Assembling Self

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Letter From My Mother

I've held onto this letter for over twelve years now hoping that there would be another one.  I've given up hope for that after petitioning the adoption court two more times requesting mail be sent to her, and or some communication or reunion, and twice she has turned me down.  Below is the response she sent via the adoption court responding to the initial letter I sent to her in the same manner.  The bold portions are those that define me verbatim.  It could not be more me than if I was cloned from her.

My only wish is that I could somehow get her to come forth and know, that the life she had planned for me was in actuality pretty horrendous.  It's not my intention to hurt her.  Only to let her know I'd love for her to open the door and let me in, and allow my siblings to know about me and be in my life if they so wish.  I'll never give up hope.  If anyone knows of a woman around the age of 70 that fits the description below in any state but Missouri feel free to contact me.


I've started this letter so many times, not sure where or how to begin. The most difficult part is having to tell you, that at the time, I am unable to reveal any I.D. Information. There are situations and people in my life today that have no idea I had a child before I was married. It's like opening a Pandora's box, and I have to be very careful how I do this. Let me try and explain. Only my immediate family and one close family friend knew I was pregnant. It was a very carefully kept secret, life was very different in the late fifties.

You see I was barely seventeen when I became pregnant. My family was shocked and angry. We lived in a small town and my family were well known business owners involved in the community and this didn't happen to “nice girls”. So, without going into the much detail, I spent a great deal of time out of state, out of sight, and carefully constructed stories were told to explain my absence. Not even my best friend knew and still doesn't. My parents were strict and I was never given any choices, and since marriage was not an option offered, adoption was my family's decision.

You asked if I had named you. No, I didn't. In fact, I was never allowed to even see you or hold you. No information was given to me about you except you weighed six something, and was born at three something. I wasn't even allowed to know what I had. Only by accident did I find out that I had a baby girl. I was told at the time it was standard procedure for an adoption, and I was young, frightened, and didn't question. As I reflect back, I realize my parents knew then that if I had ever seen you that I would never have been able to go through with the adoption. I've tried very hard not to judge my parents actions. I would like to think they had my best interest at heart. It was not easy for me to give you up, but from the depths of my heart I believed it was the best thing for you. So now I'm faced with how to tell the people in my life today, about a part of my life they never knew existed. I'm trying to find a way so that it doesn't cause anyone any embarrassment or pain.

Your letter was lovely and the poem was very moving. I've pictured you in my mind so often throughout all these years. What did you look like, when you would have started school, graduated, started college. I wondered if you were married, if you had children, were you happy, and prayed I had made the right decision. It's hard to imagine almost forty years have passed and the you're a grown woman and so accomplished. I was so sorry to hear of your health problems and that I wasn't able to of more help. I did not know your father's family very well, and since they did not acknowledge any responsibility or wanted any involvement in my pregnancy I have had no contact in over forty years.

I would like to tell you a little about myself in hopes that it might help you understand a little about who you are. As you know I'm very petite. I'm 4' 10”, weigh in under 100 pounds. I have thick dark brown hair (which is just starting to gray) and of course the green eyes. I'm also left-handed. I've always been athletic, swimming, skating (as a child) and today I play a lot of tennis and some golf. I love being outdoors and I inherited my mothers and maternal grandmothers green thumb and love of gardening. I too love to cook and from scratch. I can sew, but it isn't one of my favorite things, although both my grandmother and mother were excellent seamstresses.  I play the piano but I really wasn't very good, although I loved to sing and dancing was my favorite. It was my paternal grandmother that was the concert pianist, and she taught in schools as well as private. I love animals, have always had pets, and am owned by three very spoiled cats. I have a very outgoing personality which really didn't develop until I was on my own. I was very shy as a child. I'm outspoken, but also soft-hearted. I tend to be a perfectionist, can lose my temper when pushed too far, but a sense of humor has always helped to keep me grounded. I'm the shoulder everyone leans on whether it's family or friends. I'm the one they come to for help, advise, support or just to talk to. I guess because of this I find it very hard to burden others with my personal problems. I'm private when it comes to personal things and try to solve everything myself. To burden others with my personal problems is foreign to me, that's why opening all of this up is very difficult.

I regret I was unable to see your picture or learn your name. That cannot be made available to me until I release my identify. I hope at this time you can somehow come to understand the position I'm in. Someone said to me once that there are risks in every decision we make. It's just which ones we can live with the best. That's the crossroads I find myself at this time.

I've always believed you were the innocent person in all of this, and stood the most to be hurt, and that is one of my deepest regrets. I'm sure you still have many unanswered questions, and I pray this hasn't been too difficult for you.

So for now I'll close asking for guidance in working through this and for God's blessings for you and your family.

From my heart.


  1. What a heart breaking and beautiful letter all in one. I am so sorry she could not break through and unlock her self-imposed secret. Long time lurker - unlurking.

  2. Thank you...and yes it is heart breaking. I can't believe twelve years later it still makes me so emotional. But, adoption is a life time sentence. I'm just not doing solitary confinement anymore as I am good company in the adoption blogging community. Glad you unlurked. :)

  3. Thank you for sharing. I am sorry she is not able to reach out and pass through her fears to embrace you. It is a very powerful note. I am frustrated for you that you are not able to connect with this part of yourself.

  4. Reading through this letter brought about emotions that indescribable, for me. I wonder how might my mother's letter have read to me, had I been given the opportunity to find her. She, however, passed on - too young - in her 50's so I shall never know her words.

    Thank you for sharing. I can only hope that perhaps one day, very soon, your mother will have a major "ah ha" break-through moment and make contact.

    My heart aches for us all who shall never have the knowledge and knowing that leaves our hearts and spirits empty, unsettled.

  5. I never got to hear actual words directly to me from my first mom either because she passed away so young...your letter brought tears. I so hope she can overcome this bondage and live free in relationship with you. Hugs.

  6. It's no wonder I had it packed away for years. It still tears at my heart and tugs at my soul. It always will. Thank you all for your kind words.

  7. Wish I (at least) had a letter like that/glad I don't ...