I wish I could meet this woman and make her some promises. I imagine the not knowing is very difficult.... Obviously, I cannot speak for the birth mothers. I cannot imagine their emotions or maintain more than a seconds worth of empathy... that kind of pain isn't imaginable or sustainable unless you are going through it yourself. Not knowing if your daughter was one of the 'lucky ones" who ended up in a care center rather than a orphanage, who ended up being adopted by a 'rich foreigner' and will have all of life's luxuries including food, clean water and an education. Or worrying that she ended up in one of the over crowded orphanages with substandard care, got an illness, didn't survive... As a first mom, she is handing over her child, presenting her to the Gods, the world, the fates, and saying (in a way) : "I trust, I hope, please take good care of her..." and not knowing if anyone is listening or going to act on that prayer.
If I was a biological mother, I think knowing that someone was caring for her as her own mother, loving her as a mother should, not abusing her, and putting her first in all aspects... that might ease my heart just a little. Not totally, but it would be better than thinking she was in a horrible situation and that I relinquished her to that horrible situation. I would be looking to blame myself for anything bad that happened to her. As an adoptive mom, I am not judgemnental of the first moms at all.... but as a first mom, I know I would be judgemental of myself. We are always harder on ourselves than others, aren't we?
So I wish I could meet her mother, and thank her in whatever inadequate way I could think of. I wish I could assure her that we would be sending pictures frequently, visiting as often as finances allowed, and sending home made cards and remembrances on mother's Day or whatever the Ethiopian equivalent is...
My agency doesn't allow contact with the birth family at all. Some agencies do, once, in a very formal meeting. But mine doesn't. Apparently it is not something that is encouraged by the U.S. or Ethiopian governments. That makes me really sad. Also, for my daughter. I think as she gets older she will want to know about her first mother, and I will not be able to tell her much of anything.
Another blogger has put it in a much more eloquent way. I recommend her piece.