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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dear Birth Mother

Dear Birth Mother,

Our daughter recently celebrated a birthday. As we celebrated, I wonder if you remember her and think about the day she was born? Do you remember holding her as a newborn, smelling her head, counting her fingers and toes? As I think about our daughter now, I so wonder what that moment must’ve been like. I wonder what her infant cry sounded like. I wonder if she liked to nuzzle in the crook of your arm or the space between your chin and your neck. What did she feel like in your arms?

As I feel my own child growing inside of me, I wonder if our daughter was a kicker too. Did she like to hang off your rib cage? Did she spread out wide so you could feel her everywhere, or did she like to ball up and just PRESS into one area? What sounds did our daughter like to hear as she grew inside of you?

As I watch my smaller children play and grow, and I think about the stories our daughter tells of growing up as a smaller child, I wonder what your memories are of those same moments. Did you smile when you saw her laughing and jumping in the surf? Did you curse the sand that ended up throughout the house after a day at the beach? What memory still makes you smile? Which one makes you cry? And now, do you wonder where she is?

Our daughter is safe, loved and part of a beautiful family. A family that God knitted together just for her. She has siblings again. She’s learning a new definition of family. She’s learning a new definition of mom, too. Sometimes, as we struggle to define this relationship, I’ll be honest, I get mad. I get mad that I didn’t get to help define it from the beginning. I get mad that it even has to be redefined. I get mad that there is this other image of mom that I compete with. And then I have to remember, if it wasn’t for you, our daughter would never be a part of my life. So as much as I get mad, I try to be grateful for the life you gave and the experiences you shared with each other. Good and bad, those experiences have shaped who our daughter is today.

Our daughter is really great. I don’t take much credit for that because so much of who she is doesn’t even come from me. It comes from you, from early family, from foster parents, friends and people in her life today. But mostly who she is comes from an amazing something that God placed on her while she was still growing inside of you. From the moment our daughter was created, well really, long before that, God knew who she is and who she will be. God has protected our daughter from the time in your womb through today. What’s great is that she sees it and knows it too. As we look back at her life, we both see so many times that circumstances might have been different, but God intervened and protected her from those life circumstances.

I don’t know where you are today or what you are doing. I don’t know where your choices have taken you. I do know that I love your daughter. She may have been placed in your womb, but I know she was placed in my heart long ago. I love her like I gave birth to her. I hope you can understand that. I want to think that I love her more than you do, but I know that there is a special love of a mom and her child. Even though our daughter is no longer in your life, I hope that thoughts of her somehow bring a smile to your face and a hope that our daughter walks a better path in life.

Our daughter is loved. Our daughter is strong. Our daughter is full of dreams and visions for the future. She is full of hope of better things yet to come. Our daughter is beautiful – and you had a part in that. For that I thank you. I forgive you. And maybe someday, we’ll be able to share special memories of her. But for now, know that our daughter is so much more than I ever could have asked for.

Kris lives with her husband, 4 children (and another on the way), 2 dogs, the lizard and various other "creatures." Visit her blog at www.krismares.wordpress.com to learn more about her family and their adoption story.

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