Jon wrote ours, and it really touched my heart. Our agency hasn't reviewed it, and after they do they could ask us to change it. But here it is in the first draft stage. I decided to post it because Jon hasn't posted to the blog yet, and I found his letter so lovely. I hope you enjoy it.
Dear Birth Mom,
My name’s Jon, and my wife Nikisha and I have made the decision to open our home to a new family member. I have to admit, it’s a little bit scary because we’ve never been parents before. We’re used to taking care of Nikisha’s great-grandma, who is 92 and has lived with us for the past four years, but to have a small child dependent on us will be a big step. Part of me feels like we are prepared for the responsibility and part of me has no idea what to expect.
I want you to know why we want to adopt. We don’t know for sure if Nikisha can have children or not, but there is reason to believe that she would have a difficult and risky pregnancy if we did attempt to have a child. But, to be honest, we have not tried and don’t want to try to have a child. We’d rather help out a child who is already in need of a loving family. Some people look at us weird when we tell them Nikisha’s not trying to get pregnant and we’d rather adopt. We just feel we’d be doing more good by adopting. It seems like the right thing to do.
You may still be deciding whether adoption is the best option for your baby. Whatever decision you make, I respect you for considering so seriously what is best for your child. Thank you for caring enough to try to give your child the best life they can have.
I feel like the purpose of this letter is supposed to be to tell you all about how well prepared we are to be parents, but I don’t want you to think we’re trying to make ourselves sound like we’re the best. We can offer a safe home and a caring family. We would try our best to be great parents. But that’s nothing special – that’s the least you should expect. I’ll tell you a little more about us, just so you have an idea who we are.
Nikisha and I live outside of Washington DC in northern Virginia. We met nine years ago when she was a student at the college where I got my first real job. Now, Nikisha is a high school teacher and I work in Information Technology. Nikisha is working on her Masters degree and I have two Bachelors degrees. We’re not very nerdy, though. I grew up loving sports and still love hiking, kayaking, and playing basketball. We live about two minutes from the nearest playground and basketball court, ten minutes from the nearest river, and thirty minutes from the nearest mountains, so we’re in a good location for all those things. Nikisha teaches theatre at the high school – which is a seven minute walk from our house – and she directs plays every chance she gets. She’s actually really talented, and I’m not the only one who says so. She’s also acted in several college and community theatres, and has had several lead roles. I like to be on stage also, playing music. I’ve been playing the guitar and writing songs for years and have had the opportunity to play with some pretty famous people (who I’m sure have forgotten me by now.) ☺ I’m not telling you this to brag about us, I just want you to know that Nikisha and I both believe that children should be exposed to as many activities as possible when they are young – sports, music, theatre, outdoor activities… really anything to help them see the possibilities they have for their lives and help them find things they love and can enjoy all the way through adulthood.
Nikisha and I are a little weird in some ways. For example, we never watch television. We like to read a lot when we have time – mostly in the winter when it’s too cold to do anything outside. We think that kids can learn a lot more from reading than from playing video games or watching TV, so we’ll be the kind of parents that only let their kids watch TV shows about nature or history or something educational. And maybe a few Disney movies, too. ☺ As you might expect since Nikisha is a school teacher, we believe kids should get a good education. But we don’t necessarily think that a normal college degree is what will make every child successful. We believe that success is about finding what you are good at and what you enjoy, and doing that for the rest of your life. So we do expect our children – we would like several, but we haven’t decided how many – to get some sort of education after high school – whether that be college, or a trade school, or culinary school, or anything that allows them to develop their talents and gives them the tools they need to support themselves and have a happy life.
We don’t have any expectations of our future children, except that they always do their best and always try to be kind to other people. We don’t want them to grow up to be rich, unless that is what they want to do. We don’t care if they grow up to dress like us or think like us. We want them to feel comfortable to be themselves – whoever they might be. We’ll always be there to give advice, but mostly, we’ll be there to give a hug and to accept them and support them as they grow into adulthood. Life is difficult and kids face enough pressure without their parents trying to control every aspect of their lives. We hope that whatever challenges our children face in life, they will always know that we will always be there for them.
Well, I apologize for rambling. Hopefully that tells you a lot about us, and I thank you for reading all of that. There’s something else that the agency would like us to talk to you about. They’d like us to tell you how we would explain to the child that they are adopted. They have mentioned to us several times the challenges that adopted children face when they think about who they are and what it means to have a birth family and an adoptive family. So I’ll tell you honestly how I feel about it, and I won’t pretend that I have all the answers.
I don’t know what it is like to be an adopted child. I do know what it is like to be loved and accepted. Many of the kids I grew up with were raised by their grandparents and some were adopted, and from what I can tell, the most important thing is that they had someone who loved them. Nikisha and I will do our best to explain to our child what adoption means and explain that their parents wanted what was best for them. We’ll ask for help from the agency so that we have a better idea of what to say. We’ll read books and ask our friends that were adopted if they have any advice. But I think the most important thing is that our children know we love them. They will have a lot to think about when they consider what it means to be adopted. But they need to know that we won’t judge them when they question who they are. And they need to know that we won’t be disappointed in them if they are curious about their roots or their heritage. We are excited to help our children become the people they want to be and will try to help them every step of the way. We won’t always know the right things to do or say. But we’ll try.
Well, that’s a lot to read. I appreciate you reading about us. I’m not sure if we’ll ever get the chance to meet you, so I’ll try to say the most important things right now. We think you are a wonderful person for wanting to do what’s best for your child. We hope that your child grows up to be happy and that he or she appreciates you. And I hope that you know that we are wishing the best for you and your child.