Dear Birth Mom,
Where do I begin? You are the bravest woman I will ever have the honor of knowing, no doubt. When I think of strength, compassion, selfless love, and bravery…I will always think of you first. When I look into my son’s big brown eyes, I see you. The beautiful you. You had choices in your pregnancy, yet you chose the path of adoption. I love you. Every piece of you and I want you to know that Graham will always know you. It’s been six years since I’ve seen you and I pray that you are living your best life. You were only sixteen, yet embodied the maturity of a woman wise beyond her years. To this very day, I can close my eyes and see you and hear your voice. As we paced the maternity waiting area for Graham’s arrival, you delivered our miracle with unexplainable strength and determination. When your mom walked into the waiting room doors and said, “he’s here, and he’s perfect. You ready to meet him?” Our knees went weak walking into your hospital room, and our hearts swelled when you said, “here’s your son” and gently placed him in our arms. That moment…it is engraved in our hearts and minds so deeply. Tears…so many tears. How can you feel so overwhelmed with happiness, yet look into your eyes and know you were grieving? We strived for a balance at that moment. Wanting to support and love on you, yet also be raw with our emotions of joy.
If I’m honest, my defenses were raised when I sensed you wanted some openness with Graham’s adoption. Not because I was closed off from the idea, but simply afraid. When I was adopted, it was a closed adoption. All adoptions in the late ’70s were just that. My biological mother did not see me and never held me, which avoided any form of connection/bonding that naturally occurs with a mother and child. That is all I know, so when you requested openness, my guard went up. Looking back, I feel ashamed of those feelings. How could I deny openness knowing you made the ultimate sacrifice so I could be a mom? I will forever cherish the visits we shared the first two years of Graham’s life. When you were ready to close the door on visits and head to college, Mike and I cried…the big ugly tears. Your inner drive to move on was inspiring, yet we knew we would miss you SO much. Peace filled our hearts, for we knew we would meet again. One day…when you are ready, we will be here.
With the recent adoption of our daughter Grace, more specific questions are brewing in Graham’s developing mind. Of course, questions from the curious mind of an eight-year-old come without warning. Here’s an example…my husband was driving and Graham says, “dad, why would a woman work so hard to carry a baby in her belly and then give it up for adoption?” Wow…such an insightful question. Naturally, the deep questions come from a child when you have no time to think. He met him exactly where he was at that moment and answered him with this…”Graham, sometimes a mom knows she is not ready to care for a baby. Instead, she makes the bravest, most loving decision to bless another family with a baby.” So real, not too much, and an honest response. We made you a promise that we would share pieces of you according to Graham’s questions. He will always be our guide as we add pieces to his birth story puzzle.
Imagine putting the pieces together to create a masterpiece. Each piece represents a piece of you and your story. One day, he will ask your name and if he resembles you. Thankfully, we captured our stay in the hospital, visits we shared after Graham was born, and pictures of your family. Tears flow today as easily as they did eight years ago. They are tears of joy, wonder, and unconditional love for you. We wait and follow Graham’s lead. Sometimes pieces are discovered quickly, yet some take patience and determination to fit together. Your love for lemonade and mozzarella sticks, stubborn nature, naps, cheerleading, group of friends, beautiful smile and spunky spirit are just snippets of you that Graham will add to his memory bank.
We send our love and envision you being happy, stunningly beautiful, and successful in your career. Remember when you shared that it was not the right time for you to be a mom? Remember when you shared that one day you would be a great mom? I want to thank you for making me a mama. You placed a miracle in my arms at just the right time in my life. Graham is happy, healthy, stubborn (just like you), full of wit, smart, and loved by so many. We see so much of you in him. You will be a perfect mom when you are ready. God has a plan. His timing is perfect and sometimes he makes us wait. Years of waiting, wondering, and dreaming of a baby led us to you…the perfect you.