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Birth Mother Letters
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Advice to pre-adoptive parents about Dear Birthmother Letter from a Birthmother
Your words are carved onto paper and are permanent pieces of you. How much time goes into every syllable and sound? How much of your hearts are tilted and poured into these sentences I now read?
I try to see you together, at a round mahogany table in a spacious kitchen over hot fresh coffee. I try to see you thinking of the words to write. Your faces are serious and the pen quivers in your hand.
This letter determines so much for you. But it shouldn't.
Did you argue over whether or not to write about high school football or cheerleading? Did you laugh when you realized how trite it was? How did you decide to write about your vacations and your family and all those things you hold dear? Did it look made up? Did it feel like a tale you've weaved for the sake of a second glance?
I wonder how you wrote this letter to me. I wonder if you're wondering what I look like as I read it now.
Dear Birth mother
It makes goosebumps rise up on my swollen skin. I see at the tops of all these letters, Dear Birthmother, and I want to tell all of you that I have a name. I realize that it's not important who I am, but rather who you are and what your letter reads like.
All the letters start to sound the same after a while. Each of you wants my baby and can love and provide for it. Each of you deserves a child, perhaps even mine. Not one of you is more worthy or pleasant than the next. But I am faced with all your letters and only one choice.
What I really want to know isn't in the letters at all. You have written words and sentences carefully crafted to appeal to me. This is not your heart. This is not who you are. This letter is your need. I know your need. I want to know your hearts.
What do you think of me? How do you feel about adoption? Will you be ashamed to tell your friends and family that your baby was adopted? Will you be threatened by my request to have letters and pictures? Will you come to despise me for who I am? For being a part of your lives?
So, I have chosen to write you a letter.
Dear Adoptive Parents,
I can't imagine how difficult this road has been to travel. Mine as well has not been easy. But it is not the roads on which we've come that matter now, but rather the importance of our crossroads.
My name is Courtney. I am 15 years old. I was raped three weeks before my birthday and now I am eight months pregnant. I love the little baby who lives within me enough to do the right thing.
A good mother does what is best for her children ... and I intend to be a good mother.
I am afraid. I feel all alone here in this place. I know you will love this baby. I know you have the resources to take care of him. But what I want more than anything else is to know that you will never forget from where he came. I am a part of him forever.
This is our crossroads. Adoption is made up of three parts. I just want to know if you accept me as one of those parts.
For this is not the end of my road. This is just the beginning.
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