I saw my birthdaughter, she loves me

Guest post by Kayte
Paper dolls wearing scarves
By: KarenCC BY 2.0

I recently saw my daughter for the first time in about a year. She turned 6 this past fall, is going to school, and looks just like me. She calls me by my name. I think if she ever called me her mother, I’d cry as I corrected her. She may be my daughter, but I am not her active parent, her active mother. I am her birthmom — not as a derogatory term, but simply as a clarification. A different type of mother.

My magical fairy daughter was born when I was 15. I kept her for 6 months, due to legal issues with the father. I wound up struggling through that time, loving and fearing everything, until I could give her to her mother and father. They are more than I could ever ask parents to be- loving, caring, supportive, strong, stable, beautiful souls. They’ve kept contact open since the day they brought her home, and thank me every time they see me for “everything.” We exchange emails, pictures, news, and stories. I love them with every bit of strength I have.

This doesn’t make it easier. Every time I see her, I mourn being an active, caretaking mother. I cry for the moments I miss, her first day of school, her first birthday party, Trick or Treating. I cry because she used to fit right into my chest, in between my breasts, like an extension of my heart, and now is so big that I can barely hold her on my lap. She’s a world of mystery and wonder that I get yearly glimpses into.

I get to hear stories about her friends, and movies, and how Mommy lost her rings which made her late for dance class but then she found them and gave them to her Mommy and this made her late for dance class and then she told the whole dance class that Mommy lost her rings but they found them and that’s why she was late. And every year, when dinner and presents and storytime is over, I drive off, I leave her behind. I cry.

Certain days are harder than others. Mother’s day, her birthday, her placement anniversary. Her first day of school was especially tough for me. But I know that it’s okay. I know that she’s having an amazing childhood, her parents are wonderful, and I can make them all proud. I can go to school. She can have a functional family. It’s hard, but it’s not impossible. I would never, ever wish it upon anyone else, and could never do it again, but it’s worth it that one day a year when she runs up to me and grabs me so tight and lets me into her world.

My daughter loves Disney princesses, Star Wars, Toy Story, and scrapbooking. She dances and sings. She wants to be a nurse and a mommy when she grows up. She makes me cookies with her mom every year. She still thinks boys are stupid and icky. She can talk for hours and hours, and I can listen to every word. She knows that she gets her brown eyes, her hair, and her belly button from me. I don’t think she knows how much all of this means to me.

Maybe next year, instead of making her a hat or a zig zag scarf, I’ll make her a Mario- themed scarf. Maybe next year I can tell her all about grad school, and she’ll tell me all about elementary school. Maybe next year I will fall asleep smiling at how she hugs me. We can only take it a year at a time.

Comments on I saw my birthdaughter, she loves me

  1. Oh my gosh, Kayte. This is beautiful. I cannot imagine what you have experienced, and what those days are like, but I admire your strength. I think it's wonderful that you see your daughter, that she knows you, and that you get to share time together.

    • In all seriousness, her parents are the best. Both work, but on alternating days, and they have awesome careers- her mom's a nurse, which is so awesome, saving lives, etc. They have the greatest times and stories, and most importantly, our daughter (experimenting with the use of our right now) is happy, healthy, well off, fortunate, and in a good place. They're the best. I can't say enough.

  2. Kayte, my husband and I are planning to adopt when we are eligible to do so. The media portrayal of open adoption is so negative, so it is so comforting and helpful to us to see first hand accounts of the success of open adoption relationships. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for making such a difficult decision and for giving your daughter such a great life. That's an incredible gift and a huge sacrifice.

    • In case you missed my post before I noticed the "reply" button, I'll repost with a bunch more information/comments.

      Adoption's a brave choice for parents. It's very impressive and very commendable. Be strong throughout it, it's totally worth it. I've never really seen open adoption in the media, other than on Teen Mom (which is on right now and is a WHOLE other topic), but it's hard. I'm sure it's hard for my daughter's parents- they got her late, and she was placed with them before the legal process started due to concern regarding attachment disorders. There's a lot of worry that the birthparents could come and reclaim or kidnap the child- which is almost even more scary than simple adoption to me. However, I know I couldn't have it any other way. I would not have been able to survive without the occasional email, the picture of her and her dad on the computer, or her Halloween costume. Her birthfather does not have a relationship with her, her parents, or me, which is also a tough situation to explain- but her parents and myself think that the situation will leave her feeling more loved and knowing herself potentially better than any other situation.

      There's tons of support for both adoptive and birth parents online. It's a rough road, but worth so much to everyone involved. Congrats on your brave choice.

  3. Hun you are so very very strong!! – you're little fairy will get that from you and she'll grow up into a beautiful strong woman that you can be so so proud of xxx Thanks for sharing xx

  4. I think it's absolutely beautiful that you gave her to a family who wanted a child. And it's even more awe-inspiring that they welcome you into their lives to watch her grow. Thanks for sharing! If I ever adopt, I hope our relationship with the birth parents will be just as special. You're very strong.

  5. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post. You did the right thing for you, for her, for her parents. Keeping your heart open the way you have now…that is truly amazing and brave and I honor you for that.

  6. Zwizh- don't get me wrong, it's also hard for everyone involved, and leaving the adoption open poses all sorts of opportunities for everyone to get hurt. It's a tough choice. However, I know I couldn't have it any other way. Her birthfather does not have a relationship with her, her parents, or me, which is also a tough situation to explain- but her parents and myself think that the situation will leave her feeling more loved and knowing herself potentially better than any other situation.

    And again, thanks everyone for the support. It's not always easy to deal with everything.

    • thanks so much for sharing this kayte. i am the momma of 5 – one of whom is adopted. his birthmother is an integral part of our family structure and we see her at least once a year. he knows his story and now that he is about to turn 6, is starting to understand it. it is so important to us for him to know that his birthmom loved him so much that she had to let him go. he is such a gift and a treasure. bless you for your strength and honesty – people like you help to give strength to those struggling with the tough decision between single momma and birthmomma – neither of which is easy. hugs to you…it takes an amazing woman…

  7. Thank you so much for posting this article! You are beautiful! The strength you must have is astounding. I wish you the absolute best in life’s travels and hope you and your daughter are blessed. I lost contact with my mom for nearly a decade. Now at 21, my mom is my rock. She may not have raised me, and we have our falling outs, but she has taught me more about life in our battles then anyone i have ever lived with. I truly wish you the best doll! You inspire me!

    Much Love and Peace,


  8. Wow. I cried, ran to kiss my sleeping six month old girl, and then came back to cry a little bit more and tell you how beautiful this story is. What you have done is the most selfless, courageous act there is. You are such a beautiful person, thank you for sharing this.

  9. What a beautiful tribute to the choices you have made. I can't imagine how difficult your decisions have been for you, but you have given her the amazing gift of being able to grow up with wonderful parents, while knowing that she was given to them as an act of love by someone who cares deeply for her. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

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