Open Adoption: Letter to K On Her 10th Birthday From Her Birthmother

K's birthmother sent me the following letter for K on her 10th birthday:

Dear K,

I can't believe you are going to be 10 years old tomorrow.  You have grown to be such an amazing person, and while I can take some credit for your amazing genes, I give so much credit to your wonderful parents!!!  I couldn't have chosen better people to raise my baby girl.  They are caring, honest, sincere, and very loving.

Now, I would like to tell you my side of the story of the day you were born.

I was nervous, excited and scared.  I didn't know what to expect.  Your mom and dad and I had become very close over the previous few months and it felt so right to give them my baby.  I was excited because I knew your mommy would be so happy to finally be a mommy and have a healthy baby to love.  I was scared because I didn't know if I was strong enough to see you and your beautiful face and then give you away.  That was the hardest thing I've ever done.  We all knew you would be going to foster care for a while, but your parents promised to fly in to visit you every weekend and stand by you until they could adopt you and bring you home.

We went to the hospital the night before you were born, and the nurses hooked me up to all the machines to make sure you were doing ok.  Your mom and dad were with me the entire time.  I don't remember much because it's been so long ago and because of the medicine I was on when you were born.  I remember sitting in the hospital room talking with your mom and dad and just laughing and having a good time.  The day you were born, I remember the doctor coming in and teasing your mom about managing her expectations.  Your parents and the doctor that delivered you (and E and D) hit it off beautifully.  It was a lot of fun to see my doctor, a friend, be so supportive of a difficult decision that I was making in a town so small that no one ever talked about adoption.  It was unheard of!!

I remember being in the hospital room around noon the day you were born, and by then, my labor had progressed.  My aunt S had come to visit and she showed up at the best time.  She really liked your mom and dad too.  S was sitting off to the side of the room while your parents and I were all talking and visiting.  My water had broken about an hour or two prior and we knew you would be here soon.  When the doctor came in, my aunt was able to get some wonderful pictures of you being born.

Your mom was supposed to help me count to 10 while I was pushing, but she was so overcome with emotion that she could only count to 2, and then she started crying too hard to count!  I remember I was so tired from the pain medicine, and pushing, but I couldn't go to sleep until I heard you cry.

You didn't cry at first and you were blue.  I was very scared, but I knew Dr. Rob would save you and make you breathe.  I trusted him completely.  After some time had passed, you finally cried.  It must have only been seconds but it felt like minutes!! I remember saying to your parents, "she's crying.  My job is over now."  I was so tired and now that I knew you were healthy and breathing, I could go to sleep.

The rest of the day was a blur because I slept off and on.  I remember your dad got to cut the umbilical cord and I think that was something he would never forget.  I’m so glad he was able to do that.  I remember lying in bed and I woke up to Dr. Rob sitting in my room reading a paper.  I remember he told me how proud he was of me and how happy your parents were.

Your parents and I had a celebration dinner the night after you were born.  Your mom was worried about me and how I was holding up.  She always thought about my feelings and how I was doing.  I think that's because she knew some of what I was going through since she had lost Matthew.

Anyway, I had surgery so that I couldn't have kids anymore.  I wanted to make sure you would always be my baby.  When I left the hospital, I got to see you, and I remember how beautiful you were.  You looked a lot like E and D did when they were born.  I knew that I would love you forever and that I would miss you so much, but that giving you to your mom and dad was the best thing for everyone.

The next few months were really hard.  Your mom and dad had to go back to Chicago, and you were in foster care, and so were E and D, and it was the hardest thing I have ever gone through.  A few months later, your parents were able to bring you home!  I was happy for you but sad too that you would be so far away.  And a few more months after that, E and D were able to come home to me.

It was really hard to see you during the years to come.  You didn't know me, and when you cried for mommy, it wasn't me you wanted.  That's why I had to take a break from seeing you for a while.  I had to deal with the fact that you weren't my baby.  You were hers.

Your parents have stayed true to their word by letting me see you and be a part of your life.  They didn't have to do that.  They could have taken you after the adoption was final, and there would have been nothing I could have done.  I will always be grateful to them for keeping their promise.

So now we come to your 10th birthday.  I can't believe you are that big now!  You are going to grow into a wonderful person.  I know you have been carrying so many burdens since before you were born, but you are able to handle difficult situations, because you are a strong young woman.  I know this because you made me strong, and you made your mom strong.

We have always done what is best for you and we will always protect you.  You are one of the most loved kids in the world, and I know you can do anything!!!  I am so proud to be your birthmother, and I can't wait to be there when you hit every milestone in life.

I love you so very much, and I hope one day you will understand how much I care about you and how I will never stop loving you.  I loved you from the beginning.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!!  May all your dreams come true!!

Love, M

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