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A Not-So-Typical Letter to My Daughter’s Birth Mother

You may never know how truly grateful we are for your decision to choose adoption for your unborn baby. There were other choices you could have made, but you chose life and another family to raise your precious child. Our story is not the typical “thank you” for choosing life and for choosing our family.

We thank you because you gave our family a blessing in our lowest, most desperate moment.

After our daughter, Abby, was born, we were unable to have more biological children. We began looking into adoption and decided that it was the right choice for our family. We felt God was calling us to adopt and share our love with other children. Abby often asked about having a little sister or a little brother and we wanted that so much for her, too. We completed the required paperwork, social work visits, profile books of our family and just waited on the call. We felt at ease with the wait, and we didn’t feel urgency or disheartened when we heard about other families being chosen. We believed God was at work in our lives, building our faith and preparing us for our future addition.

As we waited over the years, we lived our lives and focused our love and attention on Abby. She was learning to dance, cheer, swim and was starting school. She was a typical child until that first year of school in kindergarten. We started to notice a change in her cognition, and she was beginning to have difficulty learning. Throughout kindergarten, we worked with her diligently and she was able to learn, but on a slower pace than her peers. At 6 years old, we began vigorously searching for the cause of her learning disability.

At the age of 8, we finally had an answer. I remember the day so well. It was a Tuesday and I received the call from Abby’s physician while I was at work. The test came back positive. We knew she was being tested for Sanfilippo syndrome, but we still held out hope that she didn’t have the disorder. I hung up the phone and just cried at my desk. It was any parent’s worst fear. She was diagnosed with a terminal illness. There was no cure, not even a treatment. Her brain was slowing fading away. She was slowly losing skills and would suffer a progressive neurological decline over time, losing her ability to talk, walk and feed herself. Her life expectancy would most likely be in the teenage years.

The following Monday, within a seven-day period, you provided a ray of light and hope into our lives. Our social worker called my husband and me. His exact words were, “We have a baby.” I can’t even truly describe how I felt at that moment.

My heart felt like it began to beat again, my spirit began to lift, my head started to clear and I felt a sense of joy rising inside of me.

I immediately thought of God and how I believed he was working in this situation. I felt he knew when our lives would need lifting up. We waited all of those years and we never questioned “why.” I believed he was teaching us to trust, have faith and that it will happen in “God’s timing.” Within one week, we found out our only biological daughter was dying and a new life was growing and would be joining our family.

You have brought our family more happiness and love that I can ever express. Abby was thrilled to have a little sister. It was a little challenging at first to explain adoption to her because she is developmentally on a 5- or 6-year-old level, but she accepted our explanation and went on loving her little sister. The bond that Abby and Kate share is unbelievably strong. Although Kate is 2 years old, we’ve felt she already knows Abby is different, and she will need to take care of her one day.

We think of you and pray for you often. We hope you are at peace and know how loved Kate is by us and our entire family. She has brought Abby so much joy, and for that we are eternally grateful. We love you and thank you more than you may ever know.

Follow this journey on Strengthening the Soul.