Your insights and experience is valuable. Your voice is powerful and we’re listening. Do you want to say something to fellow adoptees, a social worker, agency, adoptive parent or your birthmother? Get it off your chest by sending a Message in a Bottle. CLICK HERE to fill out the brief and anonymous formand we’ll post it here on the site. NOTE: We’ve been receiving some long messages. We’re happy that you are getting these secrets and confessions off of your chest,  but we have to ask that you please make your Message in a Bottle submissions brief and concise. We prefer to fit your whole message on the picture and we’ve found that there is normally 1 or 2 powerful sentences in long messages that still get the message across (perhaps in a more powerful way.) If you really can’t make it concise, you can submit multiple short messages. We reserve the right to select 1 or 2 sentences from a long message and attach them to your photo.


White dice with reflection on black background.

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To: My Birth Father Message: You have made me feel like I am not good enough. Sure wasn’t good enough for you to stay with my 15 year old mother and me. You knew better. You were a Vietnam vet (Marine) but you could handle that but not me. Oh And nice way you had three other children within a year after I was born. Thanks for not caring because in your actions I received the best Deddy ever.

To: Social Worker Message: You took her away from me in the most harsh way possible because I was a difficult foster parent. You deny me basic information about her that I am by law allowed to have because of some grudge you hold against me. You didn’t even send her home you sent her to different foster parents. I hate you with every fiber of my being because you  added one more wound to her scarred life. Because I know she believes that it was me that sent her away… I would have never let her go.

To: My Birth Parents (and Adoptive Parents) Message: I was adopted from Korea and my little Sister was adopted from Korea too. She is my best friend in the world, she completes me, she fills the void I used to have from my unknowns. I still have questions, but with her I have peace and happiness about my adoption. I am so thankful I was adopted by my parents and I am so thankful that she was given up too. If we weren’t, who knows who I might have turned out to be? We might never have known each other, much less be sisters and that thought is heart breaking, so I thank you each and every day for giving me up. The life I know now, who I am… I would never have been the same person if you had kept me, I would never have gotten to be her older sister, so I thank you for helping me have this wonderful life.

To: Birth Family Message: You sit there and say my family isn’t my real family that they are a “pretend” family. Well guess what MY parents are MY real parents, MY family is MY real family.  They are the only ones who have been fighting for me and taking care of me since I was born. Yes they adopted me; but they are the only family who has ever cared about me, the only family who has ever taken care of me and the ONLY family I will ever have. You are ONLY my birth family; the only thing we share is DNA and if I could change that I would. You have been so hateful and hurtful towards my family I despise you! You say I will be like your family because we share the same DNA; well guess what you have showed me exactly who I do NOT want to be. I will NEVER be like you or anyone in YOUR family!

To: My Mother and Father Message: How could you give me away and tell everyone that I died? How come no one asked what happened to my body? What kind of people do this to their own child?? And how could you both go on to have children who you kept and love. Why not me? I loved you so much, and you betrayed me.

To: My Mother Message: All your marriages made it so hard for me to find you. Four days ago I found out your final married name and where you had moved to. I also found out you  had died 13 years ago. Now I can never ask you why you kept the other six girls but  had no room in your life for me. Adoption isn’t all unicorns and rainbows.

To: Lost Daughter Message: Thank you for walking back into my life 24 years after you were taken from me. That was the single happiest day of my life. Thank you for taking me on a whirlwind roller-coaster ride of love and hate for several years before you slammed the door shut in my face, never to return. I’m sorry that whatever you hoped to find did not meet your expectations or high standards of family. I’m sorry you could not share those feelings with me. I’m sorry the pain is so great for you that you have abandoned me, as you felt I had abandoned you. Congratulations! You have paid me back. Now I have not only lost you once, but twice.

To: Birthmother Message: Thank you for placing me in a home where my adoptive Mother would say “I WISH I NEVER ADOPTED YOU!” Thank you for placing me in a home where I was emotionalLY and physically abused. Thank you for putting me with a family who loved their bio daughter more, and where my “Aunts & Uncles” made me feel like I didn’t belong. Thank you for rejecting me once I found you and reminding me how truly unwanted and unloved I am. Thank you for hurting the little girl inside me and not saving me from my adoptive Mother. Thank you for being so proud of the daughter you had a year after you gave birth to me. I am glad she was worth keeping. Thank you for giving my 3 bio siblings everything I wished I had. Mainly your love! Thank you for helping create this broken, hurt, unloved, unwanted shell of a person I am today. Thank you for my need to want to find someone to love me the way a Mother should love their child. It’s a quest I will take to the grave. Thank you for making me your dark and shameful secret. You have broken my heart, kept important health information from me for years, and won’t even tell me the truth about how I came to be. Adoption is supposed to be a great thing, where a child is wanted and loved. All I ever feel is when will this life end. Thank you birthmother!

To: Everyone Message: I was born with a hole in my heart….I’ve had 3 open heart surgeries, my first was at 6 years old, I am now 43 and now the hole is patched and I have a mechanical valve that reminds me every minute of every day that it is there…

To: Realists Message: It wasn’t the adoption that hurt me, it was the relinquishment.  The relinquishment broke my heart, damaged my sense of trust and left me feeling abandoned & unlovable.  The adoption gave me chances, opportunities, love and a life that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

To: Mother Message: I have been called many things and many names, and even made up a few myself. but i really want to know what name you choose for me when you looked into my eyes the very first time?what vowels, consonants, syllables, came to your mind when you heard my first breathe?what is that name that has been on your lips for all this time?


To: Birth Mother Message Body: It was your fault I was taken away; you need accept and acknowledge that fact. Why would you waste 21 months of my life with useless and painful visits?  All I did was scream; I didn’t want you… I wanted my mommy.  You keep saying you are my “true” mommy; but you are only my Birth Mother. I have a true mommy she would go to the ends of the earth for me.  You wouldn’t even do the simple tasks the state asked of you to get me back.  But then when my sister was born you fought tooth and nail to get her back.  What was so wrong with me? Why didn’t you fight like that for me?  It doesn’t matter now… My foster parents fought tooth and nail for me and now I am their son, not yours. Do not call me your son, Do not call yourself my “true” mommy… you don’t even know the meaning of the words.

To: Birth Mother Message: Why would you have me and put me up for adoption, then 3 years later have another kid after you knew that you could not even handle the kids you had? I find that sad and one of the worst things a mother could do to there children!

To: Extended Birth Family and Adoptive Family Message: You gave me an ultimatum when I was pregnant… that if I chose to keep my child you would not have anything to do with me, now you want a relationship with my birth son. My child that you wanted me to eliminate as a fetus, now you want a relationship with my birth son. My child that you wanted me to abandon as a newborn infant, now you want a relationship with my birth son. As my heart ached, my emotions smashed, my self-confidence hindered, my life experiences forever altered because I was given an ultimatum (no partner, no family, no love, no respect, no support), now you want a relationship with my birth son. Your strong-arming and personal desires created a statistic out of me, a punch line, a stereotype out of a title that I will forever be known as now….a BIRTH mom, now you want a relationship with my birth son. An open adoption relationship that I chose along with the adoptive family…that we have cultivated with respect and love for each other without your interference, now YOU want a relationship with MY son. So tell me, what is different now? No, I would say you forfeited your right to have a relationship with this child that you did NOT want to be a part of YOUR family.

To: Birth Mother Message: I don’t know who you are – a name and age are all I have. But I wish you could know that I’m happy and healthy and a mom to 3! And none of it would have been possible without you. Being a mom myself now, I can’t imagine going through giving up a baby – I’m so glad you were strong enough to. I hope one day we can meet and I can tell you this in person. Thanks for my life!

To: A Birth Mother

To: First Mothers

To: My Half-brother

To: Mothers

To: Adoptees Message: I have 3 half-sisters, two of whom live within 8 miles of me. None want anything to do with me, though I did actually meet one of them. I used to think God would not have brought us from Florida and Mississippi to Georgia for no reason.  Surely this would work out. Now I realize God brought us to this place so that I would not use geography as an excuse for not having a relationship. I would treasure a family that would welcome a “found” sister. I have no use for one that would not. The sad thing is that the youngest also gave up a child for adoption, and our “mother” never even told her about me.   There is no single definition for things working out for the best.

To: My Birth Son Message: Only a year has passed & yet, not a day goes by when I don’t miss you. I think about the 3 days we spent together in the hospital & how I was the only thing you knew. I was the only face you recognized. The only voice that was familiar & trustworthy. I was your mommy. Now, I’m only your birth mother. If you ever read this message, the one thing I want you to take away from this is that I tried every possible scenario in my head to keep you. From the moment I found out I was having a boy, all of my fears flew out the window. My own baby boy is going to come into the world. I named you the name I’d wanted for my first born boy, but they changed it. I kissed you on your head a million times, but they kissed you a million & one. I hugged you over & over again, but their hugs are the ones you cry for in the middle of the night. I love you to the moon & back, but you’ll only see my love a couple of times a year. I know you’re happy. I just wish I could be happy too. My only wish in life is that you become the man I promised you you would become. Laying in the hospital bed with you in my arms for the last time as your mother.. saying goodbye to my little boy that I made from scratch. Saying goodbye to that perfect little face. Whispering in your ear, sobbing uncontrollably, “You’re going to grow up & appreciate everything life has to offer. You’re going to take every opportunity they’re going to give you. You’re going to grow up & have the life I could never have given you. You are my miracle & I will never forget what you have given to ME.” If it wasn’t for you, baby boy, I wouldn’t be here. S0 thank you. Thank you so much. I love you; forever & always, baby boy. Love, Birth Mommy

To: My Maternal GrandparentsMessage: You paid Catholic Charities $10k to lock my mother away in a maternity home for three months and to get rid of me. My mother still thinks that you didn’t have enough money to help her keep me. One day, she will know the truth. She will find out what you did. Because I will tell her.

To: Adoptive Parents Message: I’m so tired of the sugar-coated rhetoric

To: Anyone Who Doesn’t Understand. Message: Even though I have had a successful reunion with my mother, brother and sister, I will never have the memory of the feeling of love and safety that comes from your mother’s arms wrapped around you as a baby or toddler – and it hurts.  Pretty pathetic from a 51 year old woman isn’t it.

To: The Uncaring World Message: It hurts that my mother didn’t love me enough to keep me, and it hurts that I wasn’t loved by the people who adopted me. When I had my own child I didn’t know how to parent him.  I tried to love him, I really did, but I failed miserably.  I hurt him, and he killed himself because of me. Life has been nothing but heartache, and I truly wish I had never been born.

To: My Birth Son

To: My Little Love Message: The beginning of you was so scary and unexpected. You had a big brother and I was so overwhelmed financially and emotionally that I knew keeping you would only take away from both. I was willing to and getting prepared but then my sister and her husband said they were trying to conceive. You are 16 months now and your mommy told me that a year from the day every day they were so scared I was going to change my mind before Virginia legalized it and made it official. And honestly every day I had to fight myself not to. I have dreams sometimes where she drops you off to stay forever and you are mine again, I know it won’t happen, but it makes me so happy and still so extremely sad not to have you. Not a day goes by that you leave my mind, adoption is almost as bad if not worse than death of a child. Because you always love your baby and know they are alive and with someone else. No matter how at peace I am with knowing I did the right thing for you and your brothers wellbeing, I will always feel wrong and incomplete. I love you so much

To: Birth Parents Message: Oh what I would give to meet you guys and tell you thank you. Let you see that you guys didn’t make a mistake when you decided to place me. I have a greater understanding  and appreciation for what you guys did after placing two babies myself. Thank you, I love you guys, and hope to meet someday! Love, Baby Melinda

To: Adoptive Mom Message: I hate how you turned the tables on me after I placed with you. You agreed to allow visits on his birthday, around Christmas, and Mother’s Day; a few times a year at least. I didn’t think I was asking much at the mere age of 15 and I still don’t.  It’s been almost 9 years now and I’ve seen my sweet boy seven times. Not only have you guys not kept your word on visits but when it comes to letters and pictures too I feel completely deceived. If i knew things were going to turn out like this I wouldn’t have placed with you. I’m grateful you’ve at least told him who I am, and I hope one day he seeks me out and wants to make up for lost time.

To: Adoptive Mothers

To: Birth Mothers and Adoptive Mothers

To: Our Son’s Birthparents Message: We are all so very, very proud of you and your accomplishments. The open adoption we have with you allows you to see your son grow up and allows him to know you too. We would be honored to attend your high school graduation if you feel comfortable enough to invite us. Nevertheless, we cannot wait to see what your future holds and love you both very, very much

To: Anyone

To: Social Worker Message: Who changed my name when I went to live in foster care when I was 2 days old…I was only a baby. Couldn’t I keep that one thing my mother gave me for just a little bit longer? Even now as an adult I don’t understand it. Then my adoptive parents called me something else…three named in two months. And also, why didn’t you talk directly to my father instead of talking only to his parents…they never told him about me, that he had a baby daughter, and my mother has thought all her life he didn’t care for her or for me.

To: Birth Mothers

To: Birth Mothers

To: Birth Mothers

To: My Relinquished Son

To: Anyone in the Adoption World