gallery Dear Adoption, A Letter to My Inner Child


Dear Adoption, A Letter to My Inner Child

Because of you, Adoption, I had this scared child, crying inside me and I really needed to know him better. Sometimes he’s so terrified that he wants to drive the bus, even when he can’t see over the dash. So I wrote him this letter.

“Hey big guy. You know this by now, but you have really shitty parents. Others know it too. They’re just incapacitated by either social conformity, their lack of authority, or a general fear of ‘getting involved’.


I know it sucks.

But let me tell you something that will be a bit of a shock, to some degree, at first, but then you’ll see the silver lining in it all. Your parents aren’t your parents. In fact, they’re not anyone’s parents. They’re physically incapable of pro-creating. Funny, huh? You’d think that when something were physically impossible we, as a society, wouldn’t enable what nature has said “no” to. But then again, society isn’t all that bright either. Back to the parents thing. You see another couple conceived you and fearing stigmatism or an inability to perform their very best, they gave you to an attorney who had a host of couples waiting to adopt a child. — Yes, even your sister is adopted. — So this couple did their best, frighteningly, to acquire you and wanted to raise you, but you’re not genetically connected to them or your sister. You’ll meet your birth parents much later in life and they have issues too, so don’t look to them as saviors.

So I need you to know a couple of things. First, I love you. I know you don’t feel like many do. You never match your father’s expectations (remember he’s not your father), and what your mother craves isn’t the love a child can give. You give your heart away to others hoping they see it as a treasure and will love you, but most won’t. However, I do. And eventually others will too. Don’t let how you cope with that disappointment now affect those relationships when they do arrive. Second, you can make it. Right now I know that you see darkness every day. If I can cast a glimmer into that darkness at all, it’s by saying you’re smart, capable, handsome, and right.

You’re right.

Your intuition is right on in thinking that something is wrong. Something is awry. It is; you’re right; people are going to tell you that you’re not but you are. I know because I can see back through this time from the other side.

Finally, I need you to do something for me. Make the most of what you can. It’s easy, and sometimes convenient to skate through. You have plenty of excuses: no support at home, alcoholic ‘parents’, early life losses, being lied to, being abused. But I really need you to do your best, always. Because one day it’s going to be just you and what you’ve built and everything else will fade. So do your best for that day when the mists disappear and it’s just you and me.

I love you.

Don’t give up.”

Read the continuation of Ridghaus’s journey here.

As a late-discovery adoptee and birth father, adoption is woven into the very fabric of Ridghaus’ life and identity. After completing a JD, he completed an MA in English Rhetoric as well as an MA in Film. For several years, he split time between teaching college courses and working on cable TV shows for National Geographic, Food Network, and Bravo. Today, when he is not instructing the next generation of filmmakers, Ridghaus is producing documentaries, including Six Word Adoption Memoirs (6WAM + 6WAM 2017). He also serves on the Dear Adoption, Board of Advisors. Ridghaus is fully committed to his family and giving voice to authentic storytellers within the adoption community in order to educate and create connections.


  1. Wow, as a senior cit adoptee I love what you wrote. Looking back on things we can see our childhood and ‘parents’ much clearer than when we we’re going through it. That whole time
    I adored my mother. Later I heard her lies, her egoism, etc.


  2. I teared up reading this. So much of what you shared is also my truth. Thank you for sharing this. I think I will write myself a letter too.


  3. Omg I can’t believe I just now came across this. I was going to try not to cry but dang it. :). If I were to write one to my inner child and have it come out perfectly explained and to a T, it would sound exactly like this. Thank you so much.

    I struggle the most with my A parents abandoning me long ago and having no relationship with them has killed me. They on the other hand are those who lack social gracious and definitely never want to get involved. Even if it’s the right thing to do. Heaven forbid step on a toe. Good lawd. It’s made me a much better parent and i know they’ve looked at my relationship with my son in jealousy and I say good. Sounds horrible but they ruined me.


  4. I was okay reading this until I came to the line which said “so I need you to know a couple of things. First, I love you”. This is when I lost it. I long to be able to say this to myself, but it is so hard. Thank you for showing me that it is possible, and I pray that one day I will have the strength to be able to say it to myself.


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