February 3, 2015
Today is your birthday.
I’ll admit I was expecting to have met you by now. But I understand.
It’s strange to know that you are real. For so long, and even so now, you remain a figment of my imagination. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that you are not just an idea, or a story. You are a part of my history.
I’ve written many of these letters over the course of my life: short snapshots of my life at that point, letting you know I’m okay. But everything I tell you always remains the same, and will forever, as far as I can tell.
Thank you. Thank you for your bravery and love. I’m grateful that you chose to carry me. Your gift of love and life has given me a life I could have only dreamed of. Although my life has not been perfect, it’s been unlike any other, and I wouldn’t change anything I’ve been through.
Your love has allowed me to find love. I’ve found it in my family, friends, husband and Jesus. Your gift inspires me to love others more; to love others better. My prayer is that you are living your life with love also, as I have found it the best way to live.
My adoption experience has always been a positive influence in my life. I’ve not experienced deep loss to the degree that some have. I am grateful for this platform to voice both the joys and the hardships of being an adoptee. I’ve seen many times my opinions and feelings invalidated by those who have had more severe pain and healing take place. I am thankful for the voices we have, to represent the millions of stories that start similarly, yet each one is unique.
This letter was written because I don’t know that I could ever express anything but gratitude and love for the woman who risked it all to carry me and give me opportunities that she could not. The desire to meet her has always been there, as it is a part of me I do not know. But I’ve never felt empty. Similar to meeting a celebrity or famous politician, there is not a necessity for a reunion to “complete” who I am. Instead, I believe it would make my story that much more whole. My story and life are not defined by my adoption story alone. Instead of allowing the holes in my early years consume me, I desire to honor the information I do have by living my life to the fullest extent.
Reprinted in entirety, submission by: I Am Adoptee member, Hillary Rankin