An Open Letter to My Birth Father


In honor of National Adoption Month, we’re bringing you a series this week on adoption and fostering. We hope “A Road to Adoption” provides helpful information for those considering the journey and those who’ve already started! 

I’ve always been open and proud about being adopted.  Often people apologize and wince while asking me questions. No need to be nervous, I’ll sit down and tell you the entire story. It’s my life and I am happy to share to those who want to listen. However, when I was asked to share something with Dallas Moms Blog for National Adoption Month, I wasn’t sure what I would write about. 

I’ve searched for clues about my birth family since I was 18 years old (with the support of my family). My parents know that I am curious, as well as desperate for updated medical information. My birth parents were young, so my medical info hinted that I would have acne and braces (SPOT ON, guys) and ended there.

And while my search has not led me to any of my blood relatives, it sure has been a cool journey along the way. Click on my D Magazine article for a bit of background information.

So obviously I’m not shy about sharing, why clam up now? Well, I feel as though this is my final search attempt, and that my friends, is emotional. I was up a lot last night thinking about this letter, wanting to hold it close in case it remains unread. But then again, my advocacy for adoption is too strong. So, while this isn’t really comfortable for me, here is it… the letter that I’ll mail into Gladney today. It will sit in my file as the case workers call him and say, “Your birth daughter has sent you a letter, are you open to reading it?”


Hey there,

As I am writing, I really hope that you will read this. To be honest, this isn’t the first time I’ve written you.  Two years ago, I searched for the perfect card and took two weeks to write you a note. Then…I never sent it.

You see, I’ve searched the registries since I was 18, I’ve written a letter to my birth mother (who wasn’t open to reading it), and even did the DNA test on So by writing to you, I feel like this is my last chance to figure out where I came from (although the DNA test did say I was French/German and found a possible 3rd and 4th cousin who never responded.) More importantly, I want you to know how much I look up to you and how much I want to thank you.

Thank you for putting me first. Because of you, my life is awesome. You need to know that. You gave me the gift of loving parents who are such a perfect fit.

My childhood was full. You name it, I did it. Swim team, summer camp, soccer, basketball, tennis. (I may have actually only touched the soccer ball twice in my career.) However, throw me in some sequins and turn on some music and I was ON. Dance was my thing. My brother and I watched The Princess Bride, A-Team, and Night Rider too much. As a family, we played Clue and watched Murder She Wrote on Sundays. I loved school, my friends, and my family. You weren’t there but because of you, I was.

I was a goody-goody in high school but knew how to be the life of the party. In college, I majored in Interdiciplinary Studies which is just fancy for “I’m going to be a teacher when I grow up’. Which I did, and loved. I also went to grad school to learn more about teaching dyslexic children to read.

Sally's FamilyFor the last few years, I’ve been “Mom” which has been incredible and crazy. I have two young kids who are absolutely hilarious and make me drink multiple cups of coffee a day. I’m married to a wonderful guy who is a mix of Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn and keeps us balanced. My current favorites include- reading cooking magazines but not cooking, wine, dancing, visiting New Orleans, trying new restaurants, writing (normally about ridiculous stuff my kids do), and real estate.

So why reach out now?

I think about you a lot even though all I know about you is a handful of facts written on half a sheet of paper. You were young, taking college classes, and had cool hobbies like surfing, basketball, and fishing. (By the way, when I won the windsurfing award at camp one summer, I thought of you.) I would love to know more but without prying too much.

I think I’ve just come to an age where I’m ready. I’m ready to hear the story, to know where I came from. I want to know family history, medical info, and most importantly to say “thank you.” So, THANK YOU, and I do hope that I get to hear from you soon.



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The Road To Adoption


  1. Just came across your letter to your birth father. I almost broke into tears. I found my birth father this past Fall and we met for the first time a few days before Christmas. It was amazing and nerve wrecking all at the same time. Thank you Sally for so eloquently sharing what so many adoptees feel. Your message touched my heart and I hope you have the happy ending I have found.


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