The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Attempted to Write
I’m a communicator. I love to talk and I love to write. Ask me to write a blog post, and I 95% of the time I can come up with something to say. Heck, I write 5-6 days a week, clearly I am not one to be at a loss for words.
But, ask me to write a letter to birth parents and I’m at a complete loss for where to even start. The adoption process in our province requires us to write this letter (once we get to the USA side we will also have to put together a photo album).
In fact, writing this letter is the hardest task I’ve faced so far in our adoption journey and may literally be the hardest thing I have ever attempted to write. So, for a few weeks now I’ve been mastering the art of procrastination. (Fortunately/unfortunately we are waiting on other adoption things right now, so my procrastination is not holding anything up).
Many parts of the adoption process have been daunting but doable for us – like selecting which races we are open to and what substance we are willing to accept. In fact, it was relatively easy for us to make these selections as they were fact based decisions. We were able to research and for the most part find scientific evidence to support our decisions.
Alas, for me, writing this letter is just not that simple. There are no boxes to check and data to evaluate. No amount of research will provide me with the answers on how to use the English language to share what is in in our hearts. Simply this letter is subjective and straight from our hearts, which also means its outside of our research based comfort zone. And to make matters worse, I have built this letter up in my mind to be the most important part of the entire adoption process because it will create everyone’s first impression of us and ultimate determine our fate as parents.
So, I sit and I try to come up with the right words. But I’m stuck.
How do we tell someone that we’ve never met that Mr. MPB and I will make excellent parents and we want to build a life for our child that will include them so long as they want to be included so long as it is a healthy relationship and does not put the child in danger. And we want to build an inclusive family which respects and honours our child’s heritage.
Where do I start trying to tell someone that after all we have been through in life, all we want is to share our love with a child, to help them grow and learn.
How do I tell someone that we intend to raise our child to value fun and yet to have strong moral convictions while understanding the difference between right and wrong.
How can we possibly explain in words that all we want to is to provide a child with every opportunity, yet at the same time we want to help them learn responsibility. While we will likely be able afford to give them the material things they want, we wont. Instead we will encourage them to save their allowance to help them learn the value of a dollar.
For that matter, How do we show that we plan to strive to find a balanced approach to parenting that we feel neither of our parents ever achieved? We want to take the best of both of our parents and limit the worst. For example, how do we say that we want to support our child, encouraging them through the thick and thin. Yet, we will not lead their lives for them. Instead, we will strive to find the balance between allowing our child the freedom to make their own mistakes, and yet offer a guiding hand (and discipline) when one is wanted or needed.
It’s easy to say that we will love and protect our child to the best of our ability, but what words give that sentiment justice? How can simple words convey just how important it is to us to do everything within our power to protect our child. In our sad and short parenting experience, we have done that, and it breaks out heart that we have experienced failure.
It’s also easy to say that we love the outdoors. We clearly love to go camping, hiking and traveling. But, how do I convey that we want to share these passions with our child, yet if they don’t enjoy the same things, we want to nurture their passions? Maybe they will love hockey, maybe they will love playing the violin, maybe the will love video games or maybe they will love to paint. Maybe our child will want to become the next football star and we will support them in that, but we will never push them towards success at all costs. Along the same lines, the idea of having an academically inclined child fits our personalities, but this isn’t a guarantee (adoption or not). We know this about ourselves, and we also know there is no way to to predict this and all we can do is love a child and encourage them to pursue their passions so long as they are legal). How do we convey this in a way that makes some sort of sense, and doesn’t make us sound completely arrogant?
Simply, how do we say all our hopes and dreams for our child and our family, knowing full well that the world does not promise anything? Knowing that regardless of our hopes and dreams, we may fall short from time to time. And there may be circumstances beyond our control, in which all we can do is support our child and our family through the hard times. How do we acknowledge reality without dwelling on it?
As a first introduction, a letter seems unbelievably impersonal, and yet it will be the very first thing any birth mother will know about us. So, how the heck do we even start to write this letter and put words to all these emotions. How do we eloquently explain say all of this to a perfect stranger? How do we be true to ourselves without exaggerating anything? How do we present ourselves in a good light? Part of me feels like I am writing a cover letter for a job, and another part of me feels like we have to sell ourselves in this letter (and eventual photo album), and I hate that idea. It just feels way to impersonal.
They say that first impressions matter, but in this situation first impressions are simply critical! And knowing all of this, I feel very overwhelmed.
If you like this post, please feel free to share and please click the follow button on the side or return to myperfectbreakdown.com to follow my journey.