Wednesday, May 15, 2013

An Open Letter to My Kids' Birthparents

Dear Birthmom B and Birthdad R,

I think about you both a lot; several times a week at least. Even though the busy-ness of five kids keeps my brain rather occupied, it’d be impossible to not think of you when three of those kids were produced by you. B, when I first met you and you were still using, you looked terrible. Your skin and hair were a wreck. But you still had these amazing upper arms, this fantastic muscle tone that was undeniable, even if the eye was first drawn to the track marks.

E has that same muscular build as you. As an infant it was such a funny combination: fat round baby rolls, no teeth, chubby cheeks and clearly defined biceps. Is it because of this build he’s drawn to sports? He’s fast and he’s super athletic and I can’t help but think you when I see his speed and strength.

Z and A look so much alike and each occasionally make certain faces or looks that remind me of either one of you. I wonder so much, R, what your grown children and your grandchildren look like, if these two resemble them at all. I think your grandson is about Z’s age. I bet they could have had fun together.

I wonder where you are and if you are still together or if you are struggling alone. I wonder if you think about the kids at all, or me, or if your energy is spent only in securing the next meal, the next bed, the next fix, the next lover. And if those thoughts of the sweet babies start to seep into your brain, do you just push them aside and try to get that next fix even faster so you can forget, forget, forget…

I feel really naïve sometimes when I think about how much I believed in you. When A was born, do you remember what I said? I told you that we are a team and that I wanted you to be with your baby. I meant that. And I believed that you were going to stay clean and together. I feel so stupid now sometimes for believing our love could be what saved you.

When I think about your lives, what I know of them, I cry for the lost potential. R,  they tell me you led a full and normal life with jobs, house, family…what was it that turned divorce and underemployment into homelessness and addiction? B, they said your own parents were addicts who abandoned you. They tell me you were always super smart in school and it pisses me off that there was no adult that stepped in and helped you realize your potential and break the cycle.

As for me I’m still learning what it means to have addicts in my own life and even though I can’t send this to you I need to get it out. I’ll continue to think of you and I’ll continue to love and care for these children the best that I can. And I’m going to do my damnedest to keep these strong and chubby little arms track mark-free.


  1. Wow, Gina, I could have written this. I can't believe how similar E's story is to Lenny's (he was born with his mother's biceps too and is super athletic). As the social worker said to me, "Nobody gave Lenny's parents a chance - let's give Lenny that chance." I too cry for their lost potential and look to Lenny with hope that we can give him the attention and encouragement his parents never got. I fantasize that Lenny will meet them someday and they will see the (hopefully) good that came out of the gifts they gave to him. I want to do them proud.

    I take inspiration from your kindred spirit as I face emotions and issues often similar to yours. Thanks for writing - I only wish our families lived near each other so we could avail even more of your experience and radiance!

  2. It's good to hear that a social worker would say that. Funny that Lenny also nice biceps and is super athletic! We'll have to meet half way one day and have them compete ;)