To the woman who delivered the boy that I love:
I know very little about you. I know how old you were when you gave birth and I know a smattering of details related to your pregnancy. That’s it. Strange that I should know so little when you and I share so much.
When I traveled to Thailand to meet our boy, I wanted nothing more in the universe than to be his mother. In those first moments when I held him–more precisely, he sat on my lap as he was already 4 years old–I thought of you. Strange, perhaps, since the room was raining Duplo blocks and the noise level was considerably higher than a fleet of turbo jets, but there you have it.
As someone who was adopted, I should have had a better understanding of what it means to share a life, but I did not, at least not from the perspective of a mom. I was unprepared for the instant love I had, both for him and for you.
I am sometimes asked what I feel towards you–Sympathy? Curiosity?
Yes. But mainly no.
What I feel most strongly for you in my heart is gratitude. I am grateful you gave me the chance to be his mother, of course. But it’s more than that. I am thankful you protected his life. At a time when the unborn have fewer rights than any protected creature, I do not take for granted that you gave our son a birthday. I am told that abortion is still illegal in Thailand but that–should a woman find herself in a difficult place–there are other options. I’ve read about some of these options and they are horrific.
You chose life. You did the hard thing one hundred times over and I applaud you.
I imagine you like to smile because our son loves to smile. And laugh? He does it all the time (especially when he should be napping). I suspect you have a touch of OCD because he loves to clean EVERYTHING! (Thank you!) And his love of music? Maybe that is something you and I gave him together. I like the thought that you and I may have worked as a team.
No matter where you are today or what you are doing with your life, know this much. Every time I look at our boy, I am reminded by his chocolate eyes and silky hair that there is a woman on the other side of world whose love for him inspired mine.
And so for that–and for you–I am eternally grateful.