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Post Adoption

A Letter to My Daughter's Birthmother.

First let me say how sorry I am that you had to go through the unimaginable pain of being separated from your daughter. Although I’ll never know the circumstances surrounding you placing her in an orphanage, it must have nearly crushed you. You are incredibly brave.

Alice Lei, that’s the name we’ve given her, is a beautiful little girl. She’s quick with a smile and a hug; there may be nothing better than feeling her little arms trying to reach around me with a squeeze.

We think of Alice not just in terms of my wife and me, but also of you. We know that our little girl is also your little girl.

Our daughter is perfect in every way. She’s beautiful and smart. She loves to laugh. She eats everything in sight and gives us big open mouthed kisses with a delayed smooch.

I wish you could see how happy she is.

We talk of you often. Every morning, when she wakes, and every night when we put her down, we stop to say hello to China on the giant world map hanging in her room.

When I stop and watch Alice asleep in her crib, content sucking her thumb, safe and warm, I think about you. I often wonder what you look like-- mostly when I try to imagine what Alice will look like when she’s grown.
I know it’s unlikely, but I can’t help but wonder if we might have seen you when we were traveling in China. A couple of days after we met Alice, we took a two hour drive to her orphanage and went out to lunch in Alice’s hometown—I wonder if you were one of the young women who watched us drive by. Most people we met were full of smiles, but it was easy to tell that the sight of these babies on their way to America made some sad.

I wanted to jump out of our van and talk to people on the street to ask if someone might know our little girl’s birthmother. Maybe they knew her family, a sister or a cousin.

Maybe they could pass along a message to you. To let you know that our little girl will always love you. That we will support her and respect her and teach her everything we can about China. That we’ll teach her that a woman’s life is every bit as important as a man’s and how important it is to respect yourself.

Maybe they could also pass along our thanks to you. It may seem selfish for us to say thank you, but you made the ultimate sacrifice and we couldn’t imagine our lives if you hadn’t. You gave up everything when you gave up your daughter for adoption. You gave up a lifetime of hugs and smiles…the very least we can do is say thank you. Thank you for our little girl.

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