To Alina’s Birth Mom,
How do I start a letter to a person I have never met, but who is one of the heroes of my life? You helped provide the source of greatest joy in my life, my beautiful daughter. She just turned ten, and has been home for nearly nine years.
To tell you how our side of the story all started, my wife and I tried and were unable to conceive a child on our own. We had some friends who had adopted, and after talking with them on a few occasions, it just seemed like the right next step for us. I work in the travel industry, so international adoption appealed to us. After considering our options, we set our sights on Russia.
There are so many ups and downs in our journey that some of the memories blur together, but I distinctly remember getting “the call.” It came much sooner than we expected, so it caught us by surprise. All we knew was that she was just shy of a year old, and that she was in a little town called Alatyr, and we had to be there in a week. We spent the next few days getting prepared to make the trip of a lifetime to meet our daughter.
I can remember seeing her for the first time because I was captivated. This little Russian beauty was our baby girl, the world just didn’t know it yet…. but God did, and so did we. It took about 4 months, and 3 trips to Russia to make it official and get custody so that we could bring her to the United States.
Every day, I get to watch her grow up to be a young woman. I look at this precocious girl and marvel at her big smile and her infectious laugh and thank God for every single moment. I can see parts of her personality that are molded by her mother and me, but then there are characteristics (physical and otherwise) that are uniquely hers. I often wonder if these are shaped in part by you. People sometimes say that she looks like me, and I just laugh because I know that more than likely she looks like you. From her freckled cheeks, to her light green eyes, to her blonde hair with a faint strawberry hue.
What else can I say about her? She’s smart as can be, even though she doesn’t always fully apply herself at her school work. She loves art, and we have some of her masterpieces framed and hanging in our house. She is quiet and shy in large groups, but once she gets to know you, her true nature comes out and she is talkative. Very talkative! She likes to make up her own little tunes and hums to herself, but if she realizes you are listening, she stops. She is not overly affectionate, but when she’s tired or not feeling well, she becomes more snuggley. She likes for me to put her to bed, and we play with glow sticks, talk about our day, or tell stories. She especially likes it when I fall asleep with her. I travel for work occasionally and she sleeps with her Mom when I am gone, and typically sleeps with us both on the first night I get back. I’m not sure how much longer some of these will last, so I try to relish those opportunities before they disappear.
I think about you often, but I make a special point to think of and pray for you on Mother’s Day. I don’t want it to be a day of loss for you, but one of peace, hope and love. I want you to be at peace about your decision to carry your daughter to term and make that difficult choice to offer her an opportunity with another family. Your decision was one of hope that the family she was meant to be with could provide something for her that you weren’t sure you could provide at that time. Given the way international adoption placement works, I don’t think you are allowed to know her circumstances, so I imagine that you live with some doubt about her, and I know that must be difficult. My prayer is that you are reassured that she was placed in a family that loves her very much.
I want you to know that we continue to work hard to raise her to the best of our ability. I hope that one day, if she is privileged to meet you, that you would be proud of her, and that you would be reassured that the tough choice you made, all the anguish, fear, and doubt that you endured, was worth it to give her life. She is one of the two most important people in my life. Outside of my faith, being her father is the single most influential factor of shaping the person I have become. I want to be the best version of myself so that she can have the kind of father she deserves.
All of this is why it is so difficult for me to put into words exactly how I feel about the gift you gave us. It sounds so insufficient to just say thank you, because I cannot thank you enough. I will end this letter to you the only way I know how, by passing on a blessing to you:
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” – Numbers 6:24-26
Alina’s Dad (Phillip)
To read more Adoption Stories, click here.
Maybe you know that you aren’t in a place to care for a baby right now. But you also know that you simply can’t terminate this life growing inside of you.
It’s a tough choice to make. And only the strongest – and those who have the support they need – choose to make this decision.
And that’s why we commit to walking beside you, every step of the way. We don’t provide adoption services, but we work with a number of wonderful agencies that do. We can give you the information, aid and support that you need to make this difficult decision.
You could be the blessing to someone that they are needing!
Take the first step and just talk to us.
No pressure . . . No Agenda.
Just honesty and friendship.