Last week I shared the story I wrote for our parish newspaper. Today I will share a little of how I was able to write the story. This is the letter I wrote when I found my biological mother. I have her permission to use all of the letters we wrote to one another. My intention is to someday write a book about my experience looking for, finding and meeting my biological mother. I need to find the courage to get there. Someday I will get there. But for now, here is my letter followed by her response.
I have thought a thousand times how to begin this letter and still haven't come up with anything great. You might want to sit down and get comfortable or you might want to throw this letter away before even starting. It is your choice. You might have guessed by now I am your long ago child. I am writing for three reasons and my husband suggested a letter as the way you might feel least ambushed. I hope it is true.
My first reason for writing is to say something I have needed to say for about 20 years. THANK YOU! Your act of selflessness put into motions so many events you can never even imagine. I was rasised well in a house of love with every opportunity available to me. I was adopted into a family with one older brother. My father was a dentist in the Army and a Major at the time. My mother is a nurse. My father stayed in the Army for 30 years and made it to the rank of Colonel before retiring. I was raised as an Army Brat. I loved every minute of it. I have a wonderful life because of you and your decision. I don't know how you did it! So again, thank you!
My second reason for writing is to tell you a story and I hope you find some peace in it. It is a long story but I will give you the condensed version. I have a friend whose hobby is helping people with adoption searches. She offered to help me and we found you. In the couse of our search we found many coincidences and I would like to share them with you. My parents are great people named Frank and Denise. They passed the name Denise on to me in my middle name, Jennifer Denise. My parents never knew your name. It was quite a surprise to me to find that I carry the name of both of my mothers! Years passed and I met and married the man of my dreams. We have an awesome life together. In two weeks we will have been married for 10 years. We have three beautiful children. Zachary Paul, age 7 & 1/2. Lucas Ford, age 5 and Claire Denise almost 3. I received the packet of information containing all family names in September of this year. I couldn't believe my daughter caries so much history with her names and through sheer coincidence! I am sorry to hear you own Claire has passed away. But I hope the legacy of my Claire gives you some peace, if you need it. I don't pretend to know you or your life, but from the information I received surrounding my adoption I thought you would like to know my story.
My third reason for writing to you is to let you know I wish you every happiness in the world. You did something in your life that few people are willing to do anymore. You are a courageous woman. I use us as an example to others who are considering adoption. I hope your decision led to happiness in your life. I hope raising your son and daughter gave you as much joy and happiness as my own three are giving me. I know form the paperwork your decision was not easy and you worried about my quick placement. I was placed very quickly and by six months old my adoption was complete. I hope knowing this helps ease a burdens (if ever there was one) and gives you some happiness.
You may know some of this information. You may know all of it or this may be the first you know of any of it. My 35th birthday is tomorrow and I felt a need to share this with you on a milestone year ( I am now officially mid-30's!). I hope I haven't taken you too off guard or upset your life too much. You are free to do with this letter what you wish. I just needed to share this with you. If you choose to respond to my letter and do know my information, please respect me as I am trying to respect you and write back to my P.O. Box. I need to set some parameters and I need you to respect that, please. I have too many people depending on my to throw all caution to the wind. If you would like to know more about me or start some communication I need it to be through the mail.
So with that, I leave you to your thoughts and memories. I wish you much peace and happiness in you your life. I just wanted you to know the rest of the story...
From this letter you may have figured out Denise's (my biological mother) mother's name was Claire. So my Claire carries the names of two grandmothers and one great-grandmother. Denise's Claire passed away from cancer at the age of 68.
Here is Denise's response.
Today I received the most beautiful letter anyone could hope to have in her possession. My life is now complete knowing you are so happy and content in your life. The decision made 35 years ago was, without a doubt, one of the most difficult one I have known, and now, the regrets are diminished...never a day has gone by that I have not thought of you and how life was for you. Thank you for your understanding and the courage to write me. Michael (my husband) knows I've been looking for you, and has encouraged me, but had I found you, I'm not certain I could have followed through...thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I will write more when my head has cleared, but for now I just wanted you to know how very happy you have made me. I have much to tell you just not the clarity of thought to do so at the moment. Again, I thank you.
The search for Denise was done to give myself some peace. I found the courage to search through the love of my children...