Tuesday, September 2, 2014

from one mother to another: a letter to Paisley's bio mom

As I was doing some research a couple of weeks ago about Paisley's birth providence, I started thinking about her biological parents, more specifically her mom. Because of how Paisley was found, there is no information about either one of her biological parents. It isn't surprising to Daniel or myself that we will never know who her bio parents were or their story, but one day we will have to share the answers to the hard questions with Paisley. We don't have all of the answers to her questions she will ask, but we will make sure that she does not harbor negative feelings towards her bio parents, especially her mom. We could come up with a tragic story about how adoption was the only way to save Paisley's life or they were dirt poor and couldn't afford to care for a newborn.  Also, we could assure her that her bio mom and dad knew she would have a better life without being in their care. And that story might be true.

However, you can't overlook the heart-breaking possibility as well:  her bio parents could have just not been ready to be parents. Maybe they were afraid of becoming parents. Maybe they wanted a boy and not a girl. Maybe they were poor and couldn't raise a child. There are a million heart-warming and heart-breaking reasons as to why her bio parents are not caring for her now. But that isn't the important part of this story. The important part is the ending, and yet it is the beginning of a life with a loving and caring family who will never abandon her.

As great it is to think about how a little girl's life will change for the better, I can't stop thinking about her bio parents. Where are they? What are they doing? How do they feel?  Do they wonder about their little girl? Do they hope and pray that she will be adopted and cared for? As hard as it is for our American brains to comprehend ever leaving a newborn only a few days old to be found and placed in an orphanage, we've learned that these Chinese mothers do care for their babies. Since abortion and giving a child up for adoption are illegal in China, abandoning a child is the only route if parents are unable to care for a child and hope for a prosperous life for their child. A lot of the mothers will pin the child's name and birthdate to the newborn's clothes so their identity isn't lost once in the orphanage. That one simple act leads me to believe that these parents do care for their children, so much that they give them up for a chance at a better life.

I think about what that moment must have been like for Paisley's bio mother as she walked away from her child for the last time not knowing what would happen to her. I can't imagine the pain she could have felt. What was she thinking during those moments? Does she still think of her little baby? Has she been able to go back to her everyday life post-baby? Has she given birth to other children? Does she feel empty inside not having her daughter with her?

I pray for Paisley's bio mom. Even though I will never meet her, I think of her often and admire her bravery, if that is what it really is.

Dear Paisley's bio mother,
There aren't enough words to accurately portray my feelings towards you. I am unaware of your situation at the time of your daughter's birth. I can't assume that you were doing a selfless act by giving your child a better life. On the other hand, I can't assume that you were being selfish by giving her up either. Your motives will forever be a mystery, and I can't spend any more time thinking about that day and why.  

I want to thank you for giving up your little girl for adoption no matter your reason.  You have given 2 American people such joy by giving us a gift that we would never repay you for.  You have given us our first child.  I assure you 100% that she will always be taken care of.  She will never grow hungry, thirsty, alone, bored.  She already is and will continue to be loved like she was a blood relative of our family.  I've always hated the saying "blood is thicker than water", because it's not true.  Family isn't something a person is necessarily born into, but it's a unit that is accepting of others no matter their origin.  It's people who welcome and adopt one as their own to care and nurture each other.  

Even though we are beginning our family unit, your daughter is the first building block to our expansion.  She is just as special to us as if she was our own flesh and blood. We will provide everything she needs in order for her to grow up as a smart, loving, caring, selfless, successful, honest, respectful, young lady.  She is the most beautiful little girl I've ever seen, and I have yet to see her in person.  I promise to pray for you daily and to teach Paisley to pray for you as well.  I will encourage her to not only see herself when she is looking in the mirror, but recognize the woman who gave her life.  The mother she will never know but will learn to appreciate.   There will be no bitter feelings towards you in our house, because you made the choice to give life.  And you gave us the most precious life.  

Thank you seems so small.  Instead I promise to be the mother that Paisley needs.  I will never take for granted this miraculous gift.  Thank you for giving me a daughter.

Eternally grateful,
Paisley's adoptive mommy