Books By Jo Cattell

Books By Jo Cattell

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An open letter to Jade's Birth Mother....

I sat with my baby girl as she started to drift back to sleep after one of her nightmares and studied the fetchers of her face.  The small button nose, the beautiful almond shaped eyes, the small scar she has on her cheek.  My mind drifted like it often does to someone a million miles away.  Someone I think of every time Jade looks at me and says “I love you soo much mommy.”  It was funny that today we were at a bbq and one of the children, one who has known us for a while asked where Gabbie had gone. My husband had stopped by and taken her home for a bath and bed after a long day and that left me, Amber and Jade to stay and enjoy ourselves.  Jade was busy having fun swimming as I watched her and one of the little girls asked where Jade’s mom was.  I said I was her mom.  But she then asked, no her other mom.  I sat and had to think for a second how to answer this question.  For Jade she never asks about her, and we have our own story and time we talk about her, but I have never had to answer a child’s question yet as to where her mom was.  I just explained that she couldn’t take care of her and asked for parents who could.  The real story is too sad.  I explained that China asked us to be her parents and we were more than happy to give her the love and home she needed.   Now at 4 in the morning, as I sat there staring at her, I wished for a way to tell her about the child she will never have the chance to know.  And then thought of this…
Dear Birth Mother,

You are one of the bravest women I will never have the chance to know.  The only clue I have to your existence is the beautiful little girl who call me mommy.  5 years ago, you gave birth to a baby girl.  One you must have loved because you kept her with you for a month and left her to be found with money to care for her.  I often wonder if you waited and watched that someone found her quickly all the while in agony listening to her cries and wanting to run to hold her close one last time.  I’m sure from time to time you think of her and wonder how she is.  I know this letter will never find you although from one mother to another I wish there was a way it could.  I want to ease your fears and tell you about this amazing child you gave birth to.  The one who 4 years ago came into my life and changed it forever.

I will never know the name you gave her or if the day we celebrate her birthday is in fact that day.  I will never know what it felt like to feel her move the first time or nurse her.  Those are the few memories you will have to cherish of her.  I often wonder if you checked the paper for her finding ad to see if she was okay or where she was, even know you could not speak up in fear you would be punished. This letter is my way of telling you about her more, so that you know how she is and that she is loved.

The orphanage named her Rulan, and cared for her for over a year while they looked for parents for her. In that time she grew and found her love of music.  When we adopted her she was 16 months old, scared to be with strange looking people who spoke funny and didn’t know what she liked. We named her Jade Mei Rulan. Mei Mei for short. The one thing that connected us was music.  That first night on the TV was music and she would move her head from side to side and shack her hands gently to the rhythm.  It took her 3 days but finally she relaxed and accepted me as her mother.

She is 5 now and so full of life.  Her smile brings me out of my bad days.  She loves to sing and dance.  She is so smart.  She went to her first Broadway play and sung all the songs from the show she knew.   She can hear a song and only after the third time can sing it word for word.  She loves to snuggle and hug.  She is a flirt.  We cannot go anywhere without her finding a little boy to sit and play with.  She has an older sister, a gigi as you would say. They are the best of friends.  She had such a big heart.  If someone is sad she is the first one to hug them.  Have I mentioned how smart she is?  She can add and subtract.  She loves to read and always wants to know how to spell something or what does that mean.  She will be starting school this fall.  She is scared but excited to go to learn and make new friends.

We talk about you often.  We pray for you at night.  And tonight as I tried to help her to go back to sleep, I asked her if she saw that her and I looked different.  She said yes but not really.  I don’t see that we do.  I forget sometimes that I didn’t have the privilege to give birth to her.  She was born from my heart as we say in her story. 

I wanted you to know, mother to mother, how I feel about you.  There are no words I will ever be able to think of to say how grateful I am to you.  You have given me the most beautiful gift anyone ever could have.  I am so honored to be her mother and to give her the love that you wanted to.  To hear her call me mommy and to see the life in her eyes as she swings on a swing letting her hair fly around her and hearing her laugh is priceless.  I truly wish there was a way to share that with you.  I see you in her.  Though we will never meet, I see your face in hers and know that she was loved once by you and still is although she is so far away.  And one day I hope for you to meet her.  So that both her and I can tell you thank you.
For now, I promise you that she will continue to be loved and cared for.  That she will go to school and become whatever she wants to be, although I think she may be a singer or on Broadway someday.  I will always love her as my own, and protect her as you would have.  She will grow to be a strong independent loving woman, who is so grateful to us both for the life we have given her.  Yours by her birth and mine by my love and guidance.  She will know she has truly had the best of both worlds and the love of two women who never met but both loved her as our daughter.  

Peace, Love, & Hope~JC

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