February 20, 2011

A Letter to My Son’s Mother


I was thinking of you today.  I usually try not to.  Not that I try to avoid thinking of you.  But since we’ve never met, and truth be told - I don’t even know if you’re alive, I can’t conceive of you really.  I can’t picture you.  Not in a tangible way.  I think of you in the abstract.  Here but not.  A part of us, but not.  Certainly a part of him…but then sometimes, not.  We are living life and the motion of it carries us forward – onward…away from those days in Ethiopia.   This makes me both sad and happy.  Happy because he is so wonderful…such a joy in our lives.  Sad, because I often get a pang when I think of you – of great loss.  Not just for him.  For us too.  That we couldn’t put our arms around you, hug you, comfort you in some way.  Show you how much he is loved.


I like to think you were pretty.  If you could see your son today, you would know why I think this way.  I like to think you had no choice.  I pray that was it.  I hear rumblings of infant thieves who take the young from their mothers and sell them to the highest bidder in places like the one you surely lived in.  I hear stories of those who discard their young because of presumed curses on the babies.  I hear this and I think to myself – please when it is all said and done – don’t let these things be true for him.  Let it be that you, his mother, truly had no choice.  That you left him somewhere you knew he would be found.  That you wanted him.  That you loved him.  That you still do.  I want that so badly for him.  So badly for me…

I’ve been trying to picture you in a tangible way – not in the abstract.  But as a mother who could not, for many reasons, care for him.  And in that, you gave him unknowingly into my care when you left him that day.  I like to think of you hugging him…kissing him…crying over his little body.  Telling him that you love him so.  That you would never forget him.  You had him for two months.  Two months in mother-speak is practically a lifetime.  Certainly enough time to fall completely in love.  I know for me, it took only a moment…a look…holding him in my arms – and I was in love permanently.  I like to imagine you felt the same way when you gazed into those beautiful chocolate colored eyes and held those gorgeous fingers and toes in your hands.

I want to confess that sometimes I feel incredulous that you could walk away from him.  How could you, I think to myself.  He’s so amazing!  He’s so much that words aren’t enough….  Then I feel so very sad that you had to do that...walk away from him.  Then I feel angry that you left him there.  What if he had died?  Then I feel broken that you were in a position to have had to leave him there to begin with.  I feel sad that he’ll never know you again.  He had you...he had you and your arms and your heart...even for a little bit...and then he didn’t.  And as grateful as I will forever be – I am always filled with such grief that he won’t know you.  He won’t be in your arms again.  He won’t know why you did what you did.  He won’t understand in this lifetime.  And I’m sad and incredulous and angry and broken all over again.  For him.  For me too I guess…


Are you still thinking of him?  Do you love and miss him as much as I like to think you do?  He’s so tall.  Handsome and bright.  Funny and loving.  He’s affectionate and kind and full of energy for life.  He has a smile that would melt every sad place inside of you, and a laugh that makes you come undone.  He loves to hug and kiss and doles out generous pats on the back.  He loves to chatter and sing and dance and play.  He loves to climb and roll and do summersaults.  His eyes are big and beautiful and his fingers and toes are still gorgeous. 

He’ll be four this year.  Growing up so fast and changing so much.  I wish you could see him, hug him…let him give you one of his incredible kisses.  He would hold your face in his hands and he would kiss you soundly on the lips.  Then he would kiss each cheek.  You would dissolve into the ground, just like we do.


I wish you could pull him onto your lap and tell him something wonderful in Amharic.  I wish you could tell him about his grandparents, about his father, about his siblings…

I wish so many things for you, Dearest Mother of my son…and I wish so many things for him.  Our son.  Yours and mine. 

I like to think we are alike.  That we would both do anything for him.  You would give him up to save him.  I would raise him up to save him.  I like to think this way, because it helps my heart to think that you love him as much as I do.  Even though I’ll never know all the answers my heart wants, I still like to think that you might be, at this very moment, on the other side of the world with a heart full of questions too.  Was he found?  Is he alive?  Is he growing up?  What does he look like now?  Is he cared for?  Does he have food to eat?  Is he well?

Is he loved?

Yes, dearest…he is loved.  So, so much.  Some day, on the other side of heaven, I’ll show you…

~ Your Son’s Mother


S.Wise said...

A silent sob.... I know these feelings and thoughts so well. There is so much I wish I knew... so much I wish I could share. So many questions. Beautiful letter Christie. :)

millercharitychris900@gmail.com said...

omg...that was the sweetest thing i've ever read...i'm sobbing hystericaly i cannot imagine either sides...my husband and i are thinking about adopting can you maybe inbox me some tips?I love you and i'm so glad God has blessed you with a wonderful familt...(tears still rolling down my cheeks)...love you all..hope to see you soon<3

Ashley said...

Absolutely beautiful! I pray that his mother feels a peace, knowing that her son is being well taken care of.

Anne said...

What a beautiful, sweet letter...Although our situations are very different, I have many of the same thoughts about my daughter's Mother.

Jodee said...

What a sweet post! You are a fabulous writer!

Mom said...

My dearest daughter, another one of your profound and heartfelt posts. You are such a special person, wife, daughter, mother! Only you could find the words to say that so many of your faithful bloggers feel, but maybe can't put into words. I, once again, beg you to put these wonderful words onto pages in a book. You are such an encouragement to so many women.
I also, would love for his birth mother to know that he has grandparents that love him SO much and think about him constantly. I am thankful that YOU were the one that was chosen to be his mom, You are beautiful, inside and out.
I love you.

Briana's Mom said...

It is so amazing you wrote this right now. I have been thinking a lot about Briana's biological family lately. Maybe because she is getting older and asking some questions and making some statements. It weighs heavily on my heart. I think you and I are in a very similar place right now.

Valerie said...

Ahh Christie, you dare to go where I am afraid to enter.

The questions, ponderings, and mysteries we can not yet solve.

It would be so easy (for me) to pretend like this is how it was always meant to be, but of course there are other characters in this play and their roles are just as substantial even if they are only in the first act.

I think we will all come together in the end and all questions will be answered.

All mothers do what they need to do at any given moment in time - for right or wrong each choice begets a turn on the path of life.

The most I can hope for all birth-mothers who have relinquished their children to the arms of another, is peace in knowing their child is well loved and provided for.

I don't know if I could ever be that strong.

Bless the mothers and all the hard decisions they make on a daily basis for the love of the children.


Holly said...

(sigh) I do understand so many of these feelings and questions....and with no name, no address, how could I ever pen such a letter....?
I really do admire you Christie- you SO OFTEN write what so many others are feeling but are unable to express eloquently or maybe even unwilling to express openly.
Kudos to you...for sharing your gift with the rest of us!

Christa said...

Absolutely tears me apart yet soothes my heart at the same time. Praying that God's assurance sweeps over both of you precious mothers & overrules all doubt, once and for all. Beautiful letter.

Alyson said...

Your mom's comment was so stinkin' sweet. I love to see families who are so supportive. This post has me thinking as we move closer to the little one who the Lord has for us!

Lisa Coleman said...

Sis, you are amazing! Your kids are so blessed to have a mom like you. And your mom is right! You need to put these pages in a book!!! Love you lots!

Suz said...

I can always count on you for a good cry. I've been thinking many of the same thoughts this week as Caroline's birthday approaches. Your mom is right, you need to put all of this in a book for your kids, you are truly blessed with your abilities to put into words what so many of us on this journey of adoption feel. Thank you for sharing with all of us (:

4D said...

I really relate to this post. Thank you.

Keep smilin!

La Dolce Vita: The Sweet Life said...

Just found your blog through another. We too have a daughter from China, and are adopting from Ethiopia.

THis is a great post. I have a similar one brewing for my daughter's upcoming birthday.