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. You are an amazing Mother. There is so much that I could gush at you, but it comes down to this. YOU ARE AN AMAZING MOTHER. Amazing Mothers make sacrifices, Amazing Mothers do what is best for their children (the right thing, even if it's the hard thing), and Amazing Mothers love their children. I repeat- you are an amazing Mother. Remember that always.

  2. Gosh, that just made me cry in front of my office-mates. You are incredibly kind and strong, and I wish you every happiness. Thank you for sharing.

    • In case you missed it in my lack of proper use of the "reply" button, I am very sorry for making you cry in your office, and thank you for your kind words!

  3. You are all amazing. Thank you so much. Sorry for making anyone cry in awkward situations, especially @kirstymch!

  4. Kayte – wow. You are a wonderful human being and mother! And I'm sure your daughter will feel exactly the same way when she starts fully realizing what you did (and do) for her…

  5. Just to clarify – I did NOT mean your daughter doesn't think so right now… just pointing out that the older she gets and the more she starts zo realize what you gave her, the more her love and respect will intensify!

    • I get it. No worries. And she thinks I'm pretty awesome now, I'm sure, since every time she sees me she gets gifts and hugs and to climb all over me!

  6. Thank you for sharing. I hope you write this down and save it for her one day. It's really touching

    • I've contemplating sending her parents the link, but I'm really scared of sending them a link that links to my twitter. It's not quite what I want them seeing of me.

  7. I appreciate that this is posted on Offbeatmama, specifically. I think it is a beautiful statement of a mother's love. And how, doing what is best for our children, really is the most important thing of all. Even when it tears us in two. I am reduced to sobbing trying to imagine what it must feel like to walk away from your child, And so impressed with the clarity and strength with which you convey your story. Thank you.

    • It was important to me, kinda, that it was posted on Offbeatmama for two reasons. First, there was an adoption story on the site previously, and it made me think about whether I was a parent, a mom, etc, and provided a feeling of camaraderie, that I wasn't the only one exploring all this stuff. Secondly, I want to, if possible, show other birthmoms and birth parents and those touched by the dramas and sorrows and glories of the process that they're not alone, and it gets better. It's important for me to share that with others, that it gets better, because sometimes it felt like it never would.

      I'm crying, myself, at your comment, my response, and the whole thing. It was most definitely the hardest thing I've ever and will ever do. Walking away from her, putting her in her parents' arms, that desolate coldness was the worst feeling in the world. I wound up running back to them, from my car, sobbing, cuz I found her hairbrush in the car and was worried her hair would be a mess- even the little things broke me. The leaving is the hardest part- but the moment I get to hold her in my arms I can't feel any of that sadness. Anything else I can survive, which is a weird growth from all of this, this warrior's strength I've acquired somehow. That phrase kinda fits.

      Thank you, so much, for your kind words. Also, it should be noted that I should not write responses to comments while watching Teen Mom.

  8. As a birth mother (in an open adoption) myself, I am SO glad you wrote this story. It is comforting to hear a story of someone else who knows the pain and the joy I feel. Thank you.

    • You are the reason I wrote this and submitted it, along with the thousands of other birthmoms. I feel for you. I am honored to have done something for you. Be strong, but not too strong- I feel like this is important and understood- don't toughen yourself to the glories and sorrows, cuz IMHO that's all we have, and it sure as hell is a lot, but it's a wonderful bittersweet lot. We are not alone. Thank you so much for commenting.

  9. This was so beautifully written… I am on the other end of the spectrum, I'm the birthdaughter. My adoption was a closed one, so (sadly) I've never met my birthmother. I'm 29 and will be having my own children in the near future, so I think a lot about the complexities of what she went through giving birth at 20 years old and making the brave, selfless decision to choose adoption….. Thank you so much for sharing your story, as it gives me a little perspective on how it feels to be on her side of things. (Aside from the fact that every person and situation is different from the next, of course.) Thank you for opening your heart and sharing the deeply personal details, I admire your strength. And I agree that you should keep this story in a safe place to show her one day… it will mean more to her than you could ever know.

    • Thank you so much. I'm sure your birthmother is proud of everything you are, without even knowing any of it. I will keep this around, so the next time I see her, I can share it with her family.

  10. I love you for writing this. I don't know what it is like, but my room mate and best friend does. She gave up her daughter 4 years ago and she talks about her every day. She is still struggling with many issues over the placement and I try to help her as best as I can. She believes that getting rid of the negative stigmas associated with adoption will help people who have no other choice, like her. You have taken a step towards that with this article. For myself, my room mate and her daughter, I thank you.

    • If she needs help, there are tons and tons of resources available for birthmoms on the internet, just looking stuff up like "birthmom support" or "birth mother help" can yield tons of results. Removing the negative stigmas is very important, but so is promoting understanding of the whole process. Most people don't realize that birthmoms have forms of PTSD, and the process can leave lifelong issues. Often, we are swept aside and ignored. She should know that she is not alone, and tons of us would do nearly anything to support her. Also, if it becomes an obvious depression mental issue problem, counselors can and do help with issues related to adoption. I'm not qualified to give advice on such topics. If I could do anything for her, I'd tell her about all the support she can have. And thank you for sharing for both yourself and for her.

  11. It takes the strongest of the strong to be able to surrender their child to a better life. It is the most selfless act.
    It is a beautiful thing that you are still an active part of your daughter's life…and I think it takes even more strength to do that.

  12. This is an incredibly beautiful and moving post. I had to wipe away a couple of tears. Thank you for sharing! And I'd like to say what a lucky little girl your daughter is to have someone as strong as you for her birth mother, and parents as loving and open as the ones you gave her the opportunity to have!

  13. The world needs your story. Imagine a world where every pregnant woman chose life in such a valiant way!
    This type of selfless love is so rare.
    You have created such beauty.
    You are wonderful and thank you for your story. May your life be full of joy, love, peace and magic!

    • While I appreciate the support, note that the whole experience made me prochoice. This isn't the place for debate, as per the no-drama comment policy, but I would like to say that I could never ask another woman to do what I did, nor could I ever, ever deal with another unplanned pregnancy. Again, thank you for the well wishes and for reading!

  14. Kayte Thank you for your story, I am a birthmother also. My story is different then yours a little, I don’t see my son any longer and I had his (half)sister three days short of a year from his birth. But I see pictures and get update via Facebook. I know that he is in the BEST place for him. There was a big difference in the year between them, I completed High School about to go to college, different father, we were able to support ourselves. I love him so much and Isabella-Sophia could never place him.

  15. I am also a birthmom, and this rang so true for me. My son is 4 and a half, so no first day of school for me yet, but aside from that and the ages, you could be telling my story. It’s not easy, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But it was right for him and he’s happy and healthy and secure in a way that I couldn’t have provided at the time. Thank you so much for this story.

    • Thank you for reading. If you need someone to talk to, feel free to try to contact me. Be strong, birthmama. You did good.

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