My first contact with Adoption
I was recently asked what my first “contact” with adoption was because it’s National Adoption Awareness Month and people wonder how and why I do what I do. In high school I remember hearing whispers about a girl who was one year younger than me. She had had a baby when she was in junior high and had made the decision to place her baby for adoption. A bit naïve and innocent, I had a difficult time wrapping my head around what she had gone through. Instead of feeling compelled to gossip about her, I felt compassion for her circumstances and awe for her strength in making that decision. She was my first view of adoption from the birth mom’s side of things.
Sometimes I still think of that girl, even all these almost thirty years later. Her smiling and pretty face was honestly cheerful as she shared pictures of her child with her adoptive family. She willingly showed the pictures to anybody who wanted to see them. She had no shame or even a hint of embarrassment. Her confidence in her decision to place her baby for adoption put everyone around her at ease. There was a maturity about her that the rest of us lacked. I think that becoming a mom, regardless of circumstance, forces you to grow up.
National Adoption Awareness Month
National Adoption Awareness Month has given a new platform to share about the personal stories of those who have been involved with adoption. I absolutely LOVE reading and hearing stories about anything adoption. Adoptive Families, pictured with their babies and children, tend to warm our hearts and bring tears to our eyes. There is another side that should pull at your heartstrings as well. With an average of 20,000 private or independent adoptions that take place in the U.S. annually, I’d like to help you envision the 20,000 women who make that difficult decision to place her baby for adoption.
She is like the girl from my high school, a young girl who goes too far with a boy. The cheerleader at college, who takes a year off of school so that nobody will know. A 28 year old mom of two other children, with no job, no support, no man. This is the successful business woman in her thirties, who never felt compelled to have children.This girl is the 12 year old survivor of incest, or the 40 year old woman who would not be able to bring home a baby with special needs. This young woman might of been gang raped. An addict who has lost her other children to the system. She’s the really, good Christian girl who is full of shame.
She is the Strong One
As you get to know her, you will start to notice these things about her as well. She is the strong one. This Mother is the one who puts her own feelings aside – in order to make what she feels is the best decision for her baby. Embarrassment may cause her to have difficulty fully expressing how she needs emotional support and encouragement. She loves her baby, and she just wants to do the most responsible thing. The Birth Mom is excited to give her baby the legacy of family, security, stability, and most of all… love. Above all other things, she is a Mom.
She is the first mom and in a position that should not be disrespected or downplayed. When we honor the birth parents of our children, we honor our children. As an adoption professional and Life Coach for Birth Moms, I have been privileged to know these women and walk their journey with them. Adoption is a defining moment in her life, but it is not the ultimate, defining moment. Our hope is that she will go on to live a healthy, normal life full of blessings.
We Honor Our Birth Moms
It is important that we sometimes spotlight the importance of her position in our lives, for without her, we would not have our child. And so, I take this moment, in this all important National Adoption Awareness Month to give merit where it is due. If you are a Birth Mom, I honor and thank you. Take this piece of true appreciation and please receive it. Though I may not know you personally, I know that you are strong. Also I know that wherever you are at this moment in time of your life, you may wonder what your child thinks of you. I know from real life experience that they thank you. They thank you for loving them enough to give them what you felt would be best for them. After all, that’s just what moms do. They do not want you to feel guilty, in fact, they want you to be happy. So really, thank you and feel the freedom to be happy – like the girl in my high school who knew she did something amazing, because you have too.