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I am young when I first hear the word 'adoption'. I am so very young, perhaps three, maybe four. I accept it easily when my mother sits me down and explains that I did not grow beneath her heart, but rather in it. I nod my head, smile big, and ask when I'm getting a little sister. My mother kisses me on the forehead and puts her hand on my head as she stands up. "If you wish on a star, Sarah, maybe she will be here very soon." I practice my wishing until night's companions wink merrily in the sky.



Dear Anna,
I turned seventeen just recently. I thought of you when I woke up, and I wondered if you were thinking of me. I like to think that you were, that we think of each other at the same time. That you know I think of you, too. There is no limit to what I wonder, Anna, not when it comes to me and you and everyone else that shares this common blood. I wonder if you have my eyes, the green with murky brown mostly, but bright and vivid when I am angry. Do you have the nose, lips, smile? Do you argue anything and everything? Do you love how words can soothe like a balm or set fire to your veins?
Oh, Anna, how I wonder.



A month after I turn five, my wishes on those stars pay off. I am getting ready for a birthday party, twirling around in a pink-checked dress when my parents draw me reluctantly away from the mirror. They tell me that they have a surprise. That I'm to be a big sister. That there will be a baby, a little girl they are bringing home today. The birthday party, so anticipated, is forgotten in the swirl of pinks and purples and baby doll dresses and a little sister! A little sister of my very own, the girl that will grow to follow in my footsteps. The genetic ties that do not link us don't matter in the least.



Dear Anna,
This is who I am:
I am Sarah, seventeen years old, only five foot four, with curly brown hair (it used to be straight, but now defies me daily and springs out in multitudes of unseemly directions). I am small hands, small feet, small bones: infinitely breakable. I am Sarah, a girl who loves to write, a girl slowly making the shift from child to adult. I am Sarah, your very own but also not yours at all.  
I am Sarah, but I am so much more than words on a page.
I want you to know me, Anna, really know me. I want to know you. I want us to be more than the things of the dreams that occur in that infinitesimal space between sleeping and waking.  



My uncle is talking to me as we pile food onto our already straining paper plates. It is Christmas Eve, smells of sugar and sweet potatoes mingling on people's breaths. His speech is slurred slightly, betraying the jumble of his thoughts. My uncle, kind and good and reeling from another episode of the bipolar disorder simmering beneath his skin, has something to tell me. "I've had three names, Sarah." He says, counting each off on his fingers. "I understand, Sarah. You talk to me if you need to." He understands, he tells me. He understands. My uncle's three names haunt him, the most persistent of ghosts. His first was really a lack of identity, a nameless child alone in the world until my grandparents found love in him, in themselves. The second: a long, complicated tongue-twister of a Polish surname. The third: my grandfather's adaption from that name to the simplistic moniker 'Martin', after this own father. My uncle's own adoption is a ghost in his past, his three names trailing behind him like chains.



Dear Anna,
I am terrified of rejection. I deal horribly with it, be it from middle school plays or the top auditioned band. I suffer for it, as dramatic as that may sound. So, Anna, it must be said that I want your acceptance so badly that it is an almost constant ache that began somewhere in the marrow of my bones and now laces stealthily around nerve endings and synapses. I am both enthralled and shivering in anxiety at the possibility of meeting you. What if you do not like me? What if there is nothing to tie us together but twisting strands of our genetics? Maybe I am not terrified of rejection. Maybe I am terrified of never being enough.
My mother is cautious about letting me reach out to contact you. She tells me I must be cautious, that I must wait until I become a legal adult. She says she will support me in anything I choose to do, but that you might not want any contact with me. She says I must prepare myself for this.
This is a hard thing to prepare for.
How could you not want to meet me, when I ache to know you? Why would you not want to know if I am like you, or your mother, or brother? I want to know if you have children, if you're married, if you've made a life for yourself. I hope you have found joy. I hope you have hope and love and meaning. I hope.
But I have to understand, somehow, that you may not be ready yet. That you may never be ready. I know you have your own heartaches and hurts. I would never, Anna, never want to be another heartbreak sprung from the past to haunt you. If you want nothing more than to move on and leave the past to the past, I could never, would never, deny you that right. I say this because I love you. Even though we are strangers, you and I, I love you. For your sacrifice, for your courage, for your own love.
I have never condemned you for your choices. I never will.



There is a letter written to me. It is addressed with my name, dated November 22, 1994. The shape of the letters is familiar, reminiscent of my own hand. The words themselves are eloquent, and I can almost taste the emotion behind them. There is pain here, but there is also a strange, sad hope, beautiful and bittersweet.



Dear Sarah Elizabeth,
I'm not sure how to begin this letter; there are so many things I want to say to you. I'll guess I'll start by saying how very much I love you, and though we are not together, you will always be a part of me. I will always love you. I chose to give you to your parents because I loved you, because I knew that they could give you all the things that I was not prepared to give. I am only eighteen and have a lot of learning and growing up to do myself. How could I possibly teach someone else (you) the things I have yet to learn?
And though giving you up is probably the most difficult thing I have ever had to do, I know that I have made the right decision. I have never loved anyone as completely as I love you!
Love always,
Your birthmother



Leslie and I sit in the warmth of the restaurant, glad for the steam off the bowls of soup in front of us. She fiddles with her spoon, a small, private smile playing at the edges of her lips. Her eyes are dancing. "We get along so well. It's weird how…similar we are. We sent each other the same gift for Christmas, did I tell you? Totally by accident!" She looks up, tentative joy backlit in brown eyes. Leslie talks of her own birthmother, now a presence in her life. I am so very happy for her, but behind that happiness there is something darker, a creeping jealousy that cuts like a dull knife. She must see some of it, because Leslie puts a hand over mine. "You're going to find her someday. I just know it. Even if you don't, you'll always know how very much she loved you." And there is this. There is this to hold like heaven in my mind. There is always Anna's sacrifice. There is always her love.



Dear Anna,
I may never know you. I may never have anything but my eyes (so similar to yours, my mother says) and a letter signed with your love. And, Anna, I may hurt. I may cry enough to fill an ocean with saltwater tears. I may bleed.
But I will be okay. I will be alright knowing just that I was enough for you, that you loved me enough to let me be loved by my parents. There is this, Anna. There is this incredible love between the two of us. You have already given me so much.   
You have already given me the world.
Love always,
Sarah
This was written for my AP Language and Composition class. It is composed of a series of letters to my birthmother, who I currently do not have contact with. The segments that don't begin with "Dear Anna" are flashbacks. My birthmother's name is not Anna, but I changed it here to protect her privacy.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2012-11-26
This Common Blood by ~bangingonkeyboards ( Suggested by xlntwtch and Featured by BeccaJS )
:iconcoralsky123:
coralsky123 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014   Traditional Artist
Absolutely moving. Brought me to near tears. Your words are so lovely, and well compiled. This is just lovely. 
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:iconbangingonkeyboards:
bangingonkeyboards Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Student Writer
thank you!
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:iconcoralsky123:
coralsky123 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014   Traditional Artist
You're very welcome. 
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:iconpmcde7:
pmcde7 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Student Writer
I read this again, after favouriting it a while ago (it shows up in sta.sh) and it's just as moving as it was the first time. Absolutely beautiful :heart:
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:iconbangingonkeyboards:
bangingonkeyboards Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Student Writer
thank you!
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:iconmaddie1000:
Maddie1000 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013
This is more beautiful than anything I have ever, ever seen!It's Beautiful! (I know I already said that Twice)
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:iconglad101:
Glad101 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012
Thats a pretty moving story. My favorites are filled with fluff, nothing really serious; cool paintings and a lot of Adventure Time stuff. But your story was something I want to be able to read and reread over the years, just to be reminded of what was in the mind of a young girl as she dealt with something she had so little control over, and it looks like she came out the victor!
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:icondorieanna:
Dorieanna Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That's, oh my gosh, beautiful is not even the word for it.
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:iconimaginary--thoughts:
Imaginary--Thoughts Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Student Writer
Not sure what to say, but I figure I should say something since I'm sitting here crying. Absolutely beautiful. This shows an incredible use of language, but your honesty is even more incredible. I don't know anyone who has been in this situation, but it feels the same reading this as if a friend had spent an hour telling me how it feels. I very much wish you the best.
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:iconmelrissbrook:
melrissbrook Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
thank you
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:iconxxmunkzillaxx:
xXMunkZillaXx Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I cried a smidge. Thank you for sharing this :)
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:iconprecipitously:
precipitously Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
i wish we did these kinds of things in my ap english classes... T_T

it was beautiful :)
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:iconkittylouise:
kittylouise Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
My mother gave up a baby girl in 1962. I have never met her but I often think of my sister and what might have been. I originally read this as two sisters writing to each other (one aware of the other and the other not) until about half way through when I realized what it truly was about. The emotion was very relatable. Thank you for sharing your heart.
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:iconslayer-1412:
Slayer-1412 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student General Artist
You are very courageous for writing this. It's bitter, with a small speck of sugar in your reality that you've shared by writing this piece. I pray you'll find her some day, Sarah Elizabeth.
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:iconcaliforniaclipper:
CaliforniaClipper Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
So bittersweet, so real. Thanks for sharing. I really can't do this justice in a comment right now. But a short quick comment is better than nothing. ^^;
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:iconrynn007:
Rynn007 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
my own adoptive mother had cross stitched that very line "You didn't grow beneath my heart, but in it" and it's hung on the wall for years. I too am adopted, adopted at birth, and I too wish I could meet mine. There is a lady on facebook "Looking for Lindsey" but she's not my birth mother. She may be yours, she may not. I wish you luck in finding your birthmother.
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:iconiluvart88:
iluvart88 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
bittersweet
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:icon123leah:
123leah Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
this is beautiful... I'm like crying you gave me so many feels
:,)
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:iconnnyornieorknee:
NnyorNieorKnee Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is absolutely lovely~
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:icondaft--art:
Daft--Art Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
There must be a ninja *sniff* in the room, cutting onions...
This is amazing and heartwarming.
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:iconholygreatgrandparome:
holygreatgrandparome Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Oh my goodness. This is incredibly inspiring, just the motivation I need for my own stories. I've been suffering from some terrible writers' block, but reading this might help me get past it! Thank you for sharing your story with the world, and God bless.

Congrats on the DD!
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:iconpsycho-lally:
psycho-lally Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
that is really good and heart warming really
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:iconalessiac:
AlessiaC Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012   Digital Artist
Congrats on the DD ! :D
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:iconstarrymary:
StarryMary Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Such a captivating read
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:iconfulcrum45:
Fulcrum45 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Congratulations on a very well deserved DD! It was a poignant read - and I loved the voice. I hope that someday, you will get to meet your birthmother.
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:iconweasleywoman:
WeasleyWoman Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
***** 5 stars out of five!!
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:iconsalmonella-poisoned:
salmonella-poisoned Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
this is stunning.
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:iconjulezmarz:
JulezMarz Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
Beautiful writing...Very deep and moving. 10/10
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:iconvanshira:
Vanshira Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This reminds me that recently (within the past year), the state I live in unlocked old adoption records, giving thousands of people the right to finally see their real birth certificates and know the names of their birth mothers. (Before then, the records were universally sealed no matter what birth or adoptive parents might want, as a privacy concern.) These weren't teenagers waiting for the rights of adulthood, these were grown men and women whose children might well be adults by now, who had all their rights but the right to know the truth.

I wonder how many of them found their Anna. And I wonder how many Annas finally found their Sarahs.
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:iconmizjaytee:
MizJayTee Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student General Artist
Well, I HAD the tears contained fairly well... And then I read the last sentences...
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:iconvanshira:
Vanshira Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I feel like I should apologize, but as a writer, I can't not be proud when my words move someone like that. Even if all I wrote was a comment.
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:iconmizjaytee:
MizJayTee Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Student General Artist
You should be proud! It's refreshing to feel some emotion even if it is a comment.
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:iconbiackfang:
BIackFang Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Professional General Artist
it makes me want to cry when i read this... i was given up for adoption when i was four and a half- i have no recolection of the past or my mother- infact i hardly remember anything- not my foster parents or even the court know- reading this- brings tears because i wish i knew my parents- i wish i knew what was wrong with me- why i am the way i am- i don't even know their names- the only thing i have from them- is my name- my true name- i wish i could see them- and i don't care if they arn't perfect- i just wish i knew who i was.
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:iconriverclan23:
Riverclan23 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student
This is simply beautiful and I hope things work out.
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:iconvolotation:
volotation Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student General Artist
c'est bien la photo
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:iconkarookachoo:
karookachoo Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
This is incredibly touching. I teared up! That does not happen that often.
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:iconsweetsandcharades:
SweetsAndCharades Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
Beautiful. :heart: :heart: :heart:
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:iconelf-in-mirror:
Elf-in-mirror Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
Beautiful.
Truly beautiful, and truly touching.

Thank you so much for sharing.
And congratulations on the DD! Well deserved.
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:iconscarabdynasty1:
ScarabDynasty1 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Okay first of all this is incredibly beautiful.

Also, Sarah Elizabeth? That's MY name :)
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:iconriparii:
riparii Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
Gentle, rich with emotion, beautifully written.
I honor you and your family for really understanding how to love.
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:iconrubydasquirlz:
RubyDaSquirlz Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student Writer
Beautiful, well written!
~wipes eyes and nose~ I'm not crying. ^^;
Great job!!
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:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Congrats on the well deserved DD! :heart:
Have a nice day! : )
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:iconinklingsofoblivion:
InklingsOfOblivion Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
So touching, a poignant read. :heart:
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:iconbrassteeth:
brassteeth Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
Congratulations on a VERY well Deserved D.D!
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:icontoska9:
toska9 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012
This is beautifully written! You have used some lovely descriptions and imagery.
Thank you for sharing such a personal subject with us.
I hope things work out well for you and wish you all the best.
:hexentanz:
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:iconbangingonkeyboards:
bangingonkeyboards Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you!
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:icontheeire:
TheEire Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Very touching and very personal. I enjoyed reading it. I had hoped for a reuniting. But I know that things like that don't always happen. I hope that if you do get that reunion that you write about it. I would love to know. :)

Blessings, Tammy
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:iconbangingonkeyboards:
bangingonkeyboards Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Student Writer
Thanks!
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:icontheeire:
TheEire Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You are welcome. :)
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012   Writer
:iconcongratulationplz: ...on a DLD Pick of the Day ... :iconclappingplz: ...we hope to read more someday. Thank you.
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