Saturday, April 11, 2009

Adoption: Perspective from an Amazing Encounter (birth mother to birth mother)

A few months ago I ran an errand to my local Salon. While I was there I met a young woman and we started to chat. I asked about her Thanksgiving Day and she politely inquired about mine. I mentioned that it was ‘okay’ considering it was the first one since ‘mama’ died (in February). She mentioned that a friend of hers had died in an auto accident recently. She asked me if I had been close to mama (my mother-in-law) and I said yes, and I was like the daughter that she never had. Conversation continued and the subject of children came up. She mentioned a son and I replied that I had ‘two children.’ She asked if I had gained much weight during my pregnancy and the conversation continued…

Then I asked how old her son was, and she quietly replied, “my son was born in September and I placed him for adoption.” I replied, “wow, I did the same thing 23 years ago and my birth daughter found me in September!”

We talked FOREVER and shared our feelings about adoption. The adoption of her son was an open adoption. I explained that my daughter’s adoption was a closed one, but I insisted on naming my daughter, wrote a letter for her, and took care of her for her first three days of life.

We also shared our sorrow at how we were treated by society for having placed our beloved babies into adoption. She and I both had hurtful experiences from total strangers saying things like: “oh, how selfish of you to put your baby up for adoption.” And similarly insensitive comments.

At one point she stopped talking and quietly asked me, “may I hug you?” After we hugged each other, she beamed at me with the most beautiful smile and said, “you are the first birth mother that I have ever talked to, and talking to you like this has meant the world to me!”

This young woman and I connected with a shared understanding of what it is like to love a child so much, that we cherished their future and wanted only the best for them and made the ultimate sacrifice of placing them up for adoption.

A final comment she made to me was, “people have told me that I must not have loved my baby and that’s why I gave it up for adoption!” I replied, “no, you loved your baby very much. You carried that child inside of you for 9 months and then lovingly placed it in the care of another.” I also reminded her that although she gave up the right to raise her child, she did not give up the right to go on loving him.

If you are adopted, it isn’t always true that you “weren’t wanted.” If you were truly not wanted, your birth mom could have simply gotten an abortion, but instead she gave you life.

I just wanted to share this amazing story in hopes of showing one side of adoption. A young woman has hopes that the child that she carried inside of her for 9 months, will have a wonderful life.

If you were adopted, you were given life by one and chosen by another. You are indeed very special.

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