forth. I was clear from the beginning that
this relationship was between you and me
and did not include your son. I had to be able
to trust you to keep my daughter safe. You
totally got it, along with the fact that I had
two other children through adoption, so you
just became everyone’s “Gramma B.”
You sent gifts for everyone’s birthday and
the holidays—often gorgeous items you had
knitted. All of my children sleep under blan-
kets you made and look forward to boxes of
books from your library sale. We both cau-
tiously opened our hearts to this relationship
and learned as we went along about how an
open adoption can work.
We started to e-mail every week or so,
sharing the details of our lives. You send us
recipes and craft ideas, I send photos and
art projects. The communication doesn’t get
very deep, but our relationship is real and
has value to all of us. If we lived closer, I am
sure we would visit in person.
This last season flew by. I paused for a mo-
ment, as I hadn’t heard from you in a couple
of weeks, but just assumed you were busy.
And then this week I heard from your daugh-
ter that you were in the ICU, barely hanging
on to life, having been diagnosed with met-
astatic lung cancer. My heart cracked into a
I haven’t seen you since that strange first
meeting eight years ago, but I thought we had
more time. I realized how much we need you.
You are my daughter’s link to her birth history, my kids’ Gramma, and my friend. As my
daughter put it, “Gramma B. better not die.
We need her around for a good long time.” We
do, so please get better because we love you.
ALEX JACKSON was a foster parent for eight years
and is now the adoptive mother of three amazing kids.