My Open Letter to the Daughter I Gave Away

Darling Daughter,

It’s hard for me to believe that you turned eighteen just a few months ago. It seems like just yesterday that I was eighteen myself, and navigating the difficult journey that took me from child to adult. I remember how confusing the teenage years can be. How they can make you question yourself, wonder what your future holds, dwell on every little misstep you take.

I know that you’ve had a childhood filled with joy and security, but I worry that you might also be feeling a little more lost than other teenagers right now, and possibly wondering how you came to have the parents and the life that you do.

newborn-baby-girl

I know your parents explained to you that you were adopted as soon as you were old enough to understand what that meant. I’m sure they also told you that they love you fully and completely and every bit as much as any parents love their child. I hope you were able to understand how true their words were, and how much of a blessing you were to their lives.

But I know that there’s one question you’ll probably ask eventually, if you haven’t already, and it’s one that your parents can’t answer. The question is, “why?” Why did your “real” mother, the woman that gave birth to you, give you away to somebody else? I don’t know if you’ve ever voiced that question, but I’m sure it’s haunted your thoughts at times.

mom-and-baby

Since the day I gave birth to you, I couldn’t help but notice how many television shows and movies showcased emotional, touching renditions of an adopted child meeting her birth mother for the first time. That question, the why, was always the first one asked. And the answers, always the same, had me scoffing in disgust every time.

“I was young. I didn’t know how to take care of a baby. I didn’t have anyone to help me. I was all alone.” These are true statements for many women that make the choice I made, and a lot of them were true for me, but I can assure you that none are the reason a mother gives her baby away.

baby

The answer to that “why,” the answer I believe is almost every birth mother’s answer to the question, is this: I cared more about what was best for you than I did about what was best for me. I had to decide between giving you the most promising life and future I possibly could…or keeping you with me. And I loved you so much that I was willing to lose a piece of my heart for a lifetime, if it meant that you would have a life of happiness and prosperity and opportunity.

In this age of social media, I’ve been able to learn a bit more about you than you might know. I’ve seen ample proof over the years that the decision I made was the right one. I knew it when your parents sent me some of their favourite photos from your first few years of life, and I know it now, having seen you as a smiling and confident teenager. I’m sure your life will continue to be full of opportunity and I’m sure that you’ll accomplish anything you set your mind to.

baby-sleeping

But through it all, if you ever start to wonder, if you ever start to worry, if you ever start to feel like you aren’t good enough…remember this. Every single day since you were born, I have loved you. And for every single day to come in the future, I will keep loving you.

Letting somebody else take you out of my arms was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I would do it again a thousand times to ensure your happiness. And you will always have the piece of my heart that I gave you the day you were born. From the beginning, and for always, I would do anything for you.

Love Always,

Your Mother

11 thoughts on “My Open Letter to the Daughter I Gave Away”

  1. I feel so worthless as an adoptee, the words discarded, forgotten, and replaced play on a loop quite often. Your words are lovely. But what about those of us who loved our mothers? What about the people like me who call their mother their first love who left them? What about us whose hearts have been smashed since day one? Most babies dont babies handle seperation well, even those of us you’d swear were happy. What if we think you were wrong about what would make us happy, what if loosing you broke us? Adoptees loose part of themselves early on and it’s something we rarely discuss at all until we are grown. And I mean 30s to 50s … I’m sure your daughter can speak for herself. But I hate that so many birth mother are so ignorant of how many adoptees cry every day … wishing we had been held tighter.

    1. This all makes me feel so sad for you, Oni. I do believe that most birth mothers do what they do because they are thinking about what’s best for their babies, but realistically I also know that’s not always the case. And the problem is that we are all only human, so the best we can do is try to make the right decision, even though there’s no way to know if it truly is the right one. Wishing you plenty of love and happiness in your future days!

  2. Kat your love shines through and having known you only as an adult… I applaud your younger self. You gifted your daughter a life which you’ve watched from afar with high regard for her family. That is beautiful

  3. What a lucky little girl to have someone who loves her so much they put her needs and security above all else. You are an inspiring woman and mother, Kathryn!

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