Dug this out of The Box this a.m. It seemed appropriate to include in a chapter I am writing in my book. I scanned this blog quickly and see I have never put it here. It seems so trite reading it now yet I remember putting so much effort, spending so much time thinking about what I would write. This is it? You are granted the opportunity to give a letter to the daughter you are going to leave with strangers and this is the crap you came up with, I ask my 18 year old self?
It strikes me now now as a bit cold, guarded and overly mature. Realizing I was rather precocious since Kindergarten the maturity doesn’t really strike me as much as the lack of emotion. I still smile at my forethought to copy it verbatim for myself. I remember thinking it would be a tool to make a match when I found her.
I have no idea if the agency ever gave this to my daughters adoptive parents. If they did, I have no idea if they ever gave it to her. Based on what she told me about her adoptive parents and the things that have transpired in our reunion I am going to guess they did not.
Here, read it, and feel free to say to yourself (or me, gently, in a comment) “Really?”
Letter to my Daughter dated May 19, 1986 (the day I surrendered her to Easter House):
My darling daughter –
Your life is all I have to give you. Treat it well. Nourish it. Replenish it and love it. For love is what enabled me to give you this life.
If I could give you something of myself, I’d give you my strength to carry on. To endure, to go forth. Though the winds of life may bend you, you must always push on. You must always pray that tomorrow will be better than today.
It is this strength, my daughter, that enables me to let go of your beautiful face and to carry on. Though my heart is torn and tattered, it is my heart, my inner soul, and if I give you nothing, I give you my love.
Happy trails my darling Amber.
– Susan Bednarz, May 19, 1986
The second sentence in the second to last paragraph doesn’t even make sense. Note how I call her my daughter but I sign it my full name, not your mother, or anything like that? Love enabled me to give you life? Actually it was her father’s sperm. I remember fearing the agency would read this letter as well as the adoptive parents (at least one party probably did) and I was so worried about what I couldn’t say. I suspect even in surrendering I was trying to look all smarty and capable.