I read a post on Corey’s Blog the other day that made me cry. It wasn’t really the post- it was the sense of loss because I could never write that kind of letter to GB’s biological mother and GB will never have the comfort of knowing that her mother loved her and took care of her until she made the life giving gift of adoption. My letter would to be more like this:
Dear GB’s Biological Mother,
I am writing this letter because there are things I want you to be aware of when GB comes asking you difficult questions during her rapidly approaching adolescence. Since you have never lived more than 10 miles from our house, I am sure when she wants questions answered, she will be able to find you.
I suspect her first question will be about drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. She knows that none of these things are good for babies and she knows you chose to do them anyway. She knows she has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and she knows it doesn’t go away. She knows that you promised both me and your father you would not do these things while you were pregnant. She doesn’t know why you didn’t keep your promise. Neither your father nor I have that answer for her.
She wants to know why you don’t like her anymore. She remembers being four and being a flower girl in your father’s wedding. She remembers you being in the wedding too. She doesn’t remember seeing you, or you calling her after that day. I have told her that you called her 2 or 3 times and visited several times in that following year, but she doesn’t remember it. She thinks she did something wrong. My words cannot change the rejection by you that she feels.
She asks why you didn’t eat good food while you were pregnant. I have no answer. She wants to know why she was in daycare before she was a month old. I used to say “Your birth mother had problems”. I stopped saying that when GB started asking what kind of problems. How do you explain a personality disorder to an almost eight year old who is emotionally five? When she asks these questions now, I tell GB that you are the only one who knows the answer to these questions and when she is older, she will have to ask you herself. This is also the answer I give her when she wants to know why you left her. Since Hope came to our family from a disrupted adoption, GB’s awareness of her own story is very much more evident.
Sometimes, in the past, GB has asked if you didn’t want her, why you wouldn’t sign the papers so she could be adopted. I don’t have an answer to that question either. Don’t worry, GB won’t be showing up on your doorsteps tomorrow. You probably have four or five years before that day comes. Remember, though, the years pass surprisingly fast. She remembers all the times we went to go to court during the process of terminating your parental rights. Everybody has to answer for their actions sooner or later, and you only have a little time to figure out the real answers to difficult questions.
Maybe a therapist would help you figure out the answers to these questions, so that both you and GB can live with them.