Saturday, June 27, 2015

Happy Birthday to my daughter, and an old letter to her birthmother

My beautiful daughter celebrates her 29th birthday tomorrow. Like a welcomed summer shower, following a dry and parched season, she arrived on a June afternoon in 1986. I call her my gift from God, because that's exactly what she is. And while I didn't carry her in my womb, she is the child of my heart, the child I wished for in all the barren years.


It was on the eve of her seventh birthday that I sat down and penned a letter to her birthmother. The letter was never mailed, as I had not met her birthmother at that time and didn't know where to send it, but writing the letter proved therapeutic for me. Years later, my daughter and I met this special woman, and I shared my thoughts with her at that time.

I'm sharing this letter with you, my dear readers, so you will know just how special adopted children are.


Dear birthmother of my child,

I am writing this on the eve of my daughter's seventh birthday—make that our daughter's seventh birthday. Even though we have never met, you have a special place in my heart. That is why I’m writing.

First, I am aware of the choices you had when you discovered your pregnancy. Thank you for choosing life and for choosing adoption. Giving life to a child is miraculous.

We named her Anna Marie. I know you must think about her from time to time—especially on her birthday. I think of you too, and I thank God for you. Anna Marie was an answer to hundreds—even thousands—of prayers.

Without you, I would never have been celebrated on Mother's Day. My home would not ring with the sound of a child giggling and singing. The bathroom would not be cluttered with dolphin sponges and Big Bird bubble bath. The refrigerator would not be covered with notes scrawled on ragged pieces of colored paper. Notes like: "I love you Mom. I love you Dad. I love you Nana. I love you Papa. I love you God."

My house would not have children's books stacked in every corner. Photos of a round-faced little girl would not line the bookshelves in my family room. In fact, my photo albums would be largely empty, if not for her. I would never hear a pink bicycle and doll buggies squeaking up and down the drive-way. The backyard would have no need for a swing set or tree house. Our collie, Princess, would have nobody to trail around behind, or roll in the autumn leaves with.          

There would be no one to meet at the school yard, if not for her. No one would hand me folded papers bearing crooked letters of the alphabet. There would be no little girl standing in a line at the end of the school year to receive her honor roll slips and trophies; no one to wave shyly at me from the stage.

Without you, I would have no one to take to a Sunday school class; no one to recite Bible verses to me. No little voice would tell me I was beautiful—even in my grungy yellow robe. No small hands would braid my hair or massage my tired shoulders at the end of a grueling day. There would be no one to surprise me with flowers and clover from the yard. No one to make up songs and sing them to me on rainy Saturdays. And I would never have even considered that raindrops could actually be "God's kisses."

I have told my daughter about you. She said she would like to meet you one day. I said I would like that, too.

Birthdays are especially exciting around here. Last night she got so worked up about her party tomorrow—leaping through the house, singing silly songs—that I finally asked her to please sit down and give my nerves a rest. That is when she brought me to tears. "But Mama," she said, her eyes so serious and brown. "I'm just so happy 'cause God gave me such a good mother and father. I'm just so happy ‘cause I'm alive and not in a dark grave somewhere."  With tears in my eyes, I scooped her up and held her tight, my heart almost bursting. She’s always seemed wiser than her years.

Tomorrow, she will bound  into the dining room and gasp at the presents and balloons and cake with seven candles. She will hug me and her father and say, "Thank you, Mama. Thank you, Daddy," a dozen times. Then, just before she blows out the candles, she will shut her eyes tight and make a wish. And while she is wishing, I will make a wish of my own—that more young women would choose adoption when facing an unwanted pregnancy, because the world needs more children like ours.


***

Happy Birthday, my beautiful daughter. 
My love for you cannot be measured or spoken.


17 comments:

  1. Having had a miracle GRAND baby 6 months ago, I feel the emotion of this post. You know my daughter's journey of infertility. This is just beautiful! My heart bursts forth with tears. Your daughter looks like you:) I'm gonna share this with my baby girl.

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  2. Dayle - What a precious letter to write - whether it was sent or not. Just to know how special the mother was to choose adoption over abortion. What a lucky little girl. Happy Birthday to her.

    Judy

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  3. Beautiful! My daughter calls my grandbabies' birth mom every Mother's Day to thank her.

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  4. Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter. God gave her a miracle when he gave a miracle to you and Stan. And just to make sure everyone knew, he made her to look like you and Stan, her parents. I've always thought she looks like y'all.

    Hugs and love to the three of you and give Cupcake a kiss for me!

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  5. I think it's is so generous that you are sharing this letter, and the lovely pictures, they brought tears to my eyes several times. You are a wonderful mother to a precious angel. Happy Birthday your baby!

    Jane x

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  6. Oh my goodness, that was heartfelt, Dayle. So beautifully written that it brings tears to my eyes. Lucky daughter! Lucky Dayle! May her new year of life be filled with more blessings than she can count! She was precious when she came to you and is still precious now. Susan

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  7. I read this with such a lump in my throat. That is just a beautiful testimony that I am sure is shared by adoptive parents the world over. What a God-sent blessing. Thank her mother for choosing life when she had other options...and now, because of her, you have another little cupcake to celebrate birthdays with, too. xo Diana

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  8. What a beautiful story of love and God's blessings.Thank you sharing this part of your life with us. Happy Birthday, Anna :)

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  9. This brought me to tears...soo heartfelt and precious. Giving your child up for adoption is the ultimate act of unselfish love. Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter! She was right btw...she was SOO blessed!

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  10. Some people just don't understand......their opinion.
    BUT... You have impacted a lot of us with your LOVE!
    Your daughter is beautiful and so is your story!

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  11. Happy, happy birthday to my beautiful niece! She has added so much sunshine to our family, and I love her so much. Love all the pictures!

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  12. Oh, how beautiful! I'm sure the birth mother feels so good that great people raised her child.
    Brenda

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  13. A lovely letter & post Dayle. Than you for sharing.

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  14. Oh, what a lovely tribute to some beautiful women! A very happy birthday to your treasure of a girl. What a fine mother she is... what wonderful training she received at her mother's knee! Grateful to her birthmother for the gift she gave.

    CELEBRATE!
    Kelley~

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  15. oh dale... that letter. gorgeous. what a gift to share those beautiful thoughts. i am thankful that have had the chance to share them. happy, happy birthday to your beautiful gift from God, a prayer answered yes.

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  16. Thank you for sharing this lovely post.

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle