Legacy of An Adopted Child

I have received some really wonderful and encouraging contacts from people whom adoption has touched their lives in one way or another…. Most of them I have never met. One of these people is a woman who is an adoptee, a mom, and while I have never met her, I believe her to be a person with an incredibly warm heart. She shared a poem, which has brought me to tears several times over.  This poem puts into words the feelings I have been struggling to express….

A special thank you to you, Mary. This poem could not have come at a more perfect time in my life. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with me…..

Legacy of An Adopted Child
Author Unknown

Once there were two women,
Who barely knew each other.
One is in your heart forever,
The other you’ll call mother.

Two different lives,
Shaped to make yours one.
One became your guiding star,
The other became your sun.

The first gave you life,
And the second taught you how to live it.
The first gave you a need for love,
And the second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality,
The other gave you a name.
One gave you the seed of talent,
The other gave you an aim.

One gave you emotions,
The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile,
The other dried your tears.

One gave you a family,
It was what God intended for her to do.
The other prayed for a child,
And God led her straight to you.

And now you ask me
Through your tears,
The age old question through the years.
Heredity or environment…
Which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling… neither,
Just two different kinds of love.

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WHAT IF I find my birth mother … THEN WHAT?

Many people have been asking us this very question. It’s a good question and definitely one that deserves attention.

While we know the chances could be slim that we find my birth mother, we do feel we owe the responsibility to all parties involved to have a plan of action.

It’s very hard to outline details for a hypothetical situation that has so many unknown variables, but amongst all the unknowns, this much we can say:

1) It is very much my/our wish to build a relationship with her, if she so desires.
2) We are very sensitive to the fact that expectations for caring for family are different in Vietnam. We would want to honor her expectations as best we can within our own familial and financial means.

Does this sound a bit idealistic and simplistic? Perhaps. I just know that my motivation in finding my birth mother does not consist solely of gaining the answers I seek and then exiting her life as quickly as I entered it. I want a relationship with her. I want to learn about her life. I want to know about my heritage. My culture. My country. I don’t have all the answers and should I be so fortunate to be able to find her, there is no doubt in my mind that many questions will arise from both of us and new expectations may be born that can or cannot be met. But I am aware of the cultural differences and I am aware of the enormity of emotion that this would create for her as well. I am not going into this emotionally-loaded situation lightly, but with all awareness and willingness to grow with the situation as circumstances present themselves.

This is an incredibly emotional journey, of which I do not have all the answers. Part of the great aspect of this whole journey is the ability to grow…. So, please – if anyone has thoughts, comments, questions, and/or debates about anything you read/see here, I’d really love to hear them.

Reflecting

My son is 7 months old today…. Only three months older than I was when my birth mother gave me to the orphanage 38 years ago. This morning, as I was watching my son nurse, tears came to my eyes as I tried to even remotely fathom how my birth mother found the strength within herself to sacrifice all she had to in order to give me up and save my life. I cannot even begin to imagine.
I have really been struggling with moving Aidan into his own room, but we just did that this weekend. I have a lot of my own issues surrounding separation anxiety. Much of that is related to my own abandonment, but I have to question how much of it is just “normal” for a 1st-time mom? Part of me wants to speculate if I would be so anxious about leaving Aidan if I didn’t have abandonment issues, but what’s the point of “what if’ing” that situation? It is what it is. 

Every day I am thankful for Aidan. Thankful for his safety, his healthy development, his adorable personality, his laughter, the love he gives us… When I look at him, I can’t help but hurt for my birth mother. I can’t help but wonder, as I sometimes stress over whether or not I will be able to provide for my son the way I want to, what she has experienced since she gave me up so many years ago…. the type of stress she must have experienced, or is currently experiencing. What her life must be like as she lives every day wondering if I am okay.. IF she wonders every day if I am okay.

I am unsure as to where this documentary will go, but I know that even if Kickstarter doesn’t work out, the documentary will still move forward; albeit on a smaller scale. Either way, any movement forward will help me feel as if I am doing what I can, within my means, to locate my birth mother… all I can do is try… I just wish I had made efforts to do so sooner.

Dear Mom

Today marks the day that I arrived into the arms of my parents at the Buffalo International Airport… 37 years ago.

May 11,1975.

Mother’s Day.

My parents have always told me, each in their own way, how much they loved me before they even laid eyes on me. While I had a cognitive understanding of their statement, I never truly comprehended the enormity of that until recently.

As I sit and type, I look over and see my sleeping son. MY son. It remains for me a continuously euphoric and surreal realization that this beautiful little boy is my son… My flesh and blood. My biological connection. The beauty of him, and all the joy he gives me, brings tears to my eyes on a daily basis. I fell in love with him when we conceived him…. and that love only grew more intensely as he grew for those 9 months in utero. As I waited those 9 months to hold him, I truly understood now where my parents were coming from.

With the elation of being a mom, comes a deeper understanding regarding my birth mom. It is only now that I have fully realized the sacrifice, to its fullest extent, that my own birth mother made for me. She put me into an orphanage at 4 months of age. Why? One can speculate and say it was because she did not want me. I used to feel that way and I was stuck in anger for a long time, because I believed that. Now that I am a mom, I simply cannot believe that. I look at my son and feel the way my heart explodes in love for him more and more each day and I know, in my heart of hearts, that the day my birth mother left me at that unknown orphanage in 1975, at 4 months of age, was the hardest and most painful day of her existence. It makes my heart ache to think that she has lived every day since wondering if I am safe. Wondering if I am loved. Wondering if I am alive. It makes my heart ache to know that I can’t reassure her that yes, I am safe. Yes, I am loved. Yes, I am alive.

Today, if I could have one wish on Mother’s Day, it would be to have the ability to ease the pain from her heart. To her, I would say:

Please have no more pain in wondering if I am alive. I couldn’t be more alive than I am today. I am safe. I am deeply loved more than I ever would have thought possible.

Thank you for loving me so completely…. So selflessly…. Thank you for loving me so much that you risked living the rest of your life in misery over the loss of me in order to save me. Please let your heart be at peace in knowing that you saved me. You saved your daughter’s life that fateful day.

And to my adoptive mother, I say thank you. Thank you for fighting so hard for a sick, malnourished little girl you never met. Thank you for showering me with unconditional love to this day. Thank you for loving me every day. Thank you for raising me in a loving environment. Thank you for continuing to love me even when I did not love myself. Thank you for all your sacrifices. I only hope that I can be half the mom that you have been to me…

It would be the presumption that I, as a parent, will be teaching my son about life. However, my son, at 6 months of age, has taught me. He has given me the deepest appreciation and value in the sacrifice my birth mother made for me…. He has given me the biggest gift of all. Understanding. True and total understanding….. He has shown me, and continuously shows me, how far A Mother’s Love truly goes.

And so, to you, my son… my dearest little Sweetpea:

I promise you the purest and deepest love my heart can give. While I cannot promise that I can protect you from everything, I promise you that I will be here to hold you, to listen to you, to be your shelter in the storm and to be your rock when the world is rough. I promise you unconditional love. I promise you kindness. I promise you honesty. I promise you healthy boundaries and strong values… And I promise you that I will do everything I can to be the best mother to you in the ways that both of my mothers have modeled for me. I will protect you with my life. Always.

A Mother’s Love… The Love of these three mothers knows no boundaries.