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A Letter To My Son’s Birth Mom

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Hayes at nine months old…the first time I laid eyes on his sweet face.

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Hayes on his fifth birthday!

To the woman who birthed my son,

Our little boy turns five today. Five glorious years ago, a baby you named Mikhail wailed into the world. I can’t imagine the heartache you endured, giving life to a precious child you’d have to let go. I imagine you thought to yourself, What will become of my baby? Will he ever think of me? Will I ever get over him?

I’d give just about anything to thank you face-to-face for surrendering to me the sweet life created inside of you. Your sacrifice was my answer to prayer. On those lonely nights when you long to see our son, I hope it consoles you to know that he is safe, healthy and cherished. Deeply. The family he inherited by adoption is crazy about him–grandparents, godparents, two sisters, a brother, mother, father and a slew of cousins. One day I hope you’ll see for yourself the sparkle in his eyes, hear the joy in his laughter and feel his tender heart when he gives you a hug. He is so incredibly tender and I wonder if he gets that from you.

I know he must get his almond eyes from you. I always thought if we met at a coffee shop, I’d know you instantly. Your eyes would give you away. People say our son looks like me…I’ll bet you and I could pass for sisters. When we traveled to Moscow in the summer of 2010, the orphanage director shared the circumstances of your life that led you to place our son in the state’s care. I was so struck by our similarities, I got the chills. We’re the same age. We’re both of Asian descent. We’ve both made some choices in life that were not the best. I tucked away the handwritten note you wrote to give our son someday and my heart grieved for you. Minutes later, I swallowed back tears when our baby was placed in my arms. I remembered all those months…then years…of waiting on the Lord to honor this longing of my heart. In that moment, I felt this deep knowing that the greatest blessing of my life came at the cost of your greatest heartache. I live with that knowing every day. I have a place of honor in my heart for you because of it and always will. And I can’t tell you how much I love our son.

He’s a snuggle bug, that boy! He bounces out of bed and greets the day with his arms wide open. He loves the Lord and shows it by caring cathayeszoodeeply for everyone, whether it’s the woman who circles our receipt at Costco to the custodian at his preschool. He gives hugs freely. He’s so much fun. He loves Jake and the Never Land Pirates, riding his trike and dancing to music. He sleeps like a dream, has a sweet tooth like I’ve never seen and his mathematical mind puts him at the top of his class. He’s so incredibly smart. His father and I think he’ll be an engineer or architect someday because building things gives him such joy. We’ll do everything we can to encourage him to exercise his fine mind…but if he decides to flip burgers the rest of his life, we’d be equally proud he’s our son.

And we’ll always consider him your son, too. Even though you’re not present with us in the day-to-day, you are not forgotten. We are gratefully yours every single day.

xoxo…from one mother to another

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