What’s a Picture Worth?

Dear N.-

They say a picture is worth a thousand words…but are they the right words, the most accurate?  In the past year, I’d guess I’ve sent you 100 or more pictures of Woob.  I’ve wanted to capture his goofy smiles, his chunky legs, his quick growth, and his gorgeous cherub face.  I’ve wanted you to see him happy, playing with his toys, in all his cutest outfits, while he eats, crawls, sleeps and bathes.  These pictures are fun and easy to take and I do it as much for myself as for you.  Someday when I have the time, I will lovingly place each one in a scrap book, make it pretty, and tell the story of Woobie’s first year, his second, his third.

But there’s so much I can’t capture for you with a camera.  The pictures don’t illustrate what it feels like the moment his body relaxes and he finally drifts off into a true deep sleep.  They won’t let you know the frustration he feels when he’s told “no” for the 100th time, or when he tries over and over to pull himself up without success.  You won’t be able to see the love in his eyes for his “rag” when he grabs it with his chubby little hand at naptime, or the thrill he gets from crawling down the hall when he knows you’re going to chase him, the determination and pride on his little face when he learns something new.  There are so many details in a day, those things that make him who he is, that you might never know.  A year has gone by and I fear so much has been missed. 

Even if I could find a way to pass these things on to you in pictures and letters, I’m not even sure it would be fair to.  I fear that if you truly knew what had been missed this year, the sorrow might be too fierce.  In one year so much happens. 

I’m so conflicted right now–caught between a true wish for you to be able to experience some form of motherhood with this child and the frustration of not knowing if you even want that experience yourself.  Am I putting way more effort and emotion into this than I should?  Did you make your decision and never look back?  My heart tells me no.

But despite what my heart is telling me, soon you’ll receive the next letter:  light, conversational, and upbeat with pictures to match.

Hope to hear from you soon.



Filed under adoption, birthparents

4 responses to “What’s a Picture Worth?

  1. I am so blessed by your compassion for your child’s birthmother as well as by your honesty concerning your conflicted feelings. Blessings you and sweet Woob today.


  2. Oh Mama2roo. You are a kind and generous soul. I suspect that even if you thought you were putting too much time and effort into it and decided to back off, you wouldn’t really be able to. During times when I think it’s all too much and I need to take a mental break, I just find that I can’t. I think once we start down this kind of road . . . that’s kind of it. And that’s a good thing, really. It’s just so filled with emotion that it can be exhausting. But then I realize that it’s much less than what our children’s first mothers bear.


  3. mom2one, thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one out there feeling like this…

    Sherri–thanks for your kind words

  4. I feel like this every hour of the day. Rest assured, your words and my thoughts are one and the same.

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