Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dear Birth Parent

As a part of our adoption profile (aka "scrapbook") we had to write letters to the birth parents. We wrote one as a couple then each wrote one individually. I had been dreading it for months and I'm so glad it's complete. See, our home study was approved this week and now we're legally able to adopt.

We mailed off our scrapbook to the agency's main office yesterday. Now it's just a matter of someone picking us. In most cases, we won't be told when our profile is viewed. We prayed over it before sending it, that God would bless each person who reads it and that the right one would choose us. I'm not sure what I feel right now. Not much, really. Defense mechanism, I'm sure. I don't think I'll be excited until that baby is in my arms.

Of course, right after it was sent, I was told that writing "dear birth parent" is offensive and not a good way to start the letters. However, this is what our agency recommended and they've been doing this for longer than I've been alive, so hopefully they did not steer us wrong. The case workers are going to review it when it arrives and offer suggestions for changes if any are needed. I be scared, y'all.

All in all, we ended up with 15 pages of pictures (the joint letter was integrated into two of the photo pages), our two letters (which are each about three pages long!) and a couple of pages that were pieces I wrote during this journey. I thought you might enjoy reading my letter. I took out the names of family members that may or may not like having their names out on the internet.

Anyway, here it is.

Dear Birth Parent,

First let me thank you again for allowing Dustin and I to open up our lives to you, and for considering our home for your child. I can't begin to know what you're feeling, nor can I guess at what brought you to the place you are now. I only wish I had some magical words to share that would bring you comfort, but what I do have are prayers for you and the little one you are carrying. I hope this book we've put together shows you who we are and the loving, supportive home we have to offer a child.

I've had a heart for adopting for almost as long as I can remember. I have a vivid memory of sitting on my high school best friend's bed one weekend, playing the board game "Life", daydreaming about what our futures would be like. How our husbands would look, how many children we'd have, what their names would be. She was raised by her mother and step father, and that had sparked a discussion about adoption. Of course, back then I was pretty clueless about the entire process, but it put a bug in my ear and a thought in my head that from that day on has been cultivated into a desire of my heart. When Dustin and I learned that we could not conceive a child, as devastating as that information was to me, after going through a period of grieving it also sort of clicked deep down. This is the road we're meant to travel. My desire to birth children melted away and in its place was the knowledge and peace that our family would grow purely by love rather than by blood.

Texas born and raised, I grew up in a stable and loving home with Christ as the foundation. I am an only child to Chris and Karen, who today remain two of my best friends and greatest inspirations. Married for well over thirty years now, they instilled in me many values that have helped to shape who I am. From a young age, I've had a deep love for God. My parents tell me that when I was a very small child, I would gaze through the car window at the sky and blow kisses to Him. I started singing to the Lord when I was little and have never stopped.

I had a happy childhood and many friends. I met one friend in particular when I was about three, and we remain friends today. We loved playing Barbies and My Little Pony. We used to get into all sorts of trouble, from putting on her mom's makeup to sitting under the table in a restaurant, crumbling up little packets of crackers onto the floor and quietly laughing to ourselves while the other restaurant patrons shot looks of horror at our unsuspecting parents. A few years later, we took ballet lessons together while we secretly crushed on church boys. Many years later, we cried tears of joy at each others' weddings.

I was home schooled from first through eighth grade and attended a Christian high school where I graduated Valedictorian with honors. My parents somehow managed to maintain a balance between pushing me to do my best and letting me have fun being the child I was. They expected me to work hard in school, but the drive that pushed me to the top was really all mine. That drive followed me to college, where I attended for two years with a major in computer science. It took that experience and two crazy but cool professors for me to realize that my true love lies in the arts. Writing, music, photography, designing -- these are things that have been a part of me my entire life, yet I failed to give them the attention they deserved for so long. Today I am a singer/song writer, blogger, jewelry designer, business owner, and aspire to someday be a published writer. My love of the arts has been fulfilled in my life, but an even deeper longing is still calling out -- the desire to be a mom. My hope for our future children is that they push themselves to be the best people they can be while still listening to their hearts and following their dreams. We will always do everything we can to help them set and achieve their goals, both in education and otherwise.

In high school, I spent a lot of time with a few very close friends. I have never been very athletic, but I've always loved bike riding and rollerblading. I was involved in a few singing groups and loved writing poetry. Volunteering as an assistant in our church's nursery and babysitting a neighbor's granddaughter were things I enjoyed often.

I met the love of my life while in college. Dustin was a world away, stationed in South Korea, but we somehow managed an unlikely meeting on the internet and later went on to meet in person. The day he flew to Texas to meet me, we decided to do dinner with my family and then catch a late movie as our first date. I remember that day like it was yesterday. We went to a little locally owned Chinese restaurant that has since shut down and planned to see The Bone Collector at the big theater. Interesting first date movie, I know. But no matter, to this day I'm still not sure what the movie is about. Dustin had my undivided attention and my mind was too busy reeling from the excitement of meeting him to pay attention. I drove to the theater, my dad's little red Toyota puttering along... until it died, that is. We sat there on the road, unsure of what to do, until a car full of strangers came by and offered to help Dustin push start the car. And so he did. My tall, handsome Army man push started my little red clunker on our first date and didn't even complain. What a catch! It was undoubtedly the best first date ever.

That began the start of our wonderful life together. Dustin is truly my best friend and my rock. That man constantly amazes me with his wisdom and intellect, yet keeps me in stitches with his crazy sense of humor. He is a great balance of strength and gentleness. I've not met a child that didn't almost instantly adore him. It's really no wonder, since he's like a big kid himself. He's such a good man and excellent husband... I can't wait to see him grow into a great dad. We consider our marriage to be strong and full of love and respect. Respect is important to both of us, and we plan to be a good example of a healthy marriage to our children. Dustin has always supported me in my good days and bad. Last year when I tragically lost my beloved granny, he was the perfect picture of tender strength for me. Granny was one of my favorite people on the planet. We used to sit and talk for hours. She possessed the kind of wisdom that only comes with age and her simple faith in God. Dustin was completely there for me and my family during that difficult time. He's such a treasure.

As you can see, family is very important to me. Growing up, we spent summers and the Christmas holidays traveling up north to visit relatives and that was always a lot of fun to me. I've always been pretty close to one of my younger cousins (I am the oldest on both sides), *name*, who is about to get married! Another cousin and his wife just had a little baby girl, *name*, named after our late granny and I cannot wait to meet her. My mom and I are very close and my mother-in-law is someone I call a dear friend as well. Just recently my dad's brother *name*, his wife and three kids moved to our town. My aunt *name* and I love to sit and chitchat, and our families enjoy getting together for holidays and BBQs and such. My baby cousin *name* is just the sweetest thing, and I'm very much looking forward to giving her a little buddy to play with!

I'm having a bit of a hard time finishing this letter. I feel like I still have so much more to say to you, yet I'm finding myself with so little words (which is a rarity!). I want you to know that even though I don't know you or your story, I have already been praying for you and your child for quite some time. The enormous decisions you're faced with in this season of your life must be such a scary thing and my prayer for you is that the Lord gently guides you through each one. If He happens to guide you in our direction, we would be honored to be the family that loves and raises your little one. If he guides you in another way, rest assured that you still have our prayers. We truly believe with all our hearts that every child is a blessing... now we're just waiting to be a blessing to one in return.

Sincerely,
Crystal

11 comments:

The Rock Chick said...

Crystal, this is beautiful, open, warm and truly shows your inner spirit and beauty. I can't imagine how difficult it might be to wirte a letter like this and it really touched me. You will be an awesome mom!!!!

Sarah said...

oh wow Crystal. I just skimmed the first part because I read it the other day...but that end is really touching I love how you ended this letter. I knew the right words would come to you...WOW!!!! Truly wonderful letter (and I commented on your pics too...I loved the whole thing, pics and writings...it really truly shows you and D's heart!!!)

Heidi @ GGIP said...

That is a wonderful and touching letter.

I don't see how "dear birth parent" is offensive at all.

Dustin said...

You know, for some reason our letters don't seem THAT long (even at 3 pages) when on 8.5 x 11 paper or even on our word processor...but with the margins of a blog...that REALLY seems long...lol

I'm trying to decided if I want to post mine.

Jessica Morris said...

This really is beautiful.
It kept me captivated and it was so real and well written.

Chelsea Rae said...

Wow Crystal, this was such a beautiful and well written letter. I started crying in the first paragraph and by the time I got to the end Nathaniel came and asked if I was okay!

Chris the Crazy Conservative said...

All I can (sniff, sniff) say is (sniff, sniff) wow! (sniff, sniff) Beautiful.

Claire said...

Crystal, that is BEAUTIFUL. My gosh, your honesty and openness is so inspiring, and the best thing is you get a real sense of your good and loving spirit, and the amazing home that you and Dustin could provide for a child in the passing of that letter.

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I'm keeping you guys in my prayers at this time.

Cxx

Bethany said...

What a lovely letter. Your child will be so blessed to have you guys as his/her parents.

Cheryl said...

Crystal,

That is such a beautiful letter!

Praying for your little one to be just around the corner.

Cheryl

Thursday's Child said...

Fantastic letter! Would you adopt me? How do you feel about being a grandma of 3 at such a young age?

LOL