A few months ago, I wrote about my first son who I gave up for adoption to a lovely and loving family. He's ten years old now and I decided that enough was enough. I was going to contact him and his family. "Hello, I gave birth to you!" What? No? That doesn't seem like something one says... Despite my complete bewilderment as to what to write, I contacted the agency. I was hopeful. I was sure I'd be in contact with my son and his family by now.
But, the agency lost track of my son. They suggested writing a letter and then they would forward it around to other offices that may know the family's new address. Okay...
I have to admit, I haven't written the letter. It's been three months, nearly four, and I still don't know what to write. I didn't know before and with the prospect of basically putting it into a bottle and letting it float to whoever finds it? I'm absolutely stumped.
So, I'm writing a letter to Keats and Frida. Why? I'm not sure. It won't be perfect, but luckily I don't have to turn it into a college professor. I have to turn it into a much more important audience: my children. I hope someday they will read it and understand it. I'll write many more in the future, but here's the first.
Dear Keats and Frida,
You are incredibly young at the minute but you are growing quickly. Keats, you are two and are absolutely insane over trucks. Frida, you're eight months old and today you had your very first major tickle fest, which you loved. We live on a farm in Pescadero and Daddy is a high school teacher.
I didn't always know Daddy. I know that won't completely compute until you're much older, but it's true. We dated different people before we met each other. They were nice but didn't quite pass muster. In some cases, we didn't pass muster with them. I know, right? Get used to it, though. And trust me, it's fine. You'll be fine when it happens to you. Frida, you especially will have to remind Daddy that killing your exes is beyond unnecessary. To both of you, Mommy will need to be talked down from "having a word" with your exes on a regular basis. But back to the point: Mommy and Daddy met each other and quickly fell in love. We got married and had you two. We both love you very much. We love each other very much, too. Love each other. Be kind to one another. Look out for one another.
I thought it would be much easier to tell you this, but I'm finding it difficult. I'll just say it: You have an older brother. Yes, Keats, you too. He's Charlotte and Henry's age. You see, way back before Mommy knew Daddy, back when she lived with Grandma and Grandpa, she knew another boy. He was sweet and Mommy loved him very much. Mommy and this boy made a baby, but we were both very young. Grandma was sick and Mommy was scared. Mommy made a choice. You see, there are lots of people who can't make babies even though they want to ever so badly. I was scared I wouldn't be able to care for a baby but I knew there were lots of people out in the world who would love your brother just as much as I did, if given the chance. When your brother was born, Mommy spent two days with him then gave him to a wonderful family. Your brother has lived with them ever since. Someday, I really hope to see your brother again. I hope both of you and Daddy will meet him as well and we will have a new, extended family. Some people may think it's odd or strange. Some people may tell you mean things, but don't worry. Everything about this is focused on love. I love your older brother just as I love you two.
By the time you read this, I'm sure I will have talked about your brother before, but I wanted to write this to you now. I wanted to make sure you had something that explained it a little more. You are both so young now, but you will grow fast and I didn't want to lose track of this. This is one of the most important parts of your life. You won't know your brother as well as each other, but I hope you will all make an effort to become friends. Mommy will try hard, too. I promise.
There were mistakes throughout my life, but we all make mistakes and that is okay. I will keep making mistakes. Most likely, mostly concerning you two. I'm sorry about that. Know that I'm trying to be a good mama even when sometimes I fall short.
You two will make your own mistakes. Sometimes, Daddy and I will be upset, but don't worry too much. All we want for you is to be safe, to be happy, to be you. We love you very much. I love you very much. By telling you my own mistakes I hope that you will feel comfortable talking to me about the things that worry you, about the mistakes you've made, about your hopes and dreams for your life.
Know that I love you, Keats and Frida. Know that I love your brother, too. Love yourselves. Love each other. Strive to understand each other and be friends.
My heart is yours,