Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Letter To Claire's Birth Mama


Dear Birth Mama,

I have been so angry at you...for so very long.  I don't know why you have had to bear the brunt of my anger.  I have certainly harbored no anger nor ill feelings towards my oldest daughter's birth mother.  But you...well...that's another story.

I think all of the negative aspects that I had to deal with concerning Claire's adoption just kind of packed themselves into a tight ball of hatred that lodged in my heart and I turned it all towards you.  The endless fights with the agency...the mix-up with our LID...the wait which just continued to get longer and longer...the fact I was not allowed to travel to China to bring her home.  That's her in the picture by the way.  It was snapped just moments after her Daddy held her for the first time...she was ten months old.  Do you see that smile?  He named her Claire.  Claire means clear, bright, and shining.  I chose her middle name, Yi Ming.  Yi meaning strength and grace.  And Ming?  Well...it means clear...bright...and shining.  After seeing her smile don't you think we made the right choice?

I was able to learn so much about my oldest daughter's life before I entered it.  We have pictures...and clothing...and a note from her birth mama.  For Claire?  We have nothing but the clothes she was wearing the day Daddy met her in China.  They were torn...and dirty...she was dirty...her fingernails and toenails overgrown and filthy...her little body was covered with scabies...and she was coughing so violently she was throwing up.  I have since heard that conditions at her SWI have improved greatly.

The director of the SWI at that time was unable or unwilling to share any information about what Claire's life was like while she lived there.  Again...nothing to share with her as she gets older.  What little we did learn was from the few legal papers we received.  It says you left her the day she was born.  How could you do that?  How could you just leave her...walk away from her...when she was just a few hours old?

She's ornery you know.  She is bright and funny and has a temper at least three times her size...and a stubborn streak like none I've ever seen.  She is a natural mama bear...she wants to take care of you when you're sad and make things better.  Apparently others have seen these traits in me.  She wants to help with everything.  She wants to know everything...do everything.  She lives each moment to the fullest.    She loves her sister...and they are typical sisters.  Holding hands, singing and giggling one moment, fighting, yelling and screaming the next.  She loves teddy bears, Barbie's, Disney movies, playing make believe, and going out to eat.  She is most definitely a girly girl...the diva.


She turned four this week.  On her previous birthdays I had but one thought towards you, "Do you even remember what today is?  Do you even care?"  Not so this year.  God has been doing a lot of work within my heart lately...or perhaps more to the point, I've been allowing God to work within my heart lately.  This year things were very different.  I know you had nothing to do with the agency or the LID mix-up or the director of the SWI or the conditions there or any of that.  I KNOW this.  I was told I'd have to wait six months for our baby...it ended up being fifteen.  People are now waiting four years.  Again, I know this isn't your fault...I allowed my hurt and my anger to cloud what was right...what was real.

As I was looking through the pictures of Claire taken while she was in China, trying to choose one for this letter, I was struck by yet another certainty.  As I sat here crying...and aching...and hurting...because I had missed a part of her life I should not have...not allowed to hold her...touch her...comfort her...make her feel better...I realized that for me, the wait was over.  I was able to see pictures of her, and talk to her on the phone, and know that within two weeks time I would be able to do all of those things I had been waiting so long to do.  And then I realized that when you laid her safely down, in a well populated area, and walked away from her that you would never have that.  Your wait is forever.  You will never hold her, or hear her laugh, or see pictures, or watch her grow.  How much greater must your heartache be?


I am so sorry...so very sorry for allowing my own hurts to usurp yours.  You were doing what has been done and has been an accepted practice for so very long.  Please forgive me for ever thinking you did not care about our daughter.

I have started telling her what very little I know about you...first and foremost...that you love her.  It is your blood running through her veins...your eyes staring back at me...your hair...your skin...her beauty is yours.  She is truly a combination of both of us.  And I promise that I will love her, cherish her, and fight to protect her until my last breath.

Thank you for the gift that is Claire,

7 comments:

Jay said...

Such a sweet post. I understand the wanting to blame someone, and the anger that you directed toward the unknown woman who dumped your darling Claire. I understand you now forgiving her and feeling for her.

It was probably the hardest thing she had done in her life, and quite possibly she was under a great deal of pressure to abandon Claire. It doesn't make it right, or less painful, but it's all we can do, to understand. I'm glad you've reached that place. It won't make any difference to Claire's unknown birth mother, but it will make the world of difference to you both.

Mel said...

Thanks Jay...the feelings are/were so different for Claire's birth mother than they are for Hope's. What's important at this point is that I can talk to each of my girls openly and without anger concerning their birth parents.

Carol said...

Wow. Such depth of feeling. Such anger and hurt. But you know, Mel....God knows what He's doing. Always. And although we don't always understand, I will bet that Claire's mother's heartbreak will continue through all eternity. And YOU my dear, and Claire.....have reaped the rewards. Hold her tightly and shower her with kisses for me. xoxoxoxox

Mel said...

I will Auntie Carol...she just put her Ariel earrings on me...I'm now wearing 3 pair of my own and one of hers...I look stunning...simply stunning. These are the little moments I know her birth mama aches for...

Carolina said...

Mel Mel Mel... you Queen of the Tattoos: STOP SOBBING! ;-) I haven't read the above post yet, because I know I will feel all tearful and emotional about it, but I've just read your comment on mine.
I will read your post now, no doubt sniff a little and then write you another comment. And then cook dinner and then hopefully read your other posts I've missed. Or I might do that this weekend.
But please... take control of yourself and sob no more! LOL and a big fat kiss :-X

Carolina said...

If only Claire's birthmother knew how much you love her and what a wonderful part of your family she is.

That's why I'm typing with one hand, holding a wet tissue in the other ;-)

X

Mel said...

Don't get tears in your food! What's for dinner BBFF? xo

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