Many couples considering adoption wonder what relationship, if any, they will have with their child’s birth mom. How will this person fit into your life and your child’s life? What role will she play? Having been through the adoption process, I can honesty tell you that it all works out. In fact, one day you may even be amazed at just how special this person has become to you.
I remember when my husband and I met our daughter’s birth mom – a complete stranger – at the hospital just hours before she gave birth. I was almost 37 at the time and had already endured two miscarriages and many ups and downs on my journey to become a mother. I was understandably nervous. I wondered if she would like us. I feared she would change her mind. I didn’t know what to expect or what the future held. In short, I felt afraid of her.
When she handed me our precious, tiny daughter, my fear was quickly replaced with so many emotions: love, excitement, gratitude and sadness. I realized what an enormous, life-changing decision she was making. It became clear how difficult it would be for her and how she would miss this baby and grieve for her for the rest of her life. The sacrifice she was about to make would finally fulfill my long-time dream of becoming a mom. This woman was essentially about to give me my life. It was truly a miracle, and a day I will never forget.
After our daughter was born, we gave her birth mom a nice basket of bath products and a special gift: a locket with a baby photo inside. We thanked her. We hugged at the hospital. We agreed to her decision for a semi-open adoption and promised to send photos through our agency. And then we said good-bye.
Through the years, I’ve thought of my daughter’s birth mom often. One of the biggest questions always on my mind was: How could I ever possibly thank her or repay her? Of course, we sent her pictures of our daughter as she grew. I took great pride in creating special photo collages that would give her a good look at our child’s life and activities. We even exchanged a couple of letters. But no matter what we said or did, it just never seemed like enough.
How do you ever thank the woman who is responsible for bringing your child into this world? What do you say to someone who has made the ultimate act of selfless love? Words just aren’t strong enough or adequate enough to fully express the depth of our gratitude. But today I will attempt to say what every adoptive parent longs to tell their child’s birth mom. I will do my best to put into words what is in my heart.
To my daughter’s birth mom and all of the birth mothers out there: Thank you deeply from the bottom of my heart. Your path was no doubt a painful and difficult one. I cannot imagine making the enormous sacrifice you did – to trust a stranger to love and raise your child. But please know what an amazing and wonderful difference you’ve made in someone else’s life. Because of you, a woman who longed to be a mother was given the opportunity – despite the odds against her. I admire your strength and courage to recognize you were unable to raise a child at that point in your life and to make an adoption plan. Thank you for putting your child’s needs before your own and for loving her so much that you wanted the best possible life for her. We feel so blessed, and will never forget how special you are and what you have done for us and for our precious child. My life – and the lives of so many others – have been profoundly changed forever because of the thousands of birth mothers who chose adoption.
So you can see just how important and special a birth mom will one day become to you. It doesn’t matter what type of relationship you have with her – open, semi-open or closed. The feelings will be the same. You will come to look at her with the upmost respect, appreciation and admiration. And even though she was once a stranger, you will share a heart-felt connection with her because of your child.
We will always think of our daughter’s birth mom as a brave, kind, loving and strong woman. She is truly an angel and will be in our hearts always. She has given a part of herself to us. And although words will never be enough to thank her, I will do the only thing I know how to do. I promise to always love and care for my daughter to the very best of my ability. I will do everything in my power to keep her healthy, happy and safe. And I will always remind her of how much her birth mom loves her. After all, being a mom is not just about biology or parenting; it’s about love.