Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Soapbox

I'm a bit frustrated this morning.  So allow me to get on my soapbox for a moment.

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with a friend.

She has a family member that is trying to adopt.  They have been selected by a birthmother that was due in about three weeks, but she ended up having the baby yesterday.  To make a long story short, this couple flew out to get this baby, but had recently found out that the birthmother was having second thoughts.

My friend was irate.  She couldn't believe that somebody would say 'Yes, I have chosen you to adopt my baby', and then go back on their word.  She called this birthmother horrible names and talked about what a horrible life she was living, etc.

Now I was irate.  But for the sake of our friendship, I quickly changed the subject and moved on.

I know as an adoptive parent that the adventure of adoption is one huge emotional roller coaster ride.  There are more ups and downs, twists and turns, and even a few flips than one could ever imagine.  And unfortunately, our friends and families have to experience that ride with us, which makes them ultra-protective of us.  But that does not negate the feelings of birthmothers.  Yes, it hurts to have a failed adoption (we've had one ourselves, and it sucks).  It's just plain miserable. 

But please take a look at the other side.

Here you have a birthmother who is faced with the.most.difficult. decision of her entire life.  She has carried a child within her for nine months.  She has felt the baby move and grow.  She has quite possibly faced repercussions from friends and family for becoming pregnant in the first place. 

But she has feelings too.  And as much as it hurts to be on the receiving end, and have an adoption fall through; it hurts ever so much more when a birthmother places her baby for adoption and is left with empty arms.  We as adoptive parents, are joyful for ourselves, but somebody else is hurting now too.

I cannot speak from experience, becuase I am not a birthmother.  I may be a little sensitive on this subject for the obvious reasons of being an adoptee and knowing my birthmother, and having adopted myself. But please, please please don't bad-mouth birthmothers to me.  I simply cannot handle it.

I try to make sense of this, even as I write it.  It all sounds like ramblings, but I need my personal stance to be known.  I love birthmothers.  I was raised to honor and praise them, and my husband and I, along with our children will always revere birthmothers.  Somebody needs to stick up for birthmothers, and I am proud to do it.  Were it not for them, adoption wouldn't even be a word in the dictionary in the first place. 

I understand your hurts, aches, pains, and emotions of wanting to be a parent.  I understand that you are trying to be protective of your loved ones that are trying to adopt.  I have been there, and I hope to be there again.  It is an experience that cannot be described.  But please remember that someday your child, niece, nephew, or grandchild may ask you, "What was my birthmother like?  Did she love me?  Did she want to keep me?  Do you love my birthmother?"

Actions also speak louder than words.  You may say the right words, but kids are smart little whips.  They see through stuff like that. Try to face your child and answer honestly.  Because one day, it all may come back to bite you. 

The bottom line?  Your adopted child has two mothers.  Get over it.  It's a fact.  If it weren't true, you wouldn't have that child in your home to begin with.

Okay, off my soapbox now.


Amber said...

I am with you! I just want to add; that after going thru a heart-wrenching failed adoption myself, It is ultimately in The Lord's hands - that child WILL end up where HF wants that baby to be. And after dealing with infertility, I couldn't imagine giving birth and handing that child I created over to someone else to trust that it will be raised they way I dreamed of raising my own. I don't blame any woman who has the desires to be a mother as much as I do, but My hat is off to any birthmother who could be so selfless and christlike to think above and beyond themselves to give that kind of love. (Sorry, I have been on the same soapbox MANY times myself.) I truly believe we knew that these circumstances were going to happen before we even came down to earth and we were willing to face them. Hope you Have a very merry christmas!

Deanna said...

You can stand on that soapbox all you want Amanda! Thank you for sticking up for birthmothers. Sometimes people who aren't experiencing anything but one side of adoption, and through other people, don't fully understand what a blessing it is, for the birthparents and the adoptive parents. (heck, sometimes even those people don't fully understand it! But when they do, they will see it in a positive light.)

I completely and wholehartedly agree with EVERY. WORD. you just said. :)

Merry Christmas!


The Prettiest Mess You've Ever Seen said...

Thank you for standing up for us birthmothers. Somedays it feels like we don't get enough recognition but woman like you bring a tear to my eye. Thank you thank you

Melissa Howell said...

I stumbled up on your blog...after reading the r house blog and your story you posted there...I clicked a link and it brought me to yours. I thank you for your story on the r house blog and even more so this one! I am a birthmother myself and although I do not need to be recognized as any kind of hero, I do appreciate those who stand up for birthmothers, and honor them and cherish the gift they gave to them. It is an honor to be a birthmother and to be part of the process of adoption, and although I know it was the right thing, and the best thing to do I did not come to that decision lightly and it has been and IS the hardest decision I have ever made in my it affects me everyday in ever way. It makes me who I am. It has been 10 years. Most days I am stronger because of this decision to place (after going through the most heart wrenching days, weeks, months of my life and leaning on my Savior and learning of His Atonement), but some days I am weak. I still miss that sweet baby boy and long to hold him in my arms, although he is not 'little' anymore. (It is a closed adoption.) I have my own family now and my own sweet little 1 year old boy. I have been blessed. This being comment is not supposed to be about myself, but to say thank you, because although I realize it would be devastating to be in the shoes of a family who has a failed adoption, the birthmother needs to make a firm and sound decision that she can live with for the rest of her life, here and in the hereafter. And being in the shoes of a birthmother I know there will be a forever hole in any birthmother's heart less she clings to her Savior, and even then it is not a once decision, it is a decision she must make everyday or the hole can come back. May we all cling to our Savior as we go through life's experiences, itsn't that why we are here?

Ashley said...

After spending five grueling days watching helpless as our daughter's birth mother agonized over her decision, I totally agree. I find my mouth running off when people make comments, any negative comments, about birth parents because I saw that Julia's placement was done only out of love so deep I'm still in awe of it two years later.

Mandy Jo said...

I totally agree!

Desi said...

Thank you so much for this made me cry.

I am a birthmother and I can’t even begin to describe the hurt when people berate birthmothers in any way. I can't imagine what a failed adoption is like, but I do know what it feels like to walk out of a hospital without my son in my arms not just for time, but for all eternity, because he is sealed to his family. I did it for him because I loved him more than most people can possibly comprehend...but it was by far the hardest thing I have ever or could even conceive of going through in my life. If a birthmother has second thoughts she should by all means be given the respect to make the decision that is right for her and that baby. Thank you for standing up for birthmothers…we are often the forgotten piece of the triad.

Mike, Mary, & Maggie said...

Amanda, I am a friend of Jennifer K. I grew up in Burley but don't know if I knew you as it was a long time ago (I moved away at 16) Anyway. I believe as you. I am a nurse on the postpartum floor (new moms and babies). There aren't any bithmoms that I have taken care of that haven't loved their baby and found that once it was born that it was much harder to make the choice.
Birthmom's are a gift from heaven and deserve our love and respect for making the hardest choice in life. We all have our trials in this life. The Adoptive mother cries for years before she becomes a mother and the birthmom cries for years after. I will gladly stand before God at judgment day, arm in arm with my daughters birthmom. You were much nicer than I would have been. I would have chosen to educate my friend, though my friends know not to cross me on this topic as I will eat them alive (as I'm sure you wanted to.). :)
Don't be sorry for standing up for birthmoms. They needed us now more than ever! Great post!

Heather said...

Love that "bottom line" paragraph. Get over it, indeed!