After 20 Years I Met My Daughter
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Hi, my name is Amy. I have…well, had, a baby. Before you look at me like I’m a terrible person, please, just be patient and hear my story.
Everything in my life seemed to be going right for a while. I had a wonderful boyfriend, Mark, a fantastic job that I loved…and then I saw those two little lines on the pregnancy test. Mark and I hadn’t talked about having kids, but we were financially stable and in love, so we decided we could handle it. I started to feel excited, elated, even.
That is, until right before Christmas. I got a call late at night, right after Mark left for work. What the police officer said on the other end of the line changed my life forever. Mark had died in a car crash…and just like that, in an instant, I was alone. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I could barely get out of bed. I had lost the father of my child. While I was mourning him, I lost my job because I couldn’t force myself to care enough to go into work.
Soon, I was barely hanging on. My mental health was terrible. Every day was just harder and harder. I started to realize there was no way I could raise my child. I couldn’t work, I was alone, I was depressed…
So I decided I would put her up for adoption. I wouldn’t get attached. When I had her…I tried not to look at her. But when I saw her eyes, her beautiful blue eyes…I started to doubt everything.
The doctors whisked her away before I could even say anything. It broke my heart, but I didn’t want a child now. Not when Mark is not here. I have to be strong and forget about giving birth to this child. Days passed, and the beautiful face of my baby didn’t leave me. I could see her and feel her everywhere. That’s when I started to feel regret. What had I done?! What kind of monster was I?
The next morning, I called the orphanage. I begged to have my daughter back. They told me she’s with her new parents now. She has been already adopted! I cried and begged, but they couldn’t help. That’s when I realized I had truly lost my daughter.
But I wasn’t going to give up. I was devoted to getting my daughter back. I tried every way possible and begged the orphanage director several times to give me the name of the adoptive parents, but she refused. I lost hope, and that’s when a young lady who works in the office where they archive the files, felt pity for me and told me the name of the parents. I then sent the parents a letter, begging for them to return her to me. When I finally got a letter back, my heart soared. I ripped it open, but what I found inside tore my heart in two: ‘We are Ella’s family now. Please stop contacting us.’
They named her Ella. Beautiful. But how can they ask me to do that? What was going to happen If she grew up knowing I hadn’t wanted her? I felt the panic setting in, the desperation…but I wasn’t ready to give up.
For years, I contacted the family. I sent letters daily... I was bouncing from job to job, narrowly escaping homelessness and struggling to find places to live. But one thing was consistent in my life: trying to get my daughter back, trying to talk to her.
For her fifth birthday, I sent a card addressed to Ella…and it got sent directly back to me. The family had rejected the letter, rejected my chance to reconnect with my daughter. Holding that letter back in my hands absolutely enraged me. I couldn’t move on until I had my daughter back in my life.
Music: Akram Artoul