A Birthmother’s Book of Poetry

A Birthmother's Book of Poetry

by Susan Van Sleet
Post Adoption Consultant

Susan's Reunion Story: A Birthmother's Book of Poetry

"Written for the purpose of promoting deeper understanding about the adoption experience of the nineteen sixties…and the silenced emotions carried within my own heart for nearly three decades."

A Few Thoughts

As an artist it seemed quite natural for me to paint. Deep emotions were released. The poetry, however, came many years later, after reunion with my birthdaughter and when I allowed myself to pen them. As a married woman, and mother of three sons, it has been a most eventful life. We are family, my husband, our sons and me.

My firstborn child, a girl, was raised by wonderful parents she calls mom and dad. She was adopted at birth. We have met, at her request, and I am known as Susie to her.

She will probably never completely understand the adoption experience that physically connected us briefly, nor should she be expected to. She has always felt loved and secure …if only I had known.

The following poems will perhaps enlighten others who may have lived through the same or similar adoption experience.

It was a life choice, however, and it was made in her best interest at the time. She is a lovely woman and I am grateful that we've met. It has brought me inner peace of the highest order.


A birthmother's heart knows where it belongs
Yet feelings of yearning are forever strong
Sometimes all alone… she needs it that way

Who can imagine her deep-seated sorrow
As each new day becomes a tomorrow
With hope or fear or anger or tears
Her emotions continue over the years …

And then one day as if by magic
She tries to erase
That haunting thought of
…Who has my face?

I beg of you to understand
Those of you judging in reprimand
It was a different time, a different place
Please leave me alone,
I need my own space …

We Have Met
And we have grown
Claiming an abstract space
We call our own

Life's puzzle piece
Shall it remain?
Or leave quietly
As in it came
A heart is always a heart
But then a name, just a name …

Ode To a Birthmother

When a birthmother's heart bids her go seek
Healing through truth begins to speak
Of the mother with child not kept together
And the love she gave in trusted measure

…You have permission to unlock your heart
For a child's life was shared from its very start
Your gift to others so generously shared
Proves love for your child, beyond compare …


Can you imagine after all of these years
The unspoken words and repressed fears
To confront now the issues never uncovered
And try to explain them to yet another

This child of mine is deserving to know
With knowledge comes truth
Is this truth really needed …
Back decades ago

Who considered my sorrow
People saw only the day
Unprepared for tomorrow
To the system I say

My tomorrow is here
And where are you now
To help with my fear …

To My Birthchild

Who are you my child,
raised by another…

Who are you my child
and who is your mother

Who are you my child
will I ever see

Who are you my child,
do you look like me

If fate plays its part
and someday we meet …
Will the pain be erased,
will we then feel complete

A puzzle at times this
thing called adoption
Yet I know in my heart,
I chose the right option

In closing I know
if fate never takes place
I will see you in heaven
God has saved us our space …

The Wish

A birthmother's wish
Might it come true
And how would you know
It is my wish for you

A connection by longing
And with it some fear …
Will you seek a reunion
Is the time drawing near

Please grant me acceptance
As you hear what I say
It is our first chance
It is our first day …

A Certificate

A certificate of birth
Filed not with the rest
Years later I knew
You would follow your quest

To find me
To know me
To love me at best …

Credits: Susan Van Sleet

One Response to “A Birthmother’s Book of Poetry”

  1. My son found me. You would understand. You experienced a closed adoption. It’s not just him. Hes married. He invited me to the wedding. I altered dresses…. Not enough time. he and his wife want me deeply involved yet not at all. I have not had a chance to tell him our story. I tried… But its always the wrong time. I’m in limbo.

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