When I tell people I am a counselor for pregnant women making an adoption plan for their unborn child, I often get the response, “Wow, I could never give up my child,” somehow implying these mothers are just looking for a way out. I take issue with that sentiment. In these women, I have seen some of the purest displays of motherly love. It is that very love which allows these women to make such a painful decision.
To watch a birthmother leave the hospital without a baby is to witness the most gut-wrenching pain. Signing a paper that states your parental rights will be terminated is one of the scariest and hardest things a mother could do. I often get the comment, “Your job must be so rewarding,” but to be present with a mother in a time like this is often not rewarding. I cannot explain what it is like to watch a mother lose her child. Her child is not “unwanted.” On the contrary, she wants her child more than anything in the world. But she makes a painful, selfless decision in the best interest of her child.
Birthmothers are my heroes. They are the strongest, most courageous people I have ever met. To dishonor them by believing they are all “crack-addicts” and asking “why didn’t they use protection?” (I have actually heard these statements) makes my stomach churn. The truth is they aren’t all crack addicts, and most of the mothers with whom I’ve come in contact did use protection. But this is beside the point; a child has been conceived and this child is loved. By choosing adoption these mothers are making the most loving decision they can for their child.
What about children who have been abused or abandoned? Of that I think no differently. Every mother loves her child. I have seen abuse, neglect, and abandonment, and I still believe that every mother loves her child. Sometimes it is hard to understand love in these terms, but it is real. No matter the circumstance, I believe every mother loves her child. I have been to Haiti and Guatemala and have cared for orphans and heard horror stories of their pasts. I have worked in foster care and seen the abuse that takes place in the United States. I am no stranger to the horrible things that happen to children, and I believe it is all horrible and evil. I believe behind every abused child are parents who have been unloved. They show their children love the only way they know how: by repeating what has happened to them. Thankfully, these children do not have to withstand the abuse, or be orphans forever. They can be adopted into a loving home where they are taught how to love and be loved.
My prayer is that no matter the avenue God chooses to place children in homes, these children would know that were and are loved. I am so excited for the day when I may get to meet a child whose birthmother I knew. I cannot wait to tell these children how much their birthmothers love them and what an amazingly loving decision they made for them. I cannot wait to tell them what I saw and experienced as their mother left the hospital empty-handed, but full of hope of a new life for her child.
My plea is simple, please do not forget these mother’s and please do not believe the negative things society has taught us to believe about them. To take the words from a woman who has taught me everything I know about birthmothers, I leave you with this statement: “Birthmothers are woman in crisis and daughters of our Lord who are making an unbelievable selfless choice to place their child in an adoptive home. They are not their poor judgment, their appearance, or sometimes demanding nature. They are their child’s mother and their love for their child is stronger than you or I can understand or imagine."
Our guest blogger suggests checking out this article, Why I Love My Daughter's Mother.In light of Mother's Day coming up next month, I have been thinking of a special tradition we can do in our family to honor Mekonen's birthmom. Does anyone have any suggestions?