“Return To Sender”

This is a guest post by my friend, Beth Shelby. She is both an adoptive and biological mother. She and her husband, Aaron, live in the Indianapolis, IN area. She writes candidly about disappointment in this post. Take some time to connect with her. Follow her on Twitter or read her blog here.

This fall I got my letter back.

No forwarding address.

This was the letter and pictures I sent to my son’s birth mom. It was my second correspondence; I think I knew this would come back. I was not prepared for the disappointment I felt for my son.

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My son will be 2 in March. I dried him off the day he was born- I am his mother. Providing updates is not required, but it was something I planned to do. I imagined it as part of our story.. a way that we would be able to talk with our son about his birth mom and even eventually have him add to the notes and pick the pictures to share.

Maybe my disappointment has to do with my willingness to commit and provide information. Which honestly when we first began exploring adoption, one of my fears was the relationship with the birth family. But similar to how the Grinch’s heart expanded [from Dr. Seuss’ “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”], God not only expanded my heart to orphans, but to birth moms & birth families.

When I learned of this placement I began praying for the birth mom. When you start praying for some one you become connected to them. You begin to pray through your day for them. Even if it is someone you never meet, you gain a familiarity for them. So when I did meet her, my heart immediately connected with her. I knew, and she knew, the child she was carrying was supposed to be in our family.

I have not seen her since the day after my son was born. She stopped by the hospital room as she was checking out to say goodbye. Only hours before she had signed all the papers making our adoption legal. This is the same woman who, the day before, delivered my son and looked at me as we were leaving the room to say “Beth, Happy Mother’s Day.” Yes, that is my son’s birth mom!

She is an angel to me.

So maybe the disappointment is not just for my son, but for me and the uncertainty of where she is, and how she is doing. Regardless, I continue to pray for her and know that if she ever wanted to she would be able to find me.

In the meantime, I have decided to continue to write a yearly note, an annual update for his birth mom. I will have them for him- part of telling his story. I would also like to do the same for his brother, who is 6 months, even though I am his birth mom.

What an amazing way to chronicle their lives, their stories!

Eventually it will allow them to tell their story.

I pray that God will continue the work he has begun in me.

Question: Have you ever turned a disappointment into a positive opportunity? For you or for your children? What did you do? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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