An Open Letter to My Birth Mom on My Birthday

To my birth mom–

Today’s my birthday.

But, you probably already knew that, didn’t you?

While today’s the day that my friends and family celebrate me, you’re probably reliving–or maybe forcing yourself not to relive–one of the hardest days of your life.

I won’t speak for you, because I don’t know you. I know some of your people, some of the ones who’ve had the privilege of loving both you and me. They’ve told me that giving me up was incredibly hard for you. I can only begin to imagine.

Over the past few years, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to think of you on this day that’s supposed to be all about me. I think about how hard labor must’ve been–I know I was two weeks late. Sorry about that. And that I wasn’t exactly the smallest of babies. You’re a champ.

Really. Instead of doing what some may call easy when you found out you were pregnant, unwed, and well, frankly, alone, you chose the hard path. You chose to carry me to term and to hand me over to someone else to raise because you knew that’s what would be best for me. You chose to eat healthy, take care of yourself, go to the doctor, and protect me while I grew because you wanted me to have a life that was better than what you could’ve offered me at the time. That’s pretty awesome.

And pretty selfless. I really can’t even begin to imagine watching your body change, telling your friends and family, and experiencing this crazy miracle of a thing called birth yet not getting to reap the benefits. Every mama I know who talks about labor being hard says that it was so worth it when they got to look into their baby’s face, got to hold their child, got to become a mom.

But you did something radical. You gave me up.

I’m writing this to you, on my birthday, to tell you thank you. You may never read this. I may never know. But, if you do read it or if you somehow come across this, I want you to know how thankful I am for what you did. You chose life for me–an incredible life, by the way–even though it wasn’t the easiest decision.

You gave me the opportunity to have birthdays. To be celebrated and loved and cherished by the people I do call Mom and Dad and by the people around me. You gave me this day. I can’t go by another year, another birthday, and not publicly thank you for the selfless act you made twenty-four years ago.

So, dear birth mom, thank you. For every single birthday I ever have. For the life you gave me when you chose to continue an unwanted and unplanned pregnancy.

I’ll always be thankful, today and everyday.

5 thoughts on “An Open Letter to My Birth Mom on My Birthday

  1. This so touched me! I am an adoptee also. I found my family in my 20s. God clearly revealed to me why He choose for me to have the DNA I do but to be raised by the family that did. One blessing out of the reunion is the relationship I have kindled with my sister, such a treasure. Did you happen to hear Stephen Story at Crawford on 12/6? He did a beautiful sermon on God’s Good Purposes. It is a message that every birth mother should hear.

    • Oh, that is so encouraging! I know some of my birth family, and it has been so cool to see the Lord’s hand in my life in that area. I wasn’t there that day, but I will have to check out that sermon. Thanks for commenting and reading!

  2. I have shared this story with two people since reading it. One is my friend that give her child up for adoption over 40 years ago. Your letter helped to heal her heart. She seems to have God’s peace about her decision but this letter was so helpful because it shows that the adoptee could one day come to know and appreciate that what she did was actually from a heart of love and a desire to give her child what she couldn’t give and that it was her way of giving her child the best life possible and that her child could one day see that for themselves and be grateful for her decision rather than feel bitterness or rejection.

    The other person is someone I love dearly that has just learned they will be a parent in a few months as the result of a one time experience with someone. I wanted them to know that adoption can be the best and most loving and sacrificial option sometimes. I want them to consider that they could be used to bless a family that has prayed for a child for so long. I want them know the joy that they can give to such a family that would be thrilled at the thought of raising a child versus the emotions they now feel about parenting a child at this point in their life with someone they don’t even know when they are ill equipped to give this child their best.

    Your letter helped to speak to both of the people and to me. It has already been used for so much good.

    Thank you Ashton. You are blessed and have blessed me with your story.

    • Mrs. Wendy! I am so sorry it took me forever to reply, but thank you so very much for sharing this with me. I really did not expect the response to this letter that I got, but I am so grateful that the Lord used it to speak to your friends (and others). It means so much to me that you would share it with your loved ones!

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