Editor’s note: we received the following letter from “Alice”, a woman who was born in Asia and adopted by an American couple at seven months of age. She grew up Catholic. Then, several months before she was to graduate high school, her adoptive mother “dropped a bomb on our family.” She had decided to leave her husband to pursue a relationship with another woman. Alice grew confused and found herself unable to understand how to relate to her mother’s new situation, so she chose to accept her, “not knowing that I was accepting her lifestyle, too.” Things became difficult after her parents divorced, and eventually Alice stopped talking to her mother, and was out of contact with her for over a decade.
Alice later got married and had children of her own. She writes:
I had a conversion of heart on my maternity leave with my youngest son who is now three. (After my conversion of heart, I felt I was faced with a choice and I ran to confession after 20+ years, discovered the TLM then sprinted there. Everything got better for me, spiritually and temporally, after that.)
Earlier this year, somehow my mother found me on Facebook and left a message. She asked me if we could have a relationship, or at least a Facebook relationship. After a few months of processing this surprise message, I prayed, talked to my confessor, and wrote [the following] response to her.
Alice thinks it is important for others in situations like hers to understand that wayward parents need prayers, but also boundaries. She lays out those boundaries in her letter to her mother (all names have been changed to protect privacy):
Thank you for your letter to me on Facebook.
I, too, keep you and Grandma in my prayers and always will. I, too, am sorry for the way things turned out between us. I am deeply sorry for any pain that I caused you and brought to our past relationship before and after the divorce.
There are things that you should know, though, that stem from the divorce. After you left dad, it was like someone spun me around for weeks, let me go, and expected me to find my way in the dark; disorientating to say the least.
First off, I want you to know that I love you. And, I will always love you. You were the only mother that I knew, loved, and wanted. Up to my late teens, you were my mom. You were a mother not just in title. You were my world — the heart of the home. However, motherhood does not have a time limit or expiration date. By the grace of God mothers are the family’s glue. You were that glue for our family.
You made a choice to be married, have children, rear them the best you could, and stay for the formative years. Growing up, you helped with bringing me to Christ. And that foundation is very much a part of me today. And for that, I love you, and sincerely thank you. Thank you for all that you did for me. From choosing me from a picture to that first embrace and kiss of love; from a mother to her child. I thank you for that first foundation. How precious a gift to answer that call to be a mother and be entrusted with such gifts from God! Too much worth to put a price on. And, how powerful a mother’s influence is on her children is truly from The Almighty. I only understand now because I am a mother myself. Children are very delicate beings indeed. So, for being my mother in my earlier years, I am forever grateful that God gave me to you.
But, something happened. Something evil. You chose Satan and all his lies. He proposed to you and you said “yes.” Your God-given gift of free will did not have me in mind that day. I don’t know when this moment took place. It could have been from the very beginning and my guess is that it was, but little did I know then it would be the saddest day of my life; a cross thrust upon me to carry for the rest of my life. How completely unfair for children to be blindsided by evil. But, that is what Satan does — divide and conquer. The former yes, he accomplished that, but the latter no, he did not win. Praise Jesus. Praise His holy Name. Forever and ever.
As a teenager who grew into a spiritually directionless and confused adult, I needed a mother — my mother. And everywhere I turned, no one was there, so I kept going. I know you tried giving me sound advice, but in retrospect, you were already “of this world”. I could not have drawn water from an empty well. Bitterly, angrily, and mournfully I have cried to Our Lord asking, “why did she choose this world over her family?!” Long did I wish that being your baby would have been more than enough to help you see Christ more, sacrifice more for Him as He gave everything to you. I needed my mother to lead me back to Jesus.
What happened to you to become so utterly blinded by the smoke of Satan? What did he present to you that day, whenever it was, that was so much more fruitful and sanctifying than Christ’s love and blood that was shed for you? What was so much more appealing to you of this world to let go of your family who loved you?
If there’s any seed that I can leave in your heart and mind right now, it would be that I still love you. And, so much so, that the Holy Spirit in me is reaching out to you in hopes of reawakening you. But, you need to lift that suppressing log on your heart, mind, body, and soul cutting you off from His love, so that you may allow the Holy Spirit to work in you once again.
I know we are all sinners and equally so in God’s eyes. But, to keep on sinning is where the damage is. Do you not remember all of this? Do you not remember the Catholic Church’s teachings that you once so lovingly adhered to? Do you not remember what it felt like to be truly loved by Him? Consoled by Him? Fulfilled by Him? Who told you that your worth is less than what God tells you it is? And why was that worth the trade? Or has it been that long that you have forgotten? There is no mercy without repentance. I pray that you let go of sin, let go of this world. You have to cooperate with His will for you and say yes to Him once again. Come back to the Cross and He will put you back on the right path.
I cannot have a relationship with you while you are choosing to cooperate with and live in sin. My prayers are with Susan as well, and had I known what I know now, I would have offered the same advice to her too. I fight against sin every day for the love of Christ. I will not rewind and cooperate with sin by letting it into my present life or my family’s life. I know that the Christ-loving mother who helped raise me still knows this. However, I am also wise enough to know that it is still not her.
Here I am, 39 years old, and it took me 36 years to feel as whole as I do today because of Christ tirelessly searching for me and calling me back. I had finally answered and it is ONLY in Him I am whole.
In Christ’s peace,
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