Seventeen years ago, yesterday, I gave birth to a baby boy. Three days later, he would leave the hospital with his adoptive family; and I was left to cope with the loss. I’ve written extensively about the circumstances of his conception and birth previously in the post titled, My Story — Part 4 (The Second Half of My Year of Hell). From that post:
I got to spend 3 very emotional days with this little bundle of joy. His adoptive parents and I chose his name together. I felt honored that they would share this experience with me. His parents (and all the people at Caring Choices, too) were truly the first kind faces I had seen in a very long time. They showed me such compassion that I knew I had made the right choice. On May 15, 1999, I signed the surrender of adoption, giving up this child to his adoptive parents, who took him home from the hospital 3 days after his birth. This was truly one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made; but I felt that it was in his best interest to find more suitable, stable parents to raise him than what I, myself, could possibly provide. This was one very special gift that I was able to give in this lifetime, and I can only hope that karma rewards with compassion.
This post is a letter I chose to write in honor of his birthday, which still proves to be an incredibly difficult day for me even 17 years later.
My dearest C–,
My, how time flies. You’re already 17 years old — a young man. Each and every year on your birthday, I pull out the photo album of photos your parents sent me of you and your family throughout the first 3 years of your life. I also read the letters your mom so graciously sent me. Your family will always have such a special place in my heart for the love and compassion they showed me during a tumultuous period in my life. I am so thankful to your parents, your adopted sister, and their entire extended family members for accepting you as their own and for their love and support.
I sincerely apologize for not taking the time to write and update you all about my life as we had agreed. Unfortunately, the struggles in my life often made communication with others very difficult for me. One day, when you’re older, I’ll tell you my story should you ever decide you wish to hear it. I know this won’t make up for not being a part of your life, but it is important to me that you understand my absence and know that I thought of you often with all my love. I can only ask for your forgiveness and compassion for not being strong enough to continue writing letters and sending photos. The pain of remembering that time in my life was simply too great.
I’m deeply sorry for not being able to be part of your life. When I chose to give you up for adoption, I only wanted what was best for you. I wanted you to have everything I didn’t feel emotionally stable enough to provide. In finding an adoptive family who could provide you with the love and emotional support you deserve, I felt you would have the best chance to grow up in a stable, healthy environment. Despite my soul feeling incomplete without you and the heartache of sorrow I felt when I gave you up, I know I made the right choice. You deserved to grow up without the weight of my burdens in life. You deserved to experience a happy childhood within the safety and security of healthy role models.
One day, I would love to hear of all your joys and heartaches, your accomplishments and defeats, your passions and dislikes, and your hopes and dreams. I often wonder what you look like, now. I wonder how you’ve turned out. I wonder what subjects you enjoy at school and where your life will lead you. I wonder if we will ever meet again — if you ever think of me and wonder the same. It is my hope that I gave you the BEST of me, and that life treats you kindly. You’ll forever be in my thoughts.
All my love,
— Your Birth Mother