From 2012 – Letter to my mother

07 Mar

Dear Mother,

Writing Dear Mother seems so formal, yet I never met you so I can’t call you mom, or even know if you would have wanted to me to call you mom. Let alone if I would have been comfortable with that either. How strange all of this is and to think that at my age I am writing you a letter for the very first time. All in all, this seems to be a harder letter to write than I thought it would be, and seems without purpose, or reason, but yet I think it is still something that I need to do. Perhaps it is just part of the journey, this need to talk to you, and write down my thoughts, so here goes…

One of my greatest wishes is that you could have known all the times throughout my life that I thought about you, longed to know who you were, desired just to know you. Looking back, I can’t remember a single time in my life when I didn’t want that. Every year on my birthday would find me looking for a message from you to me in the paper, never found one, but it didn’t stop me dreaming of the day you would look for me, find me. That day never came and when I found you it was already too late. I never heard your voice, at least not that I remember, neither do I know if you ever saw me, held me, or even said goodbye. That hurts, not knowing anything about what happened when I was born. I can never ask you the questions that haunt me, questions like: did you see me, hold me, did they take me away and not let you see me, did you want to see me, did you try, did you name me.  I wasn’t named on my birth certificate, so I will never know if you named me and they just didn’t put my name on my birth certificate as I was just a baby for adoption. In my heart I think you did, but that too is just another missing piece. I do know you thought I had a family to go to, but I didn’t, and spent a few months “somewhere”. I don’t know where or if it was just one person or many people who cared for me. No one knows, no one thought to ask, no one documented it. All I know is that I was somewhere because I am still here. I did get wonderful parents who were loving and supportive and did the best they could in all things.

There are many missing pieces to my story that can never be answered, I can never get to know you, see you, talk to you. Those missing pieces haunt me. I need all the pieces to make sense of anything, regardless of what it is, but this is the big one, the one that dramatically altered my life in such a profound way. At the heart of who I am, I am a puzzle solver, I have to solve it, understand it, know it. Yet the event that forever changed the course of my life is still a puzzle to me, it will always have missing pieces, incomplete and unsolved.

There are so many things I wish could have been different. That you had reached out while you were still alive, while that one small link between us was still partly open. Perhaps you did try to reach out, but others thought you shouldn’t, perhaps you didn’t reach out for any number of reasons, it’s the not knowing that hurts and that can never be answered now. I wanted to know you in whatever form that relationship took. To know if we would have connected and talked for hours on end, finished each other’s sentences, understood each other, or be totally disconnected from each other, and distant, or something in between. There is comfort in knowing we shared similar interests, flower gardening and that you loved roses too, that reading was a passion we both shared, crafts too. I also know that you married and had children, but that’s pretty much all I know, and it seems so little. That despite the willingness of others to share with me their knowledge about you, they can’t provide the knowledge that I crave, that can only be known when you know someone personally. I am grateful to know as much as I do and am sorry that I didn’t push harder, but I was unsure if I should, and worried it would cause you pain, perhaps that is what happened on your end too. I would have liked a different ending, regardless of what the outcome was, that I might have been able to share with you my journey, and hear your journey. To have been able to tell you about things that happened in my life that seemed random at the time, but now strike me as perhaps what is called synchronicity. When I work on the family tree, I think of you and wish you could tell me stories to give me a better sense of who our ancestors were. Above all, just the chance to spend some time getting to know you, and hear our story, would have been the best.

From all accounts loosing me changed you but I don’t think anyone truly understood why, how could they when they never went through anything like that. Little things said about your choices or actions, things that made perfect sense to me, seem to just not make any sense to them, why you would do something or at least they never connected the two together. I believe I know why, because of similar reactions I had after my son, your first grandchild, passed away. I don’t know if that makes us alike, or just aligned, because we both lost our first child. My hope is that your husband understood, and from has been said he was a good man, and I hope he was there for you when you needed him.

Finally, I have been told you said when asked, that you thought of me every day, and that makes me both happy and sad at the same time, because I always hoped you were okay and had a good life, while still thinking of me from time to time. Knowing that though, does provides me with a level of certainty, that you would have been open to knowing me as well, yet instead we both failed to act, and that allowed the wall of secrecy between us to stay for life. Secrecy that wasn’t right then, and still isn’t right now. I don’t believe that adoption was ever meant to be done this way, and they are slowly learning from the impact on so many of us from this closed era social experiment. It’s just sad we had to be a part of that, bad timing I suppose, but at the end of the day, we can’t change the past and just had to live the life that was dealt, I hope you did, and that you found the peace you needed, and the ability to have joy and happiness in your life too.

Your first child…


Posted by on March 7, 2018 in Adoption


Tags: ,

16 responses to “From 2012 – Letter to my mother

  1. Erin

    March 7, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Tao – This post is achingly honest and yet beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing how your adoption affected your life and left unanswered questions. I work for Children’s Home and LSS in Minnesota. Would you be willing to let us republish it on our blog ( for our adoptees, birth parents and adoptive families to read? This is deeply personal, so if you do not want to share it more publicly, I would understand.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TAO

      March 7, 2018 at 5:39 pm

      Can you give me a day to think about that Erin?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erin

        March 7, 2018 at 5:43 pm

        Absolutely. Please take as long as you need and don’t feel pressured to share it if you don’t want to.

        Liked by 2 people

        • TAO

          March 8, 2018 at 2:44 pm

          Erin – I just went to check out the site and the answer is yes (with one condition below). The reason? Because of your page on the website for birth fathers and that you offer them all the information they need to have a voice and control, instead of treating them as just a pesky issue to be dealt with. More agencies need to follow your lead, even if you guys weren’t there before, you are now and I’m hoping the message you give on your site, translates to how you work in real life. Anyway, it gave me hope so…

          The one condition? That you have someone edit and fix the punctuation first. No matter how hard I try, I never get it right and that’s fine for my blog, but please have someone who knows punctuation rules fix it first. Do you want me to email you?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Erin

            March 8, 2018 at 3:20 pm

            Thank you so much, Tao. I’m glad that left an impression. We’re trying to make sure to incorporate as many voices as we can and to ensure we’re meeting the needs of everyone involved. I’d be happy to edit the post for punctuation and grammar. If you could, can you email me so I can send you a consent form for the republication and confirm a few other details?

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Sally

    March 7, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Tao, I’m deeply sorry for your pain. As an adoptive parent I struggle with a similar push-pull with my kids’ first mothers. When my email goes unanswered I wonder if she didn’t get it or if she needs space. No return phone call = “Did she get a new mobile phone number or did she deliberately block my calls?” I appreciate your honest voice more than you know.


    • TAO

      March 7, 2018 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks Sally, wondered what had happened to you, glad you’re back.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. cb

    March 7, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    I had tears in my eyes after reading your above post (as you know, I also found a grave) and I can relate a lot to your feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      March 8, 2018 at 12:17 am

      Thanks cb – glad to see you’ve moved…


      • cb

        March 8, 2018 at 1:11 am

        no home internet unfortunately – typing from work.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. HerdingChickens

    March 8, 2018 at 3:22 am

    This is so beautiful and so raw. Hank you for sharing.


  5. Pj

    March 8, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Brought me to tears, Tao. I sent several letters to bmom because I believed she was still alive…


    • TAO

      March 8, 2018 at 1:48 pm

      I’m so sorry Pj


      • Pj

        March 9, 2018 at 11:38 am

        You also inspired me. Think I need to write that final letter…


        • TAO

          March 9, 2018 at 1:39 pm

          It helped me, hope it helps you too.



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