Dear Monkey's birthmom,
I am thinking of you today. Five years ago, sometime while we slept, completely unaware of the way our life was changing, you gave birth to a squalling, scrawny baby boy in a third world hospital on the other side of the world. Twenty one months later, I would stand outside that very hospital room and wonder what it was like for you to give birth in those conditions - beds shared with other laboring mothers, and in most cases, without sheets or blankets. I wonder who attended you, who saw our son enter into the world and take his first breath, and if those people realized what a very precious gift they were holding in their hands.
I know there were many different choices you could have made for him and for your life. No matter what else you have done right or wrong, I am so incredibly thankful that you made the choices you did - that you chose life when you wouldn't have had too, and that you chose to hand over his care to a wonderful, loving, and safe organization that would eventually deliver him into my arms.
I wonder what that day was like, when he was taken from the hospital to CSC. Were there tears in your eyes as you held him for that last time? Did you think of him as your body ached and healed from the effort of giving him birth? I wonder what he thought as he saw his very first Caucasian faces, as they picked him up, held him gently, fed him, and consoled him on the ride that would eventually lead him to me.
I think about all of the people at CSC who cared for him during the months that followed - that saw his first smile, comforted him after his surgery, saw him take his first steps, and celebrated his very first birthday....all before I was even aware that I had another son.
And I think of the day I finally held him in my arms. He didn't really like me much at first - I was a stranger, and he was quite happy with his familiar caregivers at CSC. His life was taking another huge turn, and he was too young to understand the significance.
And now, he can't imagine having ever lived without us. And we can't imagine life without him.
So, dear birthmother, I think of you today. And I thank you. It is our son's fifth birthday.