“I looked at your picture today and thought of taking you and the children on a drive to the park where we sit for hours in the warm sun.” Letter after letter, my grandfather sent messages of love and hopeful days ahead to his pregnant wife and sweet daughter while he served in WWII.

I wondered, as I read these sentiments, if we have lost the art of writing love letters. To me, there is nothing sweeter than kind words from those who mean the world to me. Sarah McLachlan got it right when she wrote “Your love is better than chocolate!”

Over my lifetime, I have received beautiful expression of gratitude, love, comfort, and hope from family and friends. Some of the sweetest and most precious love letters in my life have come from my adoption relationships. I will forever be grateful for the love, appreciation, and support we’ve received over the years from our children’s birth families and close adoption friends. These expressions of love have created a permanent imprint in my heart.

Not only do I appreciate the love they show us, I appreciate the love letters they have written my children. We have letters written from our children’s birth mothers explaining their decision to place and expressing their love. I appreciate how my children can read their birth mother’s stories from them, using their voice and words they would choose to describe their decision. It sounds different (to them) coming from us.

“I knew I could give you love with all of my heart, and I could give you all that I had, but it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t give you a mom and a dad. […] I wanted you to have great examples of what you could become. […] With all the love I had for you, I decided to place you for adoption. I picked for you a mom and dad that would love you. […] Their lives were on the path. . . where I want you to be.” These resolute words of love and purpose bring comfort to my son when he wonders why he was placed for adoption.

“It might sound selfish, but I am not. I’m just thinking about someone besides myself for the first time. […] I just hope one day you will understand my decision [to place]. It was a very hard decision. . . but I know in my heart I made the right choice, ” wrote another one of our birth mothers to explain her choice. Love is demonstrated when we choose to put someone else’s needs above our own.

I know some might say now that we have open adoptions, we can just tell each other how we feel in person or via text. And that is true, you can. I hope you do. Yet, to me there is value in writing down how you feel so the recipient can keep these words and read them to whenever he wants. They may remember and even hear the sentiment more if it is written in a more formal format.

“I love you with all of my heart and don’t want you to forget that!” “Just remember, I’m always thinking of you and wondering what you are doing. You’re always going to have a place in my heart!” These are comments our children’s birth mothers wrote to them, and mean the world to our family!

Aren’t these the words we love to hear? Have you written a love letter to your child you placed for adoption? Or if you are an adoptive parent, have you written a letter of love and appreciation to your child’s birth mother? I encourage you to take the time to formally express your love and gratitude to those who have touched your heart in a way no other could. Let’s share the love!