Sharing the voice, love, and sacrifice of birthmothers is so important to me. It is important to me because birthmothers are so often misunderstood and mistaken. I have been honored to walk part of this journey with many beautiful women. I have witnessed the incredible pain and determination of delivery… seen the over-flowing love of a mother’s first, long look at her child. I have watched the tear-filled goodbyes and observed the beauty of a child not leaving one family, but joining two.
Here are some common misconceptions of adoption that we must challenge:
“She put her baby up for adoption.”
Wrong. Her child is her flesh and blood. Flesh of her flesh, bone of her bone; not simply a picture or figurine on her shelf of life or an auction item up for bids. She is not “putting up” anything. She is making a plan. She is putting her child above every ache and cry in her body screaming, “mine, mine, mine”. She is recognizing that to be a parent is so much more than “keeping” a child. Parenting is every second, every day, financial, emotional, spiritual, physical, loving, providing, learning, growing, giving, and surviving. Her child becomes engrained in her very heart and soul, her very being and breath. With empty, aching arms she chooses to trust her instinct and wisdom and make an incredibly difficult choice. This is one example of the selfless, loving strength of a mother.
“I could never give up my baby.”
This phrase is the hardest for me to hear. She is not giving up, giving away, or giving in. She is thinking of this beautiful tiny life for his or her entire life. She is saying:
“You are worth it to me- I am giving you everything I want you to have. It is a forever family. It is a mom and a dad who prayed for you and waited for you and loves you SO much. They are going to keep me up to date on how you are and who you are. You will always be a part of me.”
“She is giving up.”
She is not giving up. She is brave. Women who choose adoption are not unfit mothers. They are not too young, not drug addicts, not unloving or doomed to a life full of regret. There are definitely ups and downs, grief and pain, and our hope and our heart is to see wholeness, forgiveness, and victory encounter their lives. Adoption is not the right choice for everyone, but birthparents who do choose adoption should be respected and valued.
written by Michelle Staab, Pregnancy Counselor at Lifeline Children’s Services.
Here at Lifeline, we are dedicated to helping you walk through what may be the toughest circumstance you’ve ever faced. Our pregnancy counselors are here to listen to your concerns and will help guide you through all your options. The truth is that you have more than one option, and you are not alone. If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy or if you think you are pregnant, reach out to one of our pregnancy counselors. They will be there to listen to you and support you with love. Call a Lifeline Pregnancy Counselor 24/7 at 1(800)875-5595, or connect with us via live chat. We are here to help!
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