How do you begin to write a letter to a biological parent you have never met? What greeting do you use? Dear Dad? The getting started is always the hardest for me despite having written a similar letter almost a decade ago to my biological mother. This letter was different. I didn’t know if he “knew” about me or if he had logged into Ancestry to see our results, or if he would be open to a daughter. I also wasn’t on a mission for information. I was simply curious. I was curious about him. I was curious about our Hawaiian heritage. I was curious if knowing him would help me feel a deeper sense of belonging.
The letter to my mother 11 years ago was mission driven. After two miscarriages, I needed to better understand why I couldn’t keep a pregnancy. I was interested in biological information only. The letter I wrote was a step towards being a mother not necessarily a step towards finding my mother. To me, that felt less personally vulnerable than a letter to my newly found dad. (Okay, so secretly I will admit I have always been curious about my parents…I can’t imagine any adopted child not being curious!)
Since dinner, about every 60 – 90 minutes I would receive a text from my sister asking about my progress in writing a letter to my dad (albeight she did sleep for a few hours and the texts stopped). This did not help. The words were not coming because I didn’t know how to start. Instead of writing I was able to come up with multiple chores around the house to keep myself busy as time ticked on.
By 3 p.m. I was finally recognizing if this letter was to be mailed today (Saturday, January 6, 2018) I had to write it in order to make it to UPS by 5 pm. I wanted to ensure the tone of the letter was a balance of not too needy but not too independent. Piece of cake, right? I included in the letter that I would be in Maui the following week as well as my personal contact information. I got the thumbs up from my hubby and with just a few minutes to spare I sent the letter! UPS reported the letter should arrive Thursday morning.
Let the waiting begin.