by KATHY KRUGER
I wanted to share something very personal – a letter I wrote to our daughter’s birthmother seven years ago. I wrote it as I reflected on how lucky we are to have our daughter (even luckier now to have our son also).
At the time an adoptive mother was trying to organise an anthology of letters with the hope of publishing them in China and the hope that birth mothers there might actually read them and find some consolation in the sentiments. Unfortunately the project, as far as I know, didn’t proceed.
I’ve had many thoughts and feelings about our daughter’s birthmother since. I’ve hoped dearly that the pain of her loss has lessened with time and I’ve felt privileged that our joy in being parents has only deepened with the years. I’ve felt guilt and sadness and pride and joy, but this letter captures a point in time when I reflected very clearly on how loss is so central to adoption, and how, after all the sadness, gain is really the only thing we can take out of it.
Here is the letter:
She’s beautiful, just like you. Her dark eyes sparkle like diamonds, just like yours. Her smile lights up her face and the lives of those around her. She radiates. Her laughter gives happiness a sound.
She’s the master of the cheeky, winking grin. Her wonder and awe at the world is like an exclamation mark on her face. She looks like a little imp when she screws up her nose in that funny way that makes me smile.
Her hair is still short and so fine – like gossamer silken threads, and I never tire of kissing the soft, downy crown of her head. It is your straight, dark hair that shines. She has beautiful baby skin, velvety and smooth to touch, and the lovely colour of your complexion. Her chubby cheeks round out an adorable face.
I think that you would want to know how beautiful she is, because you gave her that beauty. I think that you would want to know how perfect she is, because you created that perfection. I think that you would want to know that she’s loved, because you loved her so much to give her life. You know how precious she is and I want to tell you how precious she is to me. I want to thank you for giving her life, because she has given my life meaning.
I know that you love her because you’re a mother, and now that I’m a mother, I know what it is to love this way. Absolutely, unconditionally, unconsciously – I wake up each day and I love her just as surely as I breathe in and out. Before she came into my life, there was a part of me that was missing that she has filled. Only she could fill this part of me. I’m so very grateful, but sad too, that in filling my life, she has left a hole in yours. How can I thank you for that sacrifice?