A letter to Tatum's first mother....
You are one of the most important people in my life, yet I know I will never meet you. I think of you every single day of my life...I thought of you even before I met your daughter. You are one of the strongest women I know, and although we have never met, I feel that even with you half way around the world away from me, I know you...I feel your presence in my life and I love and admire you.
Adoption was a choice for our family. We don't know if we can biologically have our own children, and that is okay by me. We knew that there were children in the world that needed a home, and we left the fate of being matched with our child in the hands of our adoption agency. I can honestly say that was the best decision we have ever made in our life. And with that decision and now seing the outcome of who we were matched with, I know even more that was the right choice. Tatum is amazing.
I went to bed last night thinking that tomorrow was my first Mother's Day. I was excited and happy yet sad....I shed a few tears as I lay in bed next to my husband thinking of you. I wonder if you think of our daughter...do you miss her? Were you scared of her when she was born with her cleft lip? There was some time that she was in your care, and I wonder did you do everything you could to take care of her and it just wasn't enough? I wonder if Tatum has other siblings...either before or after her birth? I wonder what you were feeling and thinking on the early morning of October 14, 2009. I have so many other questions, but I will save them for the opportunity that we may have one day to meet. I know that may never happen, however I hold onto the possibilty.
I think you are an amazing woman. Sometimes I look at Tatum, and I see you in her. She has such an old sole, and I know you would be so proud of her. I will never forget the moment we returned to Tatum's orphanage in China for a visit...were you watching from a far for our visit? Did you know we were coming? Or...were you far away in the village tending to your house, the fields or even working in a factory? I will never know...but I want you to know that I loved your daughter even before I knew she would become our daugther.
Tatum has overcome so many obstacles in her short little life, and she is surrounded by the most amazing friends and family members anyone could ask for. She has the most wonderful Daddy...I have never seen his face light up the way it does when he holds our daugther...he will do anything for that beautiful little girl, anything in the whole wide world...we both will.
We talk to Tatum about you, daily. We tell her that you love her very much, and that you always have loved her, and that you always will love her. Tatum will have questions as she continues to grow, and I promise to be open, honest, and loving towards her through these questions. If she wants to meet you one day, I will do what ever I can to find you. I want that for Tatum. I want you to know that she is okay, she is loved, she is smart and she is the most loving little girl in the world. She will do something big in this lifetime of hers, and we have you to thank for that. Thank you for giving Tatum the biggest gift anyone could ever give....LIFE. I promise to allow her to live this life to the fullest.
And, as I enjoy my first Mother's Day with our daughter...I want you to know you are close to my heart, and when I hug our daugther today, I know that we feel your presence. We will be letting a red balloon go this evening into the sky in your honor. I don't know where that balloon will go...but every Mother's Day, I want the world to see you soar. Thank you for giving me the gift of your daughter. I promise to take care of her, and I hope that one day our paths will cross.
Lots of love,