To My Sweet Little Guys,
I am writing this letter not really knowing what to say or whether it will be something you will ever have the opportunity to read. We have had conversations in the past about my having been adopted, but I have a feeling there will come a day when you will have questions and will want to learn more.
I remember the first time Papa and I discussed adoption with you. I remember the silence that followed our telling you that I was born to someone other than Grandma and Grandpa. You asked me about my “real” parents and why I didn’t grow up with them. I remember explaining to you that Grandma and Grandpa are my real parents (as were my birth parents) and that my birth parents weren’t able to take care of me so Grandma and Grandpa became my parents. I remember you…
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Below is a ” letter to birthmother” written by an anonymous individual that I came across in a forum and have copy pasted for you all to read. Though I am not an American adoptee a lot of what was written is what I would say if it were me writing this.
A Letter To My Birth Mother
First, let me apologize in advance for making any assumptions about you, or your decisions. It’s not like I actually know you or ever saw your face so give me the benefit of the doubt here.
Its been 34 years since you gave birth to me. Give or take some time as I am dubious to the accuracy of my birth certificate. I am not angry that you gave me up for adoption. After all I am certain you wanted to give me a “better life” one which I presume you could not provide for me. This is a beautiful act on your behalf. You selflessly denied me the most basic knowledge of one’s ancestry, cultural identity, genetic foundations of beginning, and irreversible bonds that existed between our DNA. You triumphantly braved ALL that is natural and orderly in the universe of species that reproduce to provide me this “better life.”
It must have taken a great deal of courage to strip me of perhaps the ONLY thing in this world that I was entitled to; my “birth-right”
My “better life” you reasoned on the constructs of the capitalist consumeristic society where $$ somehow prevailed over innate human bonds that exist when a woman carries a child in her womb. This was your decision, to transcend the bonds of humanity for the sake of a national order in where the definition of a “better life” was handing me over to some upwardly mobile white couple whom nature NEVER intended to create life. Because of their frail genetics, nature decided they should not create life. They were defective biologically, but PERFECTLY SUITABLE in our society? Because they were born fortunate and wealthy, they were able to BUY what nature never intended for them to have. In essence, it was YOU who decided that there ARE indeed things more important than money. Because my life is quite the contrary to phrases like “you always have your family” or “money comes and goes but you can count on your family.”
Do you know what it’s like to see a family portrait where your face looks nothing like those around you? Have you been to a family function and stared at your cousins amazed at how they look like their father or mother?
Mom, have you had to strike a huge line through a medical history survey in the doctors office and write “NOT APPLICABLE/ADOPTED PERSON”. Or abruptly stop your dentist from his rant on taking care of your teeth because “my father” has very bad teeth and as you know this is passed on from generation to generation?
Will I lose my hair? I dont know you tell me? Or have high cholesterol? Is there a reason I should refrain from having children myself? Why don’t you tell me?
Mom, you lived in the United States of America. We have NO NATIONAL IDENTITY, no national fabric? What were you thinking? Do YOU know what it was like to be in grade school where everyone wants to know “what are you?” Italian, German, Irish, etc.
I’ll bet you forgot that you were socialized in a family from birth that made its lineage and identity obvious through name, customs, practice, and unity among other community members. Only in America Mom, the melting pot do people even today recite my last name and say ‘what is that? Irish, German…”
So you left me in a nation of immigrants, whom define their lives by cultural identity and class with no anchor. No string to attach to my leg, that no matter where I flew or traveled I would always know the most basic thing in life, “who I was, and where I came from.”
I was raised by a wealthy family. One of a minority religious belief. I suffered guilt by association. I took a great deal of s*%t for something I WASN’T! They tried to indoctrinate me, and raise me to believe in something that deep inside me I knew wasn’t what I felt. I resisted and it complicated their lives mom. Slowly over many years it made them HATE ME.
IF you were poor mom, I have news for you-poverty can change, things can be better one day. But, what you took from me I can NEVER GET BACK. An identity in a sea of chaos and entropy. Millions upon millions of faces in this country, billions on the plant. To steal the RIGHT TO KNOW whom carried me in their body, who’s genetic fibers created this body and mind I have–this IS INDEED the greatest crime of humanity.
I can’t even HATE you because I don’t know you?!! At least those close to me who choose not to speak to their sibling or parent have done so informed and rationally?? No, you stole that from me to participate in some capitalist heirarchical scheme where the “value” of “human life” was dependent upon financial resources.
It could not have been love? Mom, how can my adopted parents LOVE me? My adoptive mother was never pregnant. She didn’t experience the chemical and physiological changes over the course of 9 months. She did not feel the pain of delivery or miracle of gestation.
No, my adoptive mother was the same dress size the day before she took me and the day after. Do you see how RANDOM and SICK that is???
Monday; NO BABY Tuesday: BABY IN ARMS.
This is the reason pregnancy is a term of a woman’s life, because human bonding intended to last for life can not take place like buying a Maytag Washer.
Mom, its the reason why they HATE me and i HATE them. They never hesitated to have “expectations” of me, or make “judgements” about me. They NEVER accepted me for “who” I was because simply put; they never COULD know who I was and were incapable of loving a child unconditionally.
Instead they treated me like merchandise. The fruits of a “market transaction” and with any market transaction the consumer expects the product meet their expectations. After all they BOUGHT ME, with MONEY.
I want you to know how unstable life is when you don’t know “who” you are. What its like to live in a nation of insular identities where you are “nobody.” I want you to know I will NEVER PLAN A TRIP TO where my great great grandparents are from.
I will never taste a food of my heritage. I will NEVER have a religion, or a sibling to care for in times of hardship or need.
I feel nothing for that “shake and bake” family you thought would be a “better life” for me. No love, no respect. I can never express to you what its like to listen to your “imaginary” grandmother tell you stories and lore of how the family came to the USA, when you realize this lady is speaking of someone that has NOTHING TO DO WITH ME. IT’s NOT MY HISTORY IT’S THEIR HISTORY.
Sorry mom, I’m not a liar. I won’t decide to pretend their family trials and tribulations are my own. They are not, and never will be no matter how hard I LIE.
So, you gave me life. What is life? To you it must be money? Because it can’t be family?
Should I have children? What will I tell them? Where are they from?
What is happiness? You tell me? Because when all is said and done you have left me with nothing.
I am not nor will I EVER be thankful to my adoptive parents for anything. I need not respect, adore or love them. I have no obligation to them, or their customs, or culture. because they gave me NOTHING that is extraordinary. YOU gave me life, anyone could have paid to put me in private schools, or buy clothing.
Did you know, there is a HUMAN BEING ON THIS PLANET who is tortured every day of his life? Do you care? YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN SOLVE THIS MYSTERY FOR ME. YOU
IF you haven’t considered that your anonymity has created a life of HELL for me this letter is to awaken your senses.
I am asking you to overcome YOUR SELFISH NEED to remain quiet for the sake of ME.
This is to inform you, to break the fantasies you have lulled your mind’s conscience into believing. The puppies, the unicorns with star-dust you imagine my life as. A great big puffy sticker book or a volvo car ad with all my good looking multi-racial siblings and our green eco-friendly parents driving us to happy-ville.
Its not true. It never turned out this way.
Give me piece and let me live the rest of my life mom.
Let me find a place in this world. One you sleep at night with the luxury of knowing.
I have neither the comfort of knowing who I am, nor some silly notion of “he’s in a better life” to help me get through the day.
If you are scared, or afraid of disrupting a happy family please don’t worry. We havent spoken for years.
I don’t know who you are. So, I can’t possibly HATE you, I will trade ANY REASON you have for giving me up to learn the truth about my life. I promise.
M/ August 02 1974
Oak Park IL USA
… that day comes when reality sinks in amd you realise if she hasnt come yet … she isnt likely to now… sometimes one just need to realise that the end of the road has come and the mystery just has to carry on into the next world
The week prior to leaving continued to be a mayhem of media frenzy, more papers and magazines wanting to meet me, tell my story; be the ones to fight to possibly get the reunion story when it occured, however it was this one humid colombo morning that I hit a jackpot.. well at least a target I had set or more correctly I had hoped for myself. …. and what was that target you may ask …. well it was how do I get my story to the president? How do i get this island to understand the flip in justice to what has occurred 34 years prior??? Well the answer to that was I didnt know. At least thats what I thought.
It was an ordinary morning with the PI , trip to the police station and further strategizing,when a call arrives requesting I go straight to the PIs home. Srilanka’s largest TV station Rhupavini was waiting at his door step to meet me, wanting to broadcast my story.i can tell you that by then I was kinda fed up … but I knew I had to take every oportunity and having Rhupavini wanting to chat to me was not one I should miss.
An entire van load of production team turned up. They wanted to know the history, what I knew and what I didnt. Couldnt help but smirk because I had not much to give… however after a detailed chat with the PI , I was sat neatly in a chair, camera lights and action. I had to give my spiel and missing person appeal…… which by then now came of the head by wrote. But what came next was the shocker… the production lead sat the PI down ans my hubby and went on to explain. They were the investigative unit of the TV station and were sent to me on the orders of the president of the country to help me in whichever way he could. He had read my story in the l newspapers that morning …. by that time my head was in utterconfusion … I knew I had wanted this and in many ways just jokingly said to everyone
“get me to the president”
however I never thought it would come to pass…… they would now help to unlock doors where possible.
Of course which doors and when I was not to know. …. but I had made a tremendous leap whichever way !