Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dear Birthmother....

Having my girls home everyday for summer vacation, I have enjoyed them playing around the house, coming to me with their questions, creating art projects, writing stories and songs. They are no longer toddlers, preschoolers, or young elementary age little girls anymore, but are now on the cusp of becoming beautiful preteen girls, with ideas, opinions, and creativity. I often think of their birthparents as I watch them, wondering if they were gifted in music or if they were athletic or if they were shy or outgoing. Looking at their wonderful but different personalities, I wonder where they may have come from or their features and think about what their birthparents might look like.

A friend told me about this website containing letters written by adoptive parents to their childrens' birthparents LINK. Their letters, combined with my current thoughts, made me wonder, what would my letter to my girls’ birthparents say? If I could send them a letter what kind of a tone would it be written in - happy, sad, or angry?

Their first parents have given our family the greatest gift, but at the same time, I think about their loss. I wonder if they might think about them on their birthdays or holidays, or if when they abandoned them, they erased them from their minds. I wonder if they were ever worried about their safety after they abandoned them and if they stood and watched nearby.

If you were to write a letter to your child’s birthmother, what would the letter say? Are you angry with them for leaving your child or are you grateful for the gift? What things do you think about that you would want to ask them?

Karen Maunu


  1. I write a letter to each of my adoptive daughter's birth family every year on their birthday. The letter is an update or review, so to speak, about accomplishments, struggles, experiences - both good and bad that happened throughout the year. Because I often wish that their birth families knew how amazing and perfect they are, this is my way of sharing this with them.
    Recently my 8 year old asked me if I think about her birth family and I explained how often I do. I also told her about the letters. She seemed very pleased that I was writing these letters, however, when I asked if she wanted to see one of them, she said no. I didn't push the issue, but she later told me that she wanted the letters to be special between me and her birth famiy. Maybe when she is older she will feel differently.

  2. Wow, I'm in awe of Michelle's consistency and dedication. That's so fabulous - and what a beautiful way to capture all the important goings-on that are so valuable to both mothers.

    I'm only 9 months into parenting my Li'l Empress, so I'm not sure how I'd feel about this question 9 more months down the road or 9 years from now. Right now, I do know that my letter would be full of overwhelming gratitude to Li'l Empress's first mother. I'm thankful that she was found quickly, safely, and in a very healthy state. I'm thankful that she was sent to an orphanage system that was clean, well-run, and full of loving people. I'm thankful that when faced with a choice that must have been unbearable and heart-breaking, she chose to give our mutual daughter a chance at life. The alternative(s) are unthinkable. I'm exceedingly grateful.

  3. When I wrote my oldest daughter's lifebook, I was amazed and surpised at the range of emotions I felt when I allowed myself to really think about her birthparents. I didn't expect to feel some of the emotions I felt. I spent some time dealing and sorting my feelings out before I wrote about her birparents in her lifebook as I wanted it to be as positive (not make believe) as possible. I think about her BPs often. I'm glad I dealt with my feelings before my daughter began to ask questions. We haven't begun any "birthparent" letters or rituals yet, as my daughter hasn't asked about BPs. I will let her lead when that time comes and she is ready.

    Thanks for the link!

  4. I'm not an adoptive mother, but one of my dearest friends has adopted two little boys from Korea. She thinks of their parents often and prays for them. I don't think of them being abandoned as much as surrendered.