I don’t know if you had a choice almost 53 years ago.
This letter is neither a political statement nor a call to judgment. I refuse to go “there.” Simply, this is a letter of gratitude and thankfulness.
The day was October 11, 1962. The place was a foreign country. I’m sure if you’re still alive, there’s not a day that goes by that you don’t think about it.
While the world viewed Johnny Carson and the Cuban Missile Crisis, I can only imagine where your focus must have been. Was there anyone looking at you and the emotional pain you may have been in? Were you alone?
I don’t know what motivated you to give me up for adoption. Was it because you were single? Was it because I was biracial? Was it because your lover wanted nothing to do with you once it was discovered you were pregnant?
I’m thankful for many things because of what you decided to do.
I was given a family who loved me. Probably too much. My maternal grandmother, my mom, and my dad, all of whom I miss terribly.
I’m thankful for piano lessons, dance lessons, and life lessons by my grandmother. I’m thankful for friends with whom I have shared nail polish, current fashions, and laughter.
And tears. Oh yes, especially the tears.
And as the years have passed, the friends and life events have revolved around caregiving, death, raising a family, and how to “do” marriage. I’ve learned many things to this point by trial and error.
I’m thankful for the gift of marriage and my husband who loves me unconditionally. I’m thankful that I’m a mom to two sons who share physical traits with me. When I look in their eyes, I see myself, in more ways than one. And for those traits that are my polar opposites, it painfully and gloriously grows me into a better woman, mother, wife, and friend. I would not be who I am if it weren’t for the three of them.
Just so you know, I would never say I have all the answers. I don’t. But my life’s experiences have taught me to be teachable. And I’m a work in progress, for sure. I learn the most when my “epic fails” are ever before me. It keeps me humble and dependent on God as He continues to transform me into a person who can bring Him glory and credit for everything He has done in my life. Including – especially including – your decision to release me.
I’m thankful for the red, white, and blue. The flag. This country. Hot dogs covered with mustard, and the national anthem loaded with emotion.
I’m thankful for sunrises, deep conversations, music, chocolate, and warm weather. I love to sink my teeth into a filet mignon and a meaty book. I’m thankful for the passions in my life that motivate me to encourage others.
The world has changed in 52 years. You can find me in an instant.
I’ll be good either way. The choice is yours.