Dear Birth Mother,
I think about you on many days, and especially on Little Bird’s birthday and Mother’s Day. Had it not been for the difficult decision you made, I would not be celebrating this day.
With respect and gratitude for for the path you chose for your daughter,
Little Bird’s Mama
Full disclosure: I know who Little Bird’s birth mother is. I know her name. I have seen her face. And I know her story, the story that led her to place her daughter in an orphanage.
In many countries where children are placed for international adoption, though not all, there is very little, if any, information provided to adoptive families about a child’s birth family. For decades the U.S. sealed records for domestic adoption. Adoptees were unable to obtain information about their birth family, their own story.
Some families might find this comforting, distance between them and what–in most cases–is a painful story. I do not judge them. But for me, for us, we wanted to know. We wanted our daughter to know, because we have seen the ache this loss can cause for adoptees. From the very beginning of our journey, I knew I would search for my daughter’s birth family, and that I would search soon, before the trail ran dry.
As much as possible–and we fully acknowledge our own limitations–we want our daughter to grow up with a full picture of her life: not just her time spent with us. We want her to understand her Armenian heritage and be proud of it. We hoped that her birth family, if they chose to do so, might help us complete a few pieces of the puzzle. And I confess, maybe unrealistically, we even hoped we might be able to establish a line of communication between us, our daughter, and her birth family. I know families who have been fortunate enough to be able to have this link, and while the road may not be smooth, in the long run I believe it’s the healthiest outcome for all: birth family, adoptive family, and adoptee.
This was not how our search ended. Our daughter’s birth mother, though grateful to know her daughter is healthy and loved, did not want to establish contact. She offered up a few details, as did another member of Little Bird’s birth family, and we received some photographs, priceless gifts. Maybe one day we will try again, or Little Bird will be interested conducting a search of her own. Until then, on Mother’s Day, I will always think about the woman who gave birth to our daughter, with gratitude.
Happy Mother’s Day
Take the road less traveled, Beth