18 months

February 11, 2014 § 21 Comments

Dear you,

Recently someone suggested that I write letters to you and save them for when you’re older. I don’t think I’ll do that. It’s hard to find the right words, to say what I mean without coming across too depressing, or disrespectful of your current life and family. And you might be surprised that a stranger you don’t know and don’t care to think about has written letters to you. But you’re not a stranger to me.

I feel like I’m not allowed to love you. But I do, so much. I cried when I realized you will be 18 months old. Your babyhood is over, and I missed all of it. I missed an entire stage of your life. I will continue to miss many more stages, I will miss out on everything, but this is the first of them. Days and milestones will keep flying by. Before I know it, you’ll have a lifetime that I don’t know about.

I wish I had even one way to express my love for you. Sometimes I think about sending presents for Christmas and your birthday. It’s scary to consider asking your parents’ permission to send a present, and I’m reluctant to pursue it. Your parents seem non-confrontational, so they might agree that I can send gifts, and then throw them away without opening them. Or give them to you without disclosing who they are from. Or they will think the worst of me, that I want to “have it both ways” or I’m trying to buy your love. Maybe you’ll think the same thing, that I’m being pathetic.

But, I always think about what I would get you.

On your first Christmas, in 2012, I looked enviously through patterns for booties, hats, and blankies. I don’t know how to knit or crochet, but I remember wishing I could make you something warm and soft. These booties look easy to make and they have a drawstring to tie them on…so adorable!

On your first birthday, I longed for a cutesy themed birthday party and I did your astrology chart. You’re a fiery, dramatic, big-hearted Leo, with an emotionally impulsive Moon in Aries, and just like me, your Ascendant is Sagittarius. I love astrology and I’ve put together in-depth natal charts for my friends and family. I hope I get to see your birthday party pictures. Your parents told me they were doing a joint celebration for you and your grandma who turned 70 on the same day. I think you should get a party for yourself; a first birthday is monumental. But it sounds like it was a big family gathering, which is good too.


And this most recent Christmas, I went online and picked out this sweet angora bunny for you. He looks so soft and classic. I’m sure you are in no need of toys, but I wish you could have him. When I was your age, my lovey was a stuffed leopard, and he’s still with me. I was attached to many of my childhood stuffed animals, in fact.

So now, you are 18 months old. I know I’ve been long forgotten, but I miss you so much. I think about you every day; special occasions are further devastation. If I did send you gifts, they would be a small speck of everything I have inside of me that I wish I could give you. I hope I get to see pictures and read about you soon.

I love you,

– A.


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§ 21 Responses to 18 months

  • rebeccahawkes says:

    Not long forgotten, no. Not in the deepest level of knowing. 45-year-old adoptee here. You have every right to your love!

    • Thanks, Rebecca. I read a lot of adoptees saying they don’t care about their biofamily and it gets to me more than it should.

      • Yes, it’s true that there are adoptees who say things like that, but it’s important to remember that adoptees typically go through many stages in their lives. Adoption processing is a lifelong thing and “those people are strangers to me” is often (not always but often) part of a phase. The same adoptees who say those things often later come to realize that they have always remained connected to their original families, and especially the mother, by an invisible & unbreakable thread. That’s how it was for me at least.

  • Rain says:

    Beautifully written. And you will never be forgotten. I firmly believe that he knows you love him and care for him!!

  • blackout says:

    <3 Hugs and love A. Together or apart, you're always his mother.

  • Thinking of you. Beautiful letter. xxo

  • CSherm says:

    No love is never wasted or pointless.

    And he will be aware of you from the moment he knows he is adopted.

    When my son was 9, I had wrestled with asking the parents for contact for years, and I finally couldn’t take it anymore and wrote to them asking for direct contact with him in some form. They wrote back to let me know the answer was no to that, but they did say that he would ask all kinds of interesting and intelligent questions about me. I don’t know what the questions were or what they answered him about me, don’t know what he grew up knowing about me, but I did at least know from that letter that he was aware of me and curious about me. And, eventually, I got the chance to tell him that I was always thinking of him.

    It matters. Love matters.

    • How sadistic of them to withhold your son from you, as well as you from him. A few simple conversations would have been so important for both of you. What the hell do they think, that you’re writing to them for all these years because they’re your friends? I fucking hate that.

      • CSherm says:

        Well, there was never any illusion that I could have contact with him from the beginning, as in before he was ever born. I didn’t know I would want it. I was thinking that I didn’t want him to be confused about who his mom is. What can I say? I went into it blind. When I got the letter back, I had some pretty intense feelings, but I kept them under wraps – to everyone…not just them, and I tried to just keep up the whole thing of, “it’s all for the best.” I came from a generation that didn’t have any illusions about open adoption.

        To be honest, I don’t know what’s worse, my generation who knew we were losing our babies with no illusions of getting to be part of their childhood – or the generation where adoptive parents who promise openness and close the door later. Either way, the whole thing is sucky and sucks and just keeps on sucking.

  • Fatima says:

    Wow, I read this and couldn’t hold back the tears. I’m sure somewhere in his heart is a big space for you.

    Wow! Wow!! Wow!!! This is a beautiful poem, the Lord is your strength.

    I have a fiery Leo too, he is only 6months, I can relate to how you’re feeling.

  • Dianna says:

    Your post is so eloquent and heart felt. I wanted to write to you and say that as a woman who was “found” by her birth mother when I was 30 it meant the world to me to know that she looked for me and that she thought about me even after she gave me up. There is so much left to the imagination with adoption.

    I would encourage you to write letters to your child, or collage, or whatever expresses your love. Do it from your heart so when/if you have the chance to re-connect, the child will know how you felt. Our minds forget and have a way of re-engineering the facts. What a wonderful gift to be able to share what this all means to you in real time.

    You are very brave and courageous to share this personal journey. I am rooting for you. A mother’s love is never forgotten.


  • Ursula says:

    Wow. I was reading a book called Circles by Jan Wiseman who was one of my Mum’s patients and sadly died a couple of weeks ago. Her book is about her life and its 100% true, she was adopted and she has a such a sad story. She mentioned a website similar to this and I wanted to find it. This was the closest I came and reading your letter I felt so happy that you would love a child so much and I really hope he talks to you one day or tries to contact you. I am not adopted and I have a bit of a strange life but my mum does look after me well…just sometimes I do wish to feel as loved as you love your son. My mum does love me but I just don’t feel it. Thank you for writing such a beautiful letter and making sure that you have done everything you can to let your son know you love him

  • Ursula says:

    I am only 14 years old but I have had the most confusing life I’ve ever heard of. I’m not adopted but that’s not the point. I just want you to know that I understand what you mean about not being allowed to be there as your son grows up. In my family I find it unbearable that I am the only one who seems to think that it is unfair that my father’s youngest child (of four) will not get a chance to see me grow up. He has witnessed only one of his children grow into an adult. There is a law preventing me from seeing him until I am 18, I am his youngest child so why are there people who don’t think it is unfair that I only have 4 years left of childhood and he wont have seen any of them, nor will he have seen 2 of his other children grow? I don’t understand why people think this is okay. He may have made mistakes but nothing can cause more pain than not being allowed to even talk to your daughter who is your last chance to see one of your own children grow

  • Reblogged this on A Life In Chaos and commented:
    This woman’s story is so sad and I’ve read every post and would appreciate if others did too, to understand things like her story

  • Cherry says:

    My son told me he had never experienced unconditional love until he found me again.

    He told me, at a cafe where we were doing nothing especially exciting, that he felt happy and that ‘this is how life should feel’

    He told me that my love, and the love of the rest of his natural family, have helped him love and accept and understand himself at last.

    I think this is how we can be there for our sons and daughters. We may miss their childhoods and so much else, but being like an oak tree, with love that is enduring and rooted, for when they need or want us to be, is just one way of showing our maternal love in the future.

    My son needed me, when the whole world – social workers, doctors, many aparents, some adoptees – were saying I was irrelevant. I was almost convinced by that. Thankfully I listened to my son.

    • That’s beautiful. I didn’t know unconditional love until I met my son, and I’ll always have that for him.

      • Cherry says:

        I didn’t know it either before I met mine. That’s the bit expectant mothers are not prepared for, don’t even know exists. It’s our strength though, for our sons. It endures.

  • Cherry says:

    Why don’t you get him that lovely rabbit anyway. It’s something very tangible for him to hold in later years.

  • Renee says:

    I am a fiery Leo adoptee. Born on August 7. I always loved my mom–I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love her, think about her, wonder about her, miss her. I never talked about it much. It was a very private thing, for the most part. Most people never heard from me about my loss.

    I finally found and reunited with my mother when I was 50 years old. She gave me a beautiful bracelet made of birthstones; each one representing one of the members of my original family. I treasure it–but I’ll admit, if she’d given me a little angora rabbit she’d been keeping for me for 40-50 years, I would treasure that even more. I can’t even begin to imagine the healing power of knowing I’d been missed and loved all those years.

    Please, if you can, buy him the special gifts you wish you could give him–and keep them so you can give them to him someday. Because I do believe you’ll have that opportunity.

    • Thanks Renee, it means a lot to hear that and I will try to find room in my Christmas budget to get him the rabbit or something else. It just hurts a lot to think of keeping something for him for so many years, knowing how long I have to wait to even see him again. Or worse, to not know.

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