Dear Younger Me…the adopted or fostered me
Dear younger me…the baby delivery nurses named Baby X, the messed up me…the angry me….the me who has had more than her shares of struggles…
Oh, little one….tiny, unseen, unborn one…
My heart aches for you.
You’ve been through many hard things in your short life. You have no way of actually knowing.
But now since I’m old, I can tell you.
I have lived many days and read many books to help me understand.
If you feel upset, I will gently hold your head to my heart. If you cry, I will wipe away your tears with kisses.
Your actual conception was a shock to the yet-unformed you.
Your first developmental position in the womb probably was not in the fetal position, curled up and feeling safe….when one is in shock, no matter how old, relaxing is impossible.
Your life was not planned by any person. Because your parents didn’t plan you, your mother’s body worked at aborting you through internal secretions. Because you knew you weren’t wanted, your life from the very beginning was one of defense. Push away anything to do with her.
When attached, you knew that “something wasn’t right.” It felt like one person having an argument with another.
Your mother may have been drugging or drinking while she carried you, and your brain may have been damaged. These wounds will produce behaviors you can’t control, but rest assured little one, this is not your fault.
Your first conversation with her was when you were an unborn 7 months old. Hers was the only voice, so the deep and sad tones set the stage for your emotional health and future.
You may wonder why God let bad things happen to you…evil things, like your mother being raped, her wanting to abort you, or your brain being wounded with drugs.
None of us know this answer.
The only thing we know is that God is always good and that He promises to bring good out of evil.
And, you, my younger self, are that good.
I love you, Baby X.
Practical Suggestion to Increase Adoption Awareness Between Parents and Kids
Adoption professionals say that the most effective way for adoptees and foster kids, no matter our age, to get in touch with feelings about the birth mother is to write and letter to and from the birth mother.
I’m taking it a step further during Adoption Awareness Month 2017. You can observe this from this post. This time, the letter is from the older me to the younger me.
How about trying this with your kids, or fellow adoptees and fostered, with yourself?
Here are some suggestions:
- You may want to take a few minutes to find out some developmental markers of the age child you are writing to. Each of these could be springboards for talking to your younger self. Try this site: https://www.webmd.com/parenting/preschooler-emotional-development#1
- Ask yourself these questions:
- What is normal for that age?
- What do I know about my history?
- What do I believe I might have been feeling, hearing, seeing?
- Who else are key players in the scene for the letter?
- How would these key players be addressed?
3. Think of examples or metaphors that would further describe the experience. eg.–hot like a blazing fire, stinky like poop
4. What is the name of the younger self? Does he/she have one?
5. Is there a truth that can be anchored in this letter? eg.–God brings good out of evil
6. How will the younger and older adoptee/ foster child interact?
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR PARENTS AND FELLOW ADOPTEES AND FOSTER KIDS
God Is An Expert At Bringing Good Out of Bad--Pastor Rick Warren