I’m a member of a parenting listserv (Do people even use that computer term anymore? Probably not. I’m old.) and ran across this story that someone submitted in answer to a question about adoption outreach.
My husband and I had trouble conceiving a second child. Since adoption through an agency was too expensive for us, we decided to write a letter describing our family, ourselves as parents, our interests, our values, and our reasons for wanting to adopt a second child. We mailed this letter to every general practice, family physician and OBGYN in the phone book.Two or three years later, we received a phone call from one of the doctor’s office, offering us a baby. In the interim, I’d managed to get pregnant and have a beautiful son, so when the call came, I was no longer interested in adopting. I told this to the doctor’s secretary while asking her what would happen to this newborn if I didn’t take (the baby). She assured me that the Dr. had a list of people who had sent similar letters to the letter their office had received from my husband and me, and that she would be calling the next family on her list.
I can attest that these letters are not that uncommon. One of my parents was an OBGYN in a small town and sometimes mail meant for the office would arrive at our home. I can remember my parents reading through these and meticulously saving them in the chance that a patient was interested in adoption.
These letters are some of the most poignant and heartbreaking writings you will ever read. Often, it seemed the couple’s desire for a baby could leap from the pages and pictures they had enclosed and waft through the air, being inhaled into your lungs so that it became a part of you, allowing you to feel and experience their pain and longing for a child. If you or anyone you know has ever tried this technique and wondered if the doctor’s office saves these or throws them in the trash, rest assured that many, not only save them, but are moved by them and touched by your desire for a baby.
Despite being retired for nearly ten years, my parents can’t bring themselves to dispose of the letters they received. Their attitude is that these people opened up and shared so much of themselves that disposing of these letters would be akin to throwing away a physical part of the couple. Hence, each letter and accompanying pictures remain tucked safely inside its own plastic sheathing and stored in a special notebook.
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- mammalingo said: This was so beautiful and beautifully conveyed. Thank you for sharing this with us.
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- tthisishopesshitt said: I had no idea you could do that :O. But thats pretty amazing and heartbreaking all at once.
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