To My Aunt…

…and Mother of My Child,

Just over 20 years ago, I gave you a gift. My daughter. I asked you to adopt her and give her a loving family, and a life far better than I could have offered her. You took time to consider it, and then you gladly accepted my gift. From the day she left my arms at 1 month, 1 week, and 1 day old, she was your daughter. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t selfishly wish I had kept her. My decision to give her to you was probably the only truly selfless choice I made in my life, and yet, from the moment she was gone I regretted it. 

You have done a truly amazing job at raising her, just as you have done with her 3 older brothers. You have taught her the importance of being a lady, family, being yourself, and accepting yourself. You have protected her. I understand the need for a mother to protect her children. This is why I am writing this. 

I have always wanted a strong relationship with her. And J has always wanted a close relationship with her sister, but we kept our distance for fear of disrupting her life and the family dynamics that you and Uncle had worked so hard to create. A trip to visit when she was 8, bringing her out to stay with on 2 separate occasions. Her last trip out here was not the best. I couldn’t understand why she so forcefully pushed J away after the first couple days. She said things that broke my heart as I drove her to the airport to fly her home to you, and I didn’t know why. J could not have been much worse than nieces or nephews who might vie for her attention back home. So why the negativity and harsh words about J? I didn’t understand, but to protect J, I had to leave it alone and create distance between B and us. To this day, J still doesn’t know the hurtful things that were said about her.

A while back you and I spoke on the phone. I felt attacked by you, and again, I didn’t understand where the hurt and anger, that was now coming from you towards me, was coming from. I understand your need to protect your daughter, but I did not understand where you got your information, or why I was the target of your rage. My husband and I have felt a hole in our family since we married, and we considered many options to fill that hole. Fast forward through many years of using donors in an effort to get pregnant, multiple miscarriages, and failed attempts. We considered adoption multiple times, as well as fostering. I talked to you about some of this and you strongly encouraged me to what we needed to do for our family, but to keep our efforts from B until we had a child in our hands. I respected your wishes and said nothing to her, even though I wanted her to be a part of the process, I kept it from her. You told me during this phone call that you “knew” I had told her about this stuff, and chastised me for doing so. I tried to tell you that I didn’t say anything to her, but you wouldn’t listen. I cried for days, and I still get highly emotional when I think about that conversation and how little you must think of me. 

We have a little boy in our custody now, and another boy that is older who we get when we can, and will hopefully be coming to stay with us full time as well. The older one has issues that require us to limit his exposure to violent themed items such as video games and weaponry. The younger one is aware of these issues, and on multiple occasions has taken it upon himself to tell the older one “you can’t play with my nerf guns, because you get violent.” The younger one knows he is not to say things like this, and as soon as he does he knows he’s in big trouble. The last time this happened, I told the younger one that he lost his favorite privilege forever because he does not have self control. He had a full blown come-apart before I could ask him how that made him feel. I was finally able to drive the point home, and let him know he didn’t really lose his privilege but helped him to become more aware of the hurt that words like that can cause. This string of incidents got me thinking and I realized something…

…you were probably told that I was the one who talked to B about trying to increase our family, but in all reality, it was probably J trying to confide in her sister the frustrations she felt during these processes. I thought about it more than I should have. I finally asked J about it recently. I asked her if she ever talked to B about us trying with donors, adoption, and fostering. You know what? She said she had talked to B about it during her last visit. And do you know what else? B pushing J away and all the hurtful things said to me finally made sense. It finally clicked. I don’t know why B would throw me under the bus, and I don’t know why you wouldn’t just ask for my side of the story. I do wish you wouldn’t have attacked me so harshly without hearing both sides. I don’t think you realize that, had I known, I would’ve fought to protect B…after all, she was my child too. 

I’m sad that everything happened the way it did, and that B didn’t come to me. But why should she have come to me when you told her to keep everything to herself and not tell me how she really felt? She was miserable for most of the trip, and you told her to smile through it and not tell anyone. I lost so much respect for you, and I created distance in the relationship between her and J and myself. I gave my child to you almost 20 years, and you have taken her away from me again. I hope that you never have to experience the hurt that comes from someone you love accusing you of hurting your own child. Oh, don’t you see? Everything I have done for her was done to protect her. Why would that stop now? 

Sincerely,

Her Birth Mother

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