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Letter To My Daughter's Birth Mother

Updated on August 5, 2011

birth mother

Letter to My Child’s Birth Mother:

I am not frightened of many things. I can swat a spider, stand in the middle of a thunderstorm and admire its beauty, I don’t believe in ghosts or superstitions, or think that the world is going to end tomorrow, but I do fear you. Your never-ending presence hovering in the background of my life. You are neither completely present nor ever far enough away.

In the beginning I did not fear you. I felt badly for you, envisioning you as a young, confused girl, unable to care for your child due to culture or poverty or death. It was easy to include you in conversations in my head. There was space for you then in my heart. But as my love for my child took shape and raced away on the wings of forever, the space for you in my heart became smaller, and harder, and unforgiving. We do not need you, I thought.

Perhaps if I had a face; a story to tell, something to make you more real; flaws to point out, blemishes to criticize, missteps to see, but there are none. I am left with a sense of ethereal perfection. A being I cannot challenge, cannot disparage. You will always be flawless, the ideal mother. I however can be touched, ridiculed, a backdrop for anger and disappointment. You are like a supreme spirit, faultless and unblemished by reality.

I can’t stand the ever-present veil of you. I want to exorcise you, banishing you forever with some secret, magical chant, but it would be pointless. You would seep back in, through the cracks of the windows, quiet, determined. I must somehow learn to accept you, to feel at peace with you.

I understand now for the first time the desire of parents to deny a child’s adoption. To deny the presence of you. To say, she is only ours, she never belonged elsewhere. I am told I should honor you, embrace you, hold you up on this pedestal of love and acceptance, but I struggle. What if? What if she loves you? What if she wants you? The pain will be too great. I couldn’t bear it.

I pretend to accept. I try to diminish you by being nonchalant, seemingly unaffected by your existence, but the shroud of self-deceit is thin. I dread the day she asks for you, the day she wants to find you. I understand the need to know, the desire to find out, but I fear it too. I know she needs knowledge, to ask questions, discover and explore. It hurts that I am not enough. It is the hurt that drives the fear, gives it strength. I want to be the one that makes her whole, but she is not complete without you.

I am a woman torn in half. The edges of my soul are jagged and sharp, ready to fight and protect. I do not want to speak of you, acknowledge your reality through voice. Like a warrior of yesteryear, I am ready to defend. She is mine. I love her. I care for her. I have nourished her soul, her essence. I will not allow you to have any part of her, no matter how small…and yet, how can I not? It is not mine to decide. You are a part of her already. Present from the start.

I will get there, do not despair. I am a mother. I will do what is right for her, as you did. As mothers do. I will say the words out loud while I work on them in my soul. I will open that space in my heart, little by little and let you back in. I will hold my breath and squeeze her hand and I will let go even as I hold on. For that is the job of mothers, those we know and those we do not. Those we see, touch, hurt and love and those we only dream of doing such things to. I hope that when the time comes, and she needs you, wants you, asks for you I have the strength and the grace to rise above the fear, as you did, and give her what she needs the most, a beginning. A place to start that complicated journey towards truth, knowledge and timeless love. I will give her a mother’s heart and soul to carry with her, and to come back to.


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    • Ona Canady profile image

      Ona Canady 6 years ago from Steamboat Springs, Colorado

      As a birth mother it was hard to read, but I appreciated the honesty in it. I have an open adoption and the mother and I are very close. This story makes me want to call her and reassure her that I need her as much as her child needs her. For with out her I would have never known what to do with a child at that time. Now married with my own children, her child was never mine. I see that every time we visit. He may have my looks, but he doesn't have much of my personality. He is just like his family and my children are just like me. It was a very important letter for me to read. Thank you.

    • Jessica Shook profile image

      Jessica Shook 6 years ago from Talking Rock, Georgia

      this is just pure honesty and heart. I love it

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, this was amazing! I would never have thought of this, from your point of view, it must be difficult knowing that the birth mother is out there somewhere, and maybe someday your daughter will want to find her, the one thing that I always notice on TV whenever I watch a child trying to find her original mother, I won't say 'real' mother, as you are that, you feed her, cloth her and love her, that's real to me, but back to tv, whenever they go to find them, even if they do, after the initial joy and happiness, it usually goes back to normality, apart from an occasional visit, or phone call, we as humans, get set in our ways, and after 20 years or so, it would be hardly likely that it would go any further, sorry for babbling on! lol great hub, cheers nell

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

      Lovely! Voted up and Beautiful! :)

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful letter.

      up/awesome and beautiful

    • agsawan profile image

      agsawan 6 years ago

      Thank you. It is true, and written straight from my heart. It slipped out after days, months, years of stewing inside. The words just came together and poured out on to the paper. I hope it speaks to others, both birth and adoptive parents, about the inner struggle that is seldom revealed.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      What a beautiful letter. You really expressed the feelings of an adoptive mother clearly and with much heart. I hope that someday, if this is your true story, you show this to your child so she knows what a good mother you strived to be so that she would have a great life. Voted up!