I’m adopted. I have been all of my life. I’m currently trying pretty hard to find my birth parents. My wife and I are working on it together, and she’s possibly more charged to this end than I am.
In my blog over the next few days/weeks/months(?) I’ll be posting stuff here about this endeavor.
First thing for my readers: a birthmother letter my mother wrote for my parents as I had set to arrive in the world. There’s an addendum from after I was born but before I had been turned over to my adoptive family. Here’s one of the neatest things about her, that I’m sure to mention again — she didn’t want to have me tended to by any foster care, she wanted to hand me from mother to mother. To that end, she took me home and tended to my needs for five days. Who out there has the strength to give birth to a child, care for that child for five days, and THEN give it up for adoption? A very strong, loving woman.
Give this a read, and you tell me whether you think she’d like to hear from me or not. With that, the letter:
How do you start a letter to the new parents of a child you’ve just delivered?
By saying, “Thank you”? By saying, “You’re welcome”? By saying, “We’re all glad and grateful for the Gospel”? By saying, “I’m proud of our son”? I guess it’s a combination of all. I love my baby boy, and I love you for wanting and loving him also.
In this letter I hope to be able to express to you why he is yours or why I’m not keeping him, how I feel about him, and then also let you know some things about myself and his natural father, and about his prenatal care and the first few days of his life.
As usual, his conception was not planned. It came about through lack of obedience to the Lord’s commandments. But, what a choice blessing to come from all the sorrow of such a sin. Making the decision to give him up for adoption started eight months ago when I first found out I was pregnant. I’ve had the guidance and council of two excellent Bishops and a Stake President. Most of all, I’ve relied on the promptings of the Holy Ghost and confirmations, or lack of same, from our Heavenly Father. May I say right now, that if there were no Church Agency to make sure of a Priesthood home, I would not be doing this. But having the knowledge that my child is going to a family where he will be sealed to for eternity, and have the influence of the Priesthood gives me many secure feelings of the rightness of my decision.
I am a Registered Nurse, fairly mature, and have a testimony of the Restored Gospel. Coupled with the love I have for my child and with much prayer and all I would give up, gladly, to raise my boy to be the kind of man I would want him to be, I know I could and would be a good mother to him. But I strongly and firmly believe children need Mommys and Daddys. Especially, with the Priesthood in the home, do they (children) need Daddys. Two parents to help him through school and care for him through sickness and to encourage each other to patience when his active little body and soul get into mischief time after time after time – within the hour. I think a baby boy needs two parents to teach him honesty, sincerity, empathy, sharing, give-and-take, the masculine influence and point of view are mandatory in my mind to give a boy a well-rounded, healthy outlook on life. There will be, always, times when I could have said that I could have possibly successfully raised him, with someday perhaps marrying, but why take the chance of possibly missing some opportunities these first few years and months when eternal foundations are laid in our son’s make up? Our son needs a father who will love and want him.
I hope you understand the “our” I have been using – I’ve carried and loved this little fellow for 9 1/2 months and held him these few days. I love him. You will soon have him sealed to you for always and he will no longer be mine in any way, but I’ll always love him. He’s your son because you’re raising him and loving him and – well, I think Carol Lynn Pearson expresses it very well and in case you don’t know what I’m talking abou I’m putting here a copy of her poem,
To An Adopted
Did not plant you,
The season is done –
When the alternate
Prayers for sun
And for rain
Are counted –
When the pain
And the pride
Are through –
I will hold you
A shining sheaf
Above the thousand
Seeds grown wild.
Not my planting,
But by heaven
My harvest –
My own child.
For these reasons, I deny the selfish desire and passion to keep and love and watch grow, this tiny body and special, special spirit. I love him, and hope someday he knows I did what I thought was the very best thing for him, and have felt Heavenly Father’s approval with this decision. I know our Father will guide this baby boy to your arms and love because you are supposed to raise him and keep him for your own.
When I first learned I was pregnant I was emotionally upset and the ensuing month did little to relieve the emotional and mental pressures. Because of this, I had some bleeding. I immediately sought a Doctor’s advice, and went to the Doctor who confirmed the pregnancy. He told me to stay in bed and relax and that there was little blood loss and the baby would be okay. I did as he said. in my second and third month of pregnancy, I was very nauseated, but as was to be expected, this passed away soon. In the fourth month I first felt my baby move, and since then he’s been very active. He stayed very active as he grew, and grew, and grew. During the pregnancy, I’ve taken pre-natal vitamins, iron capsules, occasionally aspirin, and the last three months a water pill to prevent water retention.
When he was six months along he began sleeping when I did and since I’m a “night” person, prenatally, he became likewise. He’d almost always kick me during prayer – no matter when, as if to say, “me too, Father”. He’d turn and kick and beat his little fists, and I’d laugh at him – he was cute even then.
During the pregnancy he lay with his back on my left side and his head down. His left foot and right fist were probably the most active on a continuum. As his due date approached, he got stubborn. The Doctor kept saying, “he’s a big baby, he’ll come early.” His due date passed, the Doctor said, “He’s a big baby, he’ll come soon.” I remained healthy and in good spirits, and the baby remained active and within.
Fifteen days after his due date, we started labor at 11:30 pm or so, and the contractions were 10 minutes apart. About two weeks before his due date I started having one or two contractions late in the evenings. I’m sure these were preparing both of us for the fast labor and delivery we had. At 2:30 am we came to the hospital and the contractions were five minutes apart and getting quite hard. At 3:20 am I had a shot to relax me and take the edge of the pain away, at 3:40 am I had a paracervical block, at 4:00 am we went into the delivery room and at 4:16 am 18 May 1972 my 9 pound, 2 ounce 21 1/2 long pink, coughing and yelling son was completely delivered.
I’ve discovered that this young lad adores being warm and cuddled. As soon as the Doctor put him on my tummy instead of hanging him upside down by the heels, he quit coughing and just yelled. When the nurse took him and wrapped him up, he got quiet. From the beginning, the baby was pink and healthy looking. The Doctor was pleased with his fast, safe, uneventful delivery.
He was given nothing by mouth for twelve hours, then given water in the nursery. Four hours later, he was brought to me and I gave him his first formula (Similac) which he took poorly. During the night I again had him twice and he nursed from the bottle progressively better. His Pediatrician came to see me that morning and told me he just needed to learn how to suck stronger and that he was still full of mucous. He also said that from all he had examined and seen, the baby was strong, healthy, and had nothing wrong. He was circumcised the morning he was born.
Since then, each feeding has progressively been better. He has taken more, and kept more down. The day after he was born he weighed 8 pounds 12 ounces which menas he lost six ounces, which is not at all unusual. Today he weighed 8 pounds 13.5 ounces, so he is gaining. He sleeps lots and is very comfortable to cuddle.
I should like to tell you some things about his natural parents. I know the agency will tell you what they know, but maybe I can add a few things.
His natural father will graduate with a Bachelors in Communications this year. He has a beautiful voice and is very eloquent in speaking. He is extremely intelligent and able to communicate very well. He is tall (6’2″), thin, dark, thick curly hair, a large head and small ears. He has brown eyes, as do most of his family. Most of this family, also, is near sighted and their family has a long history of allergies. His natural father is very allergic to the usual things – pollen, dust, cats, dogs, but surprisingly enough is allergic to few foods. He was allergic to most vegetables and milk when he was little, though. He also is allergic to bees, but I don’t know about medications he is allergic to. His natural father was on the track team in high school, and is athletically inclined, enjoying swimming, hiking, camping out, basketball, and motorcycle riding. He also enjoys music a great deal, but doesn’t play any instrument. He also is very creative, making things from wood, clay, metal and such. His father’s family tends to be thin.
On my side, he’ll get a tendency to be overweight. I also am short, brown eyed, (I was surprised when the baby’s eyes were blue) fine hair with some wave. I have fairly normal sized ears, but they are thin and kind of pointed on top, and the baby’s left ear looks as though it might be the same. All the people, except one, in my immediate family are near sighted, but we have no allergies. Neither family has a history of diabetes or such.
I enjoy music greatly and especially like to sing. I have always been a tomboyish-girl riding horses, building tree houses, playing ball games, hiking, and so forth. I enjoy reading a great deal, and supposedly I am fairly intelligent. I also enjoy doing things with my hands – sewing, cooking, quilting, etc. I tend to be very empathetic with people and enjoy working with people. I was active in pep club, glee clubs, and all church organizations through out my education. I graduated from 2 1/2 year nursing school after attending general college two years.
So, basically, I could perhaps sum up what this baby has been bequeathed in that he will be intelligent, good looking, and near-sighted. He comes from creative, active people and has the opportunity to be talented in many ways. He will, be, I hope, very loving and healthy and have a good sense of humor.
I hope you enjoy raising him as much as I hope you will. I am grateful for your wanting him so badly.
If I could ask anything it would be to do your best to teach him that:
1) I loved him immensely, and did what I thought best. Forever he will be a part of my mind and emotions.
2) He is special and wanted and loved by you.
3) His Heavenly Father loves him, and to me, this is a key to security. If more people knew that no matter what they did, their Heavenly Father still loved them unconditionally, maybe there would be more sincerely happy people around.
4) If you could teach him to love our Heavenly Father so much that he would obey His commandments, I think you could help save our son from some of the heartache and sadness of sin. I know this would be a difficult thing to teach, but my prayers and thoughts are to the success of your new or additional mission as parents of this child I have carried and delivered.
I close now, and hope this letter has helped you and please know, once again, I am grateful to you for wanting him, and being the special kind of people who will take him and make him your child forever. My heart goes with you and my thoughts and prayers are for the happiness and good welfare of your family group. God Bless You Always and guide you as you raise this child of God.
Your baby’s mother.
Today I received word that you have been chosen as his mother and father for the rest of his life. When I went to sign the relinquishment papers I was told about you a little bit. I’m extremely thankful you’ve been chosen so rapidly and I’m so thankful that I took my baby home to be mine for a couple of days–it has made the whole thing much easier.
I decided, in the hospital, to take him home because I did not want him to be moved twice, and I was bothered by the foster home stay since I first learned about it. So he has gone from mother to mother and I’m grateful.
So, maybe I can tell you some things that have happened since I brought him home. First of all, he’s now on four ounces every three to four hours. He occasionally will spit up some, but not often. He will kind of hold his little mouth open and it comes out. He rarely spits up noisily.
He will also lie for an hour and just look at me and “talk” and be perfectly happy. He’s often awake two hours in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Each feeding takes about an hour–between the dry diapers and the burping and the cuddling and kissing. He really enjoys kissing and cuddling.
I’ve found that the only times he has fussed is when he’s hungry. He is so good–a real pleasure to watch.
Let me see if I can remember all the pediatrician told me. His skin is dry, getting rid of the protective layer he used in utero–and the Doctor said to use just baby oil. He also said just a mild soap such as Ivory or Castile would be sufficient for his baths. In 7-10 days his cord would fall off, and it’s healing very well. The Doctor said SMA or Similac would be find for formula–20 calories per ounce. I’ve given him the Similac. He said to feed the baby on demand–but to keep him, at least, to two hours and use a pacifier if necessary. Well, I don’t like pacifiers but he’s occasionally fussy between the two hours, so I purchased a pacifier and he takes it fairly well, especially if I put honey on it. He doesn’t like the taste of rubber very well, but really enjoys what’s inside.
I can’t think of a great deal else–he’s been such a good baby. I live with some people who have taken a personology class and they “personologized” the baby. I’d like to tell you what they came up with watching him. He’ll have a good appreciation of music, be extremely coordinated, affectionate, and stubborn. He’s intelligent, and slightly critical. It may be interesting to you to see how much of this comes to pass.
Well, once again I come to the end and may I once again say, “Thank you”. I pray you enjoy and glean much joy and happiness in the challenge and responsibility of raising this boy. I’ve had much help and comfort and peace from Heavenly Father during the pregnancy and birth and these days I’ve had him at home. I know you’re the people this child is to spend the eternities with. I am grateful for your righteousness and beg you to continue working to keep yourself and this special child so.
God Bless You Always.