According to something I saw on This Morning recently (I was only watching because they had an adoption feature) the most asked questions by pre-approved adopters is ‘Could I ever love someone else’s child?’ and ‘Could they love me?’.
Recently it was the first anniversary of my son’s adoption. This is the letter I wrote him on the day he was adopted. If you are thinking about adopting, I hope it answers those two questions for you.
Today I received a phone-call to tell me that you are officially mine. You are my son. With all my being I wanted to rush upstairs, wake you from your nap and share this monumental news with you, but you would have no idea what I would be trying to tell you. You’d probably just giggle at me and say, ‘silly Mummy!’. Because for you nothing will change – you’ve been with me exactly 6 months. Six months in your little life is a lifetime. I doubt that you can really remember your foster carers and, much as it pains me, I doubt you can remember the hours you spent with your <Foster Sibling> – the funny language you shared together and dancing together in their kitchen. I know you definitely won’t remember <Birth Family Members> as its been ten months now since you’ve seen them. For you, life carries on as ‘normal’ is now – you live with Mummy now and that’s how it is. And that’s great, its wonderful in fact, to see and feel how safe and secure you are. But it does mean that the enormity of today is kind of lost on you!
But may be your future self might want to know how it feels to become your Mum. Most women have the pain of childbirth to go through and then they have a beautiful tiny baby at the end of it. There are some definite labour moments in the adoption process – emotional pain, if not physical pain. But just like a normal delivery, that pain is worth it for what you get at the end. And my feeling is that I lucked out. I couldn’t have imagined a more beautiful, funny, cheeky, affectionate little boy. The last six months with you have brought me more joy than the rest of my life put together. People keep saying, ‘he’s lucky to have you’ but that is so untrue – I am the lucky one to have you. And now to be your Mum! Wow! To have the honour and privilege of having you as my son, to be able to love you and take care of you and to help you find your place in this world. It is an indescribable joy. I am truly blessed.
People said when I wanted to adopt that they ‘admired’ me, that they would ‘struggle to love someone else’s child’ that it was impossible to love a child not of your flesh and bone. That is all utter twaddle. I can’t imagine loving anyone else as much as I love you. I have never felt such intense emotions for another living being before. Sometimes when I am giving you a cuddle before bedtime I look at you and it all just wells up like a surge of intense heat. The desire to protect you and keep you safe from the horrors of this world is just huge. All this is likely to be embarrassing for your future self, so I’ll stop there. But my hope is that as you grow up you will know that you were always loved, deeply and ridiculously. And that no matter what, that deep ridiculous love for you will always be there. No doubt there will be difficulties, arguments, disagreements in our journey. No doubt there will be times when you are angry with me for decisions I make. No doubt there will be times when you wish you lived with your family of birth, or that another adoptive family had been found for you. Perhaps one with a Dad and where the Mum was not <doing my job>! But however you feel, whatever you say or do, I will always love you and I will always try to make decisions based out of that love and desire you keep you safe.
I cannot stop what the world throws at you, however much I want to try. But as we start this journey together – as Mum and Son – know that I will always be here for you. I will always support you to the best of my ability. I am going to make mistakes, I will get it wrong, but I will always do my best for you…and that’s all that I really can do.
My hope for you is that you grow up to be a good person: thoughtful, generous and loving. That if you choose to be a husband and a father that you will be best you can be. That you will love others with abandonment. That you will find your passion in life and make that your career. And most of all that you find joy. Yes, the world is full of so much pain, but there is deep joy to be found too.
And most of all as you come to terms with being adopted, I hope that it never holds you back. That if it defines who you are, its only because you are proud of who you are and what you have become.
‘Precious child you have blessed me so and I love you more than you can know.
Home at last I hope you’ll see, you’ve found your forever family.
Sometimes quiet, sometimes wild, I’m glad you’re my forever child’.
Love, your Mum.xx