Dear Birth Mother-
Today, you shook me. Today you- completely out of the blue- asked if you could take my daughter to a party. Without me, her albeit ‘adopted’, mother. You rattled my world, dumped me out of complacency and are making me face a deluge of realities I had conveniently set aside for examination at a much later date.
We have not heard from you in almost two years. You have not seen your child in over three, since before she turned one-year old. However, with this request, I get the sense that you haven’t accepted that I am her mother. Not her guardian, not a foster figure. Her mom.
This realization, while difficult to comprehend, makes me truly sad: for you, for me, for the child we uniquely share, and for the situation overall.
She has NO IDEA you exist.
She has no idea you exist because you walked out of her life. Because you didn’t fight for her. Your decisions hurt my baby in ways I may not be able to quantify for years to come. And they broke my heart along with others who tried supporting you. It scares me that one day, your actions may hurt her all over again.
You turned your back on the one thing that I hold dearest to my heart. You had every opportunity to do what was needed to get your infant back, to prove you could mother a child. And yet, you chose not to. I know, because I was there.
Did you make your visits? How many times did you come see the precious, loving angel who had been through hell? Twice. Just two times.
Then you disappeared.
The audacity of your request baffles me.
I wonder if you even know what kind of tailspin your request could put this child of ours into, if I honored it. You’re likely still in a very unstable place. You are likely to disappear again for years and this will be a singular blip. A reminder of a truth that’s never far from my heart: there are things I won’t be able to protect my daughter from. That she does have another family. A family that until today rejected her, and tomorrow may forget about her again.
I will always fight for our daughter to feel loved.
My name and my signature are on her birth certificate, and I consider it an honor to be her mom. I am the person who rocks this sweet innocent child to sleep every night. I’m the one she goes to with her problems, for hugs, and to gather love. I’m the one who lost sleep, lost weight, and lost a job tending to my baby. And I’m the one who is rewarded daily with her laughter, smiles, inquisitions, and kisses. I love her more than anything, and I mean ANY. THING.
I am her momma, and I am protecting her.
Today, that means I am protecting her from, you, her birth mother. I’m keeping her safe out of love- not spite or resentment. Believe me, it’s a humbling (often stressful) reality to acknowledge that while I mother her completely- she has this other person out there who is her mom too. Who is her mirror image; the best parts of you.
One day, when she is old enough to understand, I will explain to her in more detail what adoption means. At this point, all she knows is that she is adopted. I will explain that the woman who gave birth to her loves her very much. And that she truly wanted to raise her, but simply could not. I promise not to project my anger or make you out to be a bad person.
Your request reminds me that she has a history I can’t magically make disappear.
Your actions wrenched the blinders I so innocently took for granted (thanks to no contact) right off. One day I have to help my girl confront her past with dignity. Sometime in the future, I’m going to hurt her heart by presenting her with her own story. Do you know the last thing you want to do as a parent? Cause your child pain. Which she will feel it in complex, visceral ways. And my heart will break again, because of you.
I just hope in the future you think of the dimpled, precocious, beautiful being that you gave birth to before you ask to upend the semblance of normal we built in the vacuum of your abandonment. She deserves that at least- and so, so much more. She deserves stability. She deserves parents and extended family to love on her. She deserves the best this world has to offer, not only because she’s a sweet little soul but also because she’s got a whammy waiting for her in a few years. And when that time comes, she deserves a birth mom who can handle her role with the grace it demands.
To do that, you must accept your role for what you made it. Until you can think of her first, I will continue my work of loving her in all the ways she deserves.
Your Daughter’s Mother