My Hope as a Parent Is Something I Share with My Birth Mother
This folder contained memories I did not have, information about a family I did not know.
These are my parents with whom I belong, the people who will care for meTo whom do I belong?
Until one Easter morning, when I was restless and unable to sleep. I was in the basement of my home, shuffling through a filing cabinet that contained old report cards and school projects, when I discovered a blank manila envelope. Inside the folder I spotted a cover page from Catholic Charities, a page that hinted at what the goosebumps on my arms were already telling me: This folder contained memories I did not have, information about a family I did not know.
Did it make any sense that the woman who gave birth to me was someone I had never heard of and would never know?
The birth mother began receiving her pre-natal care at six weeks of pregnancy . . .
She had a total weight gain of twenty-two pounds during the pregnancy . . .
Michael was born after an eleven-hour labor . . .
The foster mother described Michael as a good baby who enjoyed being talked to and who smiled and cooed . . .
The birth mother is allergic to pollen, dust, and mold, has hayfever and wears glasses for reading . . .
She describes herself as social, introspective, pensive at times, assertive and open . . .
She relates she has a special skill of singing and enjoys this . . .
I am quite the letter-writer but I must say that this is the most difficult letter I have attempted so far. I wish that we could have more communication than this, but in some ways it may be best for all of us. I have decided that the surrender of my little boy is in his best interest and, from the beginning, I want you to know that he is yours to love. Never be threatened by my being his birth mother. The longing I feel for him is so intense that I could never explain it to you, but I cannot go back on my decision. I know I have made the right choice.
The reason I am going into all of this is because I want you to try to love him without any reservation. You see, he has my love, but he won’t know that 1st hand. I have had to trust many people in this past year that I never would have met if not for my pregnancy and though I am a trusting person, this is different. This tiny life was in my care until just over 2 months ago. Now he is with people I don’t even know. The separation is difficult but the worry is worse. I am trusting him to you and I am sure you will make wonderful parents to him, but it’s not enough to give me peace of mind. What I have turned to is God. I am entrusting him first of all to God. This brings some comfort.
Today, it feels like the pain will never go away and my life will never feel full. I don’t know what life holds in store for me now, but at least he will not suffer my struggles too . . . I hope you will do what is best for him. For now, I’ll do my best to go on.
I understand that he is pretty demanding of time and attention. Please be patient with him and shower him with love when it’s difficult. In our short time together, I realized what a wonderful person will blossom from this little fragile life. He deserves the best that you can give him every day. Believe it or not, I have learned a lot about life and love from him in ways too numerous to explain. I will always feel connected to him and though the intensity and immediacy of my feelings may fade a long time from now, I will never stop loving and missing him.
All You Can Ever Know,
The Golden State,
I would love to say that I am unreserved in my happiness for you, but I am very, very jealous. I am jealous of the time you will have with him, the smiles you will see, the trials you will face, the love he will return to you.
More in this series
I wanted her language, her understanding of Honduras, a family like hers. I wanted things she could never give me.