To the birth moms who gave me siblings.
Dear Birth Moms,
Today is World Adoption Day. Maybe you already know that. Maybe you’re totally unaware.
I don’t know if you’ve been checking your social media accounts, scrolling through selfies of parents and children who share the story of adoption, if you’re oblivious to it all, or to be very frank, if you’re even alive.
If you are aware, I don’t know what kind emotions it brings up for you.
Maybe it makes you feel proud. Proud of yourself for choosing life and playing the most important role in the adoption story. Maybe it makes you feel grateful. Grateful you got to handpick the family to raise your precious baby or grateful there was a family who could take your children into their home and provide safety and love at a time when you couldn’t.
Or maybe you feel shame and deep hurt. Maybe you feel regret. Maybe you hate yourself. Maybe every time the world celebrates adoption, it opens deep, lifelong wounds for you.
I don’t know how you feel, but I do know how I feel about you.
First, I need to tell you I’m sorry. I’m sorry because I try to forget you. I try to dismiss your part in my family’s story, the major role you played in bringing my family to life. I try to forget you exist because I don’t like that my siblings have parents somewhere out in the world that I don’t share. I don’t like that they have siblings, a mom and dad that I don’t. I want to be their only sister, sharing their only two parents. I also try to forget because while their adoption story is a gift to me, it’s a partial wound for them. Of course they know adoption was God’s plan for their life, but I know some days it also stings. I want to forget you exist, because I want to pretend adoption is without wounds.
I’m sorry for trying to forget you.
Secondly, I need you to know, I love you. I do. I know we’ve never met, and probably never will, but I love you and am so grateful for you. Thank you for choosing to give life when it would have been easier to terminate. Thank you for carrying a baby in your womb for nine months despite being judged in high school, or turned down for jobs you really needed to make ends meet, or even the inconvenience of it all.
You gave me one of the greatest gifts this world has to offer– siblings. Without you, I wouldn’t know what it’s like to braid my little sister’s hair or teach her how to harmonize, how to become best friends with a kindergartner while a senior in high school, or junior coach a little brother’s basketball team. I wouldn’t know the true sense of love: where I can be both willing to die for my sibling in one moment and want to murder her/him in another. You gave me playmates to grow up with, a best friend who’d crawl into my bed at night when I just didn’t want to be alone, and a sister who always, always has my back.
You are a hero.
God knows you’re not without your flaws (and certainly I’m not either), but you deserve to be celebrated more. We don’t tell you that enough. Things like World Adoption Day, Gotcha Day, all the days… they are wonderful and important, but I think we remember the adoptive families far more than we celebrate you.
Thank you for choosing life. Thank you for choosing adoption as the best story for your sweet newborn and toddlers. Thank you for choosing my family. Thank you for being part of our family.
You are a hero. Today, I celebrate you.