Dear L and E,
Over 20 years ago I was handed a manila file folder, the contents of which would prove life changing. Inside, a letter from you, an unknown couple, accompanied by a collage of pictures.
In my eyes this letter was a plea. An honest admission of the people you were and the parents you hoped to become. I was humbled to be in a position to create a reality for which you dreamed, a family.
I have saved that letter and those pictures all this time, locked away in a safe, for they truly are cherished possessions of mine. They serve as reminders of the most challenging, yet rewarding experience of my life, M’s adoption.
Your carefully chosen words and your smiles in those pictures were a small reassurance through the years that I had made the right decision.
Yesterday I made a phone call to the adoption agency to inquire about the reunion process. I had been thinking about that phone call for a very long time and yet, as I began to dial the number I still felt nervous.
Since our correspondence by mail of letters and pictures ended when M was five, as per our semi-open adoption plan, I have spent countless hours imagining how she’s grown and what she’s like now.
As assured as I’ve felt over the years that you two have undoubtedly been kind and loving parents to M; I have felt just as unsure about whether or not I would ever be enough for her.
When I realized I was not able to raise her on my own, it was devastating, to say the least. I have spent every day through the years determined to be someone better than I was the last time I saw M, someone worthy of her love.
Now M has two younger siblings, my son and daughter with my husband of 19 years. They are both smart, active, and loving kids. Our family has always included M.
No matter how far away she has been or how much time has passed, a part of her has always been with us. Her siblings keep a picture of M in their rooms and a place in their hearts for her, just as I do. We all hold onto the hope that we may someday be reunited.
Although the idea of reuniting is exciting for us it, understandably, may be scary for you. Letting someone share a part of your daughter’s life, someone you don’t really know, it’s daunting.
I sympathize with, and appreciate this struggle for you as I once shared the same feelings. I realize that a reunion between M and I now would ultimately be her decision as she is an adult, but I also recognize that for a reunion to be successful she would benefit from your guidance and support through the journey.
And that is why I am asking of you the same thing you once asked of me and that is, to share in the love I had for baby M that ultimately brought us together all those years ago. You, as her hopeful parents and I, as the one who was willing to share my precious M with you.
I hold nothing but sincere respect and admiration for the place you both hold in M’s life. You have done more for her than I could have ever dreamed. I am eternally grateful for your love and devotion to her.
Now, at this time, I am sitting here in a position of pure vulnerability just as you once did. Completely at the mercy of someone else to make a decision that will impact my life and that of my family’s forever.
I have no desire to impose upon anything your family has together. I only wish to become an additional part of M’s adult life. To be mindful of her boundaries, and whatever she needs or expects from me in her life now.
My hope is that, in time we can all come together to create a healthy support system of people who all share in the love they have for this wonderful gift we’ve all been given, M.
In Sincere Hope,
Laura Tuzzio is a writer, wife, mom, and birth mom. She shares her story to inspire and educate anyone touched by adoption.
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