Dear Baby Girl,

The leaves are beginning to turn and we are settling into a more “homey” routine; creating our cozy nest as summer’s green dissolves into gold and crimson.

Even before you arrived, this time of year would bring on a great deal of reflection, and this October is no different.  The difference is, this year all my thoughts end up with you.  How can I be a better mama?  Are your daddy and I working hard enough to give you the life you deserve?  How can I create a work life that keeps you closer to me? 

I also spend a lot of time marvelling at you.  You are the most incredible little creature I’ve ever known.  When you look at me with your smokey, blue eyes and crinkle your nose in a smile, I feel like you’re looking right into my soul.  You are so sweet and loving; you teach me lessons every day.  There is magic all around you.  You make me want to be better.

During all the years of waiting for you – all the reading, the classes, the homestudy, and the countless conversations with social workers – I thought I was fully prepared to be your mother.  And for the most part, I was.

Despite all of it, nobody ever described how much I would love you.  And how fiercely I would want to protect you.  But the fact remains, I can’t protect you from our new reality, that is, how you came into our lives.

I recently read a book, “Insight into Adoption: What Adoptive Parents Need to Know About the Fundamental Differences Between a Biological and an Adopted Child – And its Effect on Parenting.”  Quite a title, I know.  The book did two things: terrified me at the thought that you might be angry when you are older; and assured me I am taking the right approach as we begin this journey together.

Among the many, many valuable nuggets I’ve gleaned from the book, I want to record a few for you here:

I will always be your “Real” Momma.  I will never, ever leave you – you’re stuck with me forever!  But together we will accept and embrace that you have another set of parents, and grandparents.  You will always know your story, and know your extended family.  They love you, too.

When you are older you may feel a deep sense of loss.  No two adopted children are the same; some accept they are different and go about life with great ease – others can’t cope as well and problems can arise.  Whatever the future holds for you, my darling girl, we will support and love you, and let you feel what you need to feel.  I believe if we’ve done our jobs well, you will have a strong sense of self and an understanding about why you came to be our child. 

Adoptive parents don’t need to be perfect.  This has helped Mommy a lot. According to the book, “Adoptive parenting can be much harder than biological parenting if one believes the phrase, ‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’.”  Adoption is about embracing the individual.  You are who you are, and we have no idea what your interests and limitations will be.  But we need to feel the freedom  to be able to experiment and adjust our parenting as we learn who you want to become. 

Adoption will always be your reality, perhaps on a daily basis.  Even though Mommy and Daddy may not talk about adoption much, it doesn’t mean you won’t think about it a lot.  My greatest wish for you is that when you do think of it, you feel secure enough to talk about it, ask questions, or share your feelings if you hurt.  I also wish you look at your story with contentment and peace, knowing that you are surrounded by love, and, I hope, having a loving relationship with your birthmother. 

It’s difficult to explain why I’m looking so far into the future when our lives together have just begun.  Blame it on the time of year, or maybe, just maybe, it’s because we are just a few weeks from becoming your forever family.  Whatever the case, I should get off the computer and help you build a castle with your blocks…we have much playing and loving and exploring ahead of us…and I can’t wait to watch you learn and grow and become an incredible little girl.

All my Love,