The Letter You Wrote

Two days ago my birth sister's father sent me a letter and a picture from my birth mom. She had given it to social services to be passed along to the parents that adopted her children. My stomach was in knots the second I saw the hand writing.

Anger and resentment are definitely words I would use to describe my feelings towards my birth mother. All of my birth siblings have effects from being born drug addicted and or alcohol addicted. That's truly been where my anger has stemmed. I myself have struggled with drug addiction and it infuriated me to know she couldn't stop using during her pregnancies. You make a choice whether you want to live in misery or change your life, and she chose to live miserably and bring children into misery. 

Little was known about my birth mom. We knew her name and that she suffered from mental illness. We knew she had had over six children. We also knew she had been in foster care herself and had been to jail. That truly was the extent of our knowledge. Luckily, my parent's have been open with me my whole life. They never hesitated to answer any questions I might have and have told me on several occasions that they would support me if I wanted to search for her. 

So here I was staring at a letter that would answer all my questions and that would have an apology from my birth mom. Surely she would go into great detail on her life and I would be able to say that I knew her now. Surely she would make amends for loving dope more than she loved us. Needless to say, I had some pretty high expectations from the letter. I wish I could tell you the letter did all that. But it simply did not.

Instead, the letter opened with the heartbreaking start to her story and life. She was very much abused and taken from her home at a young age. She jumped from foster home to foster home and she was on her own by the time she was 17. She struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and was in and out of jail and prison. She wrote the letter from her fourth stay in prison. At this point she was working on changing her life. She had found her faith and wanted to help others. She felt like she had learned from her mistakes and learned who she was. That was the end of the letter. So she never had a safe place to lie her head. She was never told she was enough or that she was beautiful. She was never told she was loved. She was never taught empathy or sympathy. She wasn't taught how to love and she didn't know how to handle her mental illnesses. She was a victim and a broken soul.

So I let it go. I cried, I prayed, and I washed myself of my anger and resentment. At 17 I was broken like her and headed down the same path. The difference was I had family who told me I WAS enough. They told me I WAS loved and beautiful, and no one ever gave up on me. I have hurt my parents deeply. I have screwed up and made terrible choices. I have jumped through hell and fire just to land in their open arms. I have never known a closed door. I have never had a broken heart that wasn't mended by their unconditional love. That's why I broke the CYCLE. The letter did more than I had hoped in many ways. I realized I didn't need to know everything about her. I just needed to know what she did to us wasn't malicious. She was just a broken soul making it's way through a tragic and incurable trench. 

So I forgive you. I forgive you for putting poison into your babies. I forgive you for looking the other way and not facing the demons you held so closely. I forgive you for not being strong enough to lift your collapsed soul above the abyss. I forgive you for the mental illnesses you passed along. I forgive you for it all. I may have hoped to find you one day, but it's time to put that hope aside. I am letting go of you and I am closing the chapter of you. You should see what gift you gave me. You should know that the parents God sent to me are pure and full of unquestionable love. You should know it is because of them that I am here today able to forgive you. 

Momma and Dad - I am so grateful for your love and support. Your openness and unended willingness to provide me whatever I needed on this journey is the greatest blessing. You both are the most humble people I have ever known. I hope you understand how much your love truly did alter children's and other's lives.

"Adoption is a beautiful way to start a family."

                 My Momma, sister Shannon and I on my third birthday. 

                 My Momma, sister Shannon and I on my third birthday.