I met Anissa on Twitter several weeks ago and I thought she was pretty cool. And she makes me laugh! I have a little girly crush on her. Shhhh...
Not only did Anissa do me a huge favor by guest blogging for me, but she has given Noah a beautiful gift for the future. I will certainly be showing him this letter when he's ready.
Thank you Anissa!
Now go show her some love people!
I saw a meme going around to write your18-year-old self a letter. The things that you would tell yourself, the wisdom you would impart to your impetuous self. When Katt asked me to write a post for her while she’s gone, my first thought was about my letter. But then I thought, “Why would HER readers want to read about what I’d write to myself?”
So this is the letter that I would write to TB to read when he’s struggling with what being adopted means. Those days that he’s trying to identify what being adopted means to who he is. Being adopted comes with a 12 piece set of luggage that there is no getting around, no matter how loving the home, regardless of the devotion of the parents.
Perhaps today you’re angry with your mom or dad. Perhaps they’ve again failed to GET you and you are resenting that. Are you just inside your head? I’m not sure what the exact reason is for the thoughts in your head, but please know, they are NORMAL. They do not make you a bad kid, it doesn’t mean that you don’t love your parents and it won’t make them love you any less.
Do any of these sound familiar?
I wish I had my REAL parents back, they’d understand me.
If a different family had adopted me, I’d be happier.
Why did these people adopt me if all they wanted to do was make me miserable?
They should have picked a different kid because I’m not what they wanted.
Ahh, sound like anyone you know? Because, you’re not the first…and trust me, you’re not the last…to have these thoughts. I had them when I was around your age. I struggled with all these same questions. Sometimes they were an easy excuse to be angry for whatever injustice I felt I’d been dealt. Occasionally I used them as a way to lash out when I didn’t know any other way to hurt. Other times they were the question rolling around in my head that kept me awake in the dark.
Can I share with you what age and becoming a parent myself taught me about the person I was then?
I was so full of fear that it was crippling, TB. I remember thinking that if my birth mom could walk away from me when I was cute little baby, what was going to keep my parents from walking away from me when I’m being a snot-for-brains teenager? There is a trust broken so early on, you may not even know it’s broken. I even pushed and pushed my parents to see if I could ever bring them to the point where they would reach a place where they would leave me. Give up on me. Decide I was right, they’d picked the wrong kid.
We are taught that a mother’s love is unconditional and a loving mother would throw themselves under a bus for their child. But your birth mother left you. Left you to the luck of the wind to hopefully find a family to take care of you. Trust me, I know that’s harsh. If the one person in the world that is supposed to love you more than any other could just up and turn their back on you, what does that say about you?
You know what? It says NOTHING about you.
It says that she was a woman who wanted better for you. She sacrificed so that you could have a chance at a life that she couldn’t give you. For whatever reason, she knew that letting God provide you with a loving family was the best she could do. As a mom myself, I would be forever empty if I had to give up my child, but I would do it in a heartbeat if I knew that it was the only way for my baby to have a chance. For you, she did this.
If you wonder who she was and what forced her to make her choice, consider that she could be out there thinking of the baby that she gave away and what his life is like now. She would want to know that you are healthy, you are happy, that you have a family that loves you and keeps you safe…in a way that she couldn’t.
TB, you got that. If you know the love that took your parents to an orphanage in Russia, with their dreams in their eyes and their spirits full of hope for a child of their own, you would never doubt that you are THEIR child. They had love for you before they knew who you were, the same way a mother rubs her belly and whispers her dreams for her baby, they laid awake at night and talked about you…the child that would complete the missing part of their souls. You were not one face out of hundreds, you were the face that spoke to them deep in their heart of hearts and they knew it was you…ALWAYS YOU.
Any two people can have a baby. It takes two special people to wrap their hearts around a child, not of their bodies, of their heart. When you cried, theirs were the legs that ran to you. When you walked, theirs were the smiles that shone with pride through the tears. With each accomplishment, theirs were the arms that wrapped you in celebration. With each disappointment, their hearts were the ones that hurt for your hurt. With each breath, you became more and more theirs, until there is no identification of you as a child that wasn’t born of their bodies.
So, just know that you are loved, you are surrounded by family in the purest sense of the word. You are lucky beyond your understanding. As I often told my brother and sister, my parents’ birth children, “They HAD to have you, they CHOSE me.”