Monday, November 7, 2011

Why I Didnt Read My "Birthparent Letter"

So here is a dirty little secret that very few people know about me: I didnt even read the "Birthparent letter" from D and G until Dawson was over a year old.

I know, *gasp* how could I not read it?

I just didnt. That's it (kind of anticlimactic right?).

Go and read my adoption story, there is not a mention of that letter in there anywhere. Dont get me wrong, when we started I read through each letter with a fine-toothed comb. I analyzed each sentence for level of intelligence, empathy, love and expressiveness. Those first 10 packets were almost memorized, I could have told you stats, positives and negatives on each of those couples. None of them really felt right, and I even remember having a conversation with my SW about how I just didnt feel anything for these people. She said to find one that I felt "the least negatives" for. I did, and we scheduled a meeting, and it didnt work. We got word the day before that they had moved. I couldnt wait months for them, and it just never felt good to me. So more packets were given to me, something like 25 in the second pack. Still nothing. I began to lose hope that I would find the right people. The last group of packets came and there were only about 8 in that group. My SW said if I didnt find what I was looking for we would start looking at families with more than one child, or families that lived farther away.

By that time I was so tired. I was 7.5 months pregnant and scared and exhausted. I didnt want to read any more letters, or skim over any more touching words that did not penetrate my heart. So with this last packet I didnt read anything but stats, and then I looked at pictures.

I cant tell you what was in that letter. I'm sure they agonized over it and wrote with care and concern. I dont know if they would be offended to know how little that effort really mattered in the end. I cant even remember the gist of it now, and I have it saved in a baby book that I look through often. What I can tell you is that D's smile was vibrant, and G's love shown brightly. I can tell you that C looked so happy to be spending time with her parents, and every fun location made me wish I could jump into the setting of those pictures. It felt familiar, and it felt like I could not help but come back to those pictures.

I didnt read the letter, maybe partially because I was so wrapped up in my own pain that I couldnt experience those emotions with them. Mostly I think I just didnt need to. They were my family, in a way I could not (and still cant) explain. I didnt need any more confirmation than that.

When I finally did read the letter, I remember feeling like it was unneccesary. It was shortly after our first visit, which means he was over a year old. I knew by then that my choice was right and good. I knew that he was with his family and that they were everything I could have asked for. There is no way a letter could have changed that for me.


Monika said...

At the adoption conference I attended this past weekend, we were given the opportunity to say what was important to us in choosing the people that are our kids' parents. Like you, I didn't care and wouldn't have cared what the "birthparent letter" said. I cared about the pictures I got in that same packet. The love that I could see in their eyes for each other & their families was more important and spoke higher volumes to me than anything any words could have said. So...I agree. :) (Though I hate the "birthparent letter" concept anyway, because a woman is NOT a birthmom until she places her baby and signs away parental rights. Before that, she's just a pregnant mom to be.)

Ashley said...

I really hated writing the "Dear Birthmom" letter. How were we supposed to write something that would convince a person we were the right fit? It was so hard. I think we threw away 50 copies and never did feel like we wrote a good one. We just couldn't put into words what we wanted to say. I felt like our pictures that we included gave a better depiction of us. I'm glad to hear that those were the things that mattered to you. Our daughter's birth mother said the same thing too. :)

Sharon said...

I loved this post, it really resonated with me and reminded me of our own story.
Our BM had been shown every profile our SW had and had also felt that none of them were right. We'd only just finished the profiling stage two days previously when our SW phoned us and said not to get excited but they had a BM who couldn't gel with any of their couples and our SW had this feeling we'd be the ones. We had to put together a profile and letter within 48 hours and send off to them. I remember my husband and I stayed up all night working on our letter and profile, I cried the whole night. How do you, in a few short hours come up with the right words to express all that we were feeling and to adequately show who we were as a couple? It was exceptionally stressful but I needn't have worried... our BM never read our letter or our profile. Apparently our SW gave it to her, she looked at the photo of my husband and I on the cover and said that we were it. We were the ones and she didn't need to know anything more or read out letter. She just knew in her heart we were the ones.
Ironic how these things work out.