No matter how many times I watch this, it still brings tears to my eyes.
No matter how many times I watch this, it still brings tears to my eyes.
“I placed my baby for adoption, and I can also say he’s the best thing that ever happened to me. He transformed my life. I loved my child more than words can explain, and I still do. I believe my love for him was the first real love I’d ever felt, because it was completely selfless. It was the BIGGEST feeling I’ve known. My heart grew in my chest the moment I laid eyes on him. Had I loved him any less—one ounce less—he would be with me now! My love for him was the only thing that could enable me to break my own heart. I didn’t just feel love; I did what love dictated.”
Tamra, birth mother
“Adoption is hard. Don’t be afraid of something because it looks impossible. That is how God most easily show’s His might; by presenting you an opportunity to glorify Him, then carrying you through it, and by leaving your testimony for the benefit of all.”
This in an interesting post. Obviously this does not change the way we feel about our adoptions, but it is good to know this and reflect on this. We are still early into our adoption journey with our kids still pre-school but we know that the road ahead will still be challenging at times.
“It has been said that adoption is more like a marriage than a birth: two (or more) individuals, each with their own unique mix of needs, patterns and genetic history, coming together with love, hope, commitment for a joint future. You become a family not because you share the same genes, but because you share love for each other.”
This is a beautiful post by a birth mother on her journey after placing her baby for adoption. I agree completely with her that doing this must take a lot of courage! We will always look at our children’s birth mothers and be reminded about how brave they were and still are.
What It Means to be BRAVE
An acrostic anthem to birth mothers’ courage
If brave were a sound, it would be something loud. It would be a crescendo, a lion’s roar, a sprint in front of a bullet. It is a crashing torrent of white water. Brave has fire. But sometimes, brave is a smouldering coal of resolve. It can trickle like a brook and shape the earth moment by moment. It is as quiet as a sigh, still as a stare. This quieter breed resides in the hearts of birth mothers.
For these women, I offer an anthem of courage. I offer a reflection of a deed for each letter of “brave.”
When my doctor came to check on me after eleven hours of labor, I had just woken from an epidural nap. My phone was charging in the opposite corner, my family was checking in to the hotel, and I hadn’t yet called the parents-to-be. I hadn’t made much progress and didn’t expect the doctor to have anything new to say. But when he said that the baby was crowning, I shook involuntarily. I said, “I can’t do this.”
After a point, giving birth is mostly inevitable. But the most fundamental part of being a birth mother–having the baby–is still a choice. Making it through nine long months and enduring child birth are far from small feats. Choosing life for your baby is brave.
Layered in homemade sweaters and blankets, I buckled my baby into his car seat two days after the birth. As the nurse rolled the wheelchair into the elevator, I looked into his peaceful face. Silent tears rolled down my face, and I felt I carried the moon on my lap. To my weak body, he was as heavy as the moon. He was the heaviest thing I’ve ever lifted, and the walk from my chair to his car was the longest I’ve ever walked. The drive home, away from him, was the furthest of my life.
In a single act, I did all that I could for him. For many birth mothers, physically placing their baby with another is the hardest thing they ever do. Coupled with signing the relinquishment of rights, placing your child is immensely trying; making it through the process to secure his or her well-being is astonishingly selfless and brave.
My son was born just before the holidays. My 18th birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s. . . Each came and went without much fanfare. Although the continued support of a well-wishing family enveloped me, every quiet night was a chance for my arms to feel too light and too empty. After the initial panic, when my body frantically searched for its companion, months of stupor and sleepiness pacified me. Even when my vitality returned, part of me remained unhappily frozen and numb.
It’s easy to try to bury your pain in denial or use more insidious forms of distraction. But until you reach into your heart and address the grief, you will be perpetually unable to heal. Before you can start allowing yourself to be happy, you must first address your wounds. Having the willingness to face what’s hurting demonstrates courage.
I remember nudging myself into dating again after placement. I went out to dinner with a slightly older man I’d met through church. Although the experiences of the prior year had left me skittish, I nursed a secret hope that I would quickly stumble upon my true love. My goal was another baby–in the “right” way–as soon as possible. The fallacies of my intentions aside, I quickly found that valuing what I really wanted and needed was more important than easing my sadness. While he was a gentleman on our date, he soon showed signs of possessiveness and clinginess. In ending the brief involvement, I proved that being valued was a high priority.
Realize that you’re strong. Often, we are our own worst enemy, and we blame ourselves for all that’s wrong: “If only I’d been financially independent, I could have kept him.” “If I were a better person, I could have parented.” Rather than consider what could have been, recognize where you are. Learning to love yourself in spite of your flaws is easier said than done. But when you recognize how valuable you are and will be, it becomes easier to make choices that nurture you. Put the bat down; you don’t need to beat yourself up. Instead, cherish you.
In the spring after placement, I became an aunt to a sweet baby girl. When I went to the hospital after she was born, I felt joy and anxiety in equal measures; While it felt so right to have another newborn near my heart, I was afraid to bond with her. As the weeks went by and she reached certain milestones, I would both weep and celebrate. Being with her is like picking cotton: above the cutting reminder of the companionship I lost is the expansive softness of the beautiful niece I’ve gained.
Many birth mothers feel that they have lost their right to motherhood. This can encompass far more than the right to parent; you may not feel permission to be maternal in any capacity. You may fear bonding to a child or even interacting with one because of an inevitable “goodbye,” reminiscent of placement. Go at your own pace, but do not shrink away from this pure and special kind of love. Be willing to feel joy, even if you know sorrow waits at the door. Have the courage to take a risk–fall in love.
Sometimes, being brave is done all at once, in a matter of moments. Sometimes, it’s a long-term hike on the high road. Often, “brave” is a way of life and a habit. Acknowledge what you’ve done as a birth mother, and continue to cultivate “brave” as part of who you are.
*This post was published on Adoption.com here.
Continuing on the topic of infertility and adoption I read this article recently. Although I really feel that my issues with infertility subsided a lot after adopting our first child, it is true that infertility remains a life-long burden to carry. I found this post very insightful and encouraging.
Infertility After Adoption – When Infertility Fights Back
Adoption will always be one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It made me a mother. It made my husband a father. It brought us our son.
However, no matter how amazing, how magical, and how healed I feel because of adoption, the fact that I will forever be sterile and forever face the feelings of infertility, remains. My feelings from infertility have calmed as I have grown, experienced adoption, and become a mother, but there are some days where it is too much for my little heart to handle. It’s just plain hard.
I think that a lot of adoptive moms think they can’t feel this way anymore–that because they have become a mother and have a child, that some how those feelings are supposed to disappear. I knew that not all of my feelings and struggles with infertility would be washed away, but I didn’t expect to have such bitter days after I became a mother. These emotions came back in earnest when my husband and I decided to adopt a second child. As we are in the finding process, the longer we wait, the more hope I lose.
I see friends and family growing their families. I see their only children become brothers and sisters, something my 5-year-old son asks about daily. When we are out, he sees other families and counts the number of children. He then questions me, saying, “Mama, why do they have three kids and we only have me?” I do my best not to burst into inappropriate sobs, as all the people in that same Target isle as me would probably think I was crazy, and quietly explain to Harley that mama was sick and her body isn’t able to make babies anymore. Most of the time, luckily, this answer suffices his curiosity. There are days, though, when he demands more of an explanation, and asks, “When do I get a baby, Mama?” I can’t answer him. I can’t answer him, and it breaks my soul into pieces.
Infertility is a lifelong thing. The emotions ebb and flow through the different experiences we face. I wish I could tell every single person who struggles with infertility that eventually they won’t have any issues with it, but I can’t. Infertility and sterility bleeds into every single aspect of life. There is no corner that goes untouched. What I CAN tell you, though, is that you aren’t alone. That there are amazing people on your side to stick with you through this. I CAN tell you that it gets better, and the feelings that infertility evokes will become more tolerable. I CAN tell you that this wont break you.
It will not break you.
This post was first published on Adoption.com
“Our skin doesn’t match. I don’t know what it’s like to look at you and catch a glimpse of myself as a child. What I see in you is far more beautiful than that. I see the hand of God in my life. Our skin may not match, but we match hearts.”