Just remembered it’s time for the writing of the contact letter. This is our third and we have only had a reply to one which from I’ve read and heard is pretty good going. Again it will end up sounding like a school report as I struggle to be informal without giving away too much personal information. I struggle with what is too much information. I want to be honest and use more emotive language about my life with Split Pea, but worry how it will be received. Will it somehow sound condescending, smug and just painful to Birth Mum. I don’t feel Birth Mum is a terrible person, a case of not being able to put a child’s needs before her own and no support to change her ways or life style. I do catch myself wondering what if. What if she had the family and services in place to turn her life around long enough to keep this child safe, how different would Split Pea be? A truer version of her self? The same girl? Perhaps more traumatised if it all came crumbling down around them both as it had before for Birth Mum? Stupid questions to be asking myself but real ones I may be expected to answer to my daughter.
Maybe when Split Pea is older writing the contact letter will be easier. I’m assuming she will want to add something, maybe a question or a thought but maybe that will be harder for me. The contact letter is meant to benefit Split Pea and is a reminder that she has a birth mum who is out there and contactable. And in this age of social networking she may only be an online search away. For now the contact letter is the link that I will maintain on my side in order to leave a door open if Split Pea chooses to seek her Birth Mum, I believe I owe that to both of them. Birth Mum asked for a picture in the only letter we have and there were parts blacked out. I wish I could have sent her something and maybe that will happen with drawings and paintings in the future.
This is not about some sort of adopter’s guilt, I was not part of the process that made the final decision to separate them, it was made before I was in the picture and I do trust that it was the right decision. The contact letter reminds me that I too may somehow ‘lose’ my daughter, but I have her now and will always try to look at the bigger picture, summed up below:
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Kahlil Gibran was a Lebanese American artist, poet and a writer.