It was a cool fall day, with dry air after a very hot, humid summer. The sky was deep blue. Such a juxtaposition between the physically comfortable weather (and not having a baby sitting on my bladder and pushing up into my lungs), and the pain in my heart. Six weeks later I got to visit briefly with my daughter before signing away my rights to her.

The irony is, 23 years later when I walked out of a hospital without my son, it was oddly familiar and didn’t seem weird. But this time, he was in another hospital, needing to grow and mature for a few weeks before I brought him home.

Happy 36th Birthday baby girl. I love you.

If I Wrote A Song It Would Go Like This

If I wrote a song, the title could be, “Birth Mother Searching.” I think it would go something like:

Birth mother searching, searching for answers
To questions that still haunt her in the night.
She’s searching for someone, someone to tell her
The decision she made all those years ago was right.

Did that tiny little girl have all the love she could have?
Are her hopes and dreams coming true?
Now that she’s a woman entering the world
With fearlessness held only by youth.

In my mind I see her playing, playing with dolls.
She’s the most beautiful little girl in the world.
While I go back to being a teen, hiding the truth,
It’s eating me up inside.

Hush, you can’t tell a soul.
It would disgrace the family.
No, it wasn’t you who did anything wrong,
But you are punished…you are the victim and it’s you who pays.

Birth mother searching, searching for answers
To questions that still haunt her in the night.
She’s searching for peace in her soul and mind
And hoping with all of her might

That one day there will be a phone call
A woman’s voice, nervous and hopeful
Asking the question she’s been waiting to answer
Are you my birth mother?

Feb. 27, 2004

 

Letter to My Daughter’s Mother

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.