Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Birth Mothers

I am finishing up a portion of our homestudy packet for our adoption paperwork and it is asking about Birth Mothers. I love Birth Mothers. I am not very eloquent when I write (as is obvious by my blog writing) so I decided to surf the blog world for my favorite birth mothers. While doing so, I found a couple posts about what not to say to Birth Mothers so I thought I would post about them. We hope to have an amazing Birth Mother in our lives soon and in turn, all of your lives. :) So we all need to learn what not to say. :)

This is from Andee, probably my favorite birth mom so far. I got these straight from her blog. This is what NOT to say.

1. Don't say things like: "Why didn't/don't you just give me the baby? Obviously you don't want 'it'"
There is little that someone could say to me that would offend me more than this statement. The funniest part about this, is that the first girl that said this to me was 18 years old and still senior in high school at the time. I was so angry with her that I let her know how much she offended me and was quite blunt. Usually I don't tell someone when I've been offended by them... She hasnt' talked to me since.

2. Don't say "Well I had my child out of wedlock and parented as a single parent...and they turned out just fine."
in other words you might as well say, "I can't belive you placed your child for adoption in a home with BOTH parents. That was seriously the wrong decision and I have less respect for you because of it." If you do not agree with my decision to place, either ASK QUESTIONS about why I placed...nicely...instead of being downright rude, or keep your opinions to yourself. If you ask me questions, I will be more than happy to honestly answer. I want more than anything to educate those people that are not aware of the miracle of adoption on THE MIRACLE OF ADOPTION.

Anyone that knows the truth about adoption, can't have negative feelings towards it. I don't see how that is possible. However, there is opposition in all things so I guess you never know.

3. don't say: "I can't believe you gave your baby away"
First off, I didn't 'give Avery away' I placed her for adoption. There is a difference. A huge difference. and Second, giving something away means giving it to someone that you (most likely) don't know and never wanting anything to do with it again. That's not the case. I knew Dustin and Andrea well before I placed Avery into their arms, to be adopted by them, so that she could have a family to be sealed to and two parents in the same home that love each other. AND I definitely want A LOT to do with Avery. That is why this is an open adoption. I love her more than anything and I always ALWAYS want to know how she is doing.


4. If you are married, pregnant and parenting this baby, do NOT complain to a birthmother OR an infertile couple, about your pregnancy.
Don't complain about how long you have to wait or how uncomfortable you are because I can GUARANTEE that when you DO complain to these people, you are causing much grief emotionally on their end. When I was pregnant, I complained about how long it was taking because I knew I wasn't getting anything in the end except more pain and heartache. I want more than anything to be able to create my own child and carry him/her for nine months and THEN parent him/her after he/she is born. It's hard to explain, but it's very hard to hear an expectant mother complain to me about how miserable she is. I just want to strangle her when she does and I'm sure infertile mothers feels the same way. I just want to say to her "At least this is YOUR child and you're not going to be dealing with incredible emotional pain after she is born."


5. Don't complain about being a mother
I'm sure this goes for adoptive parents too. I know that when the time is right for me to have my own kids, I will be so eternally grateful that I can be their mother. I will cherish every moment with them. So don't complain to me about how hard motherhood is. It's harder to give birth to your child and then willingly relinquish your rights as a mother. Until you have done that, don't complain.


6. Don't say "There are people out there who have it worse than you"
Frankly, this shouldn't be said about ANY trial a person is going through regardless of what it is. Saying that does NOT make the pain any easier. Saying that to someone is completely belittling their trial and that is SO wrong to do. I'm sure the person going through it doesn't think they have it worse than everyone else in this world, I know I don't. But it still hurts. Belittling it does not make them feel any better in fact for me, it makes me feel worse.


7. Don't treat someone placing their child for adoption as 'not that big of a deal'
I heard a story the other day. A good friend of mine had just BARELY placed and she was showing her coworkers pictures of her. One of them walked up to her and said "Cute baby, too bad you gave her away." and then walked away. WOW. That's SOO insensitive. Apparantly this person has NO idea what she had just gone through.

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Now this next one is from this site. Just another few things of what NOT to say.

I. "I could never place my baby for adoption."

This one used to make me cringe each time I heard it. I felt like I had failed at motherhood and the person making the comment has succeeded. That I must have been heartless to be able to do such an act. I felt inferior, like I need to prove something to them.

I have since learned I am not inferior, and I do not have to prove my mothering abilities to anyone. I believe now that comment has more to do with the person making it, than myself. Never has a woman secure in her role as a mother said that to me. Only the doubting, struggling-to-get-by mothers who feel that they must make such a declaration.

II. "What a wonderful gift you have given to a
childless couple"

Try to see this one from the Birthmother's point of view. Now, I love my daughter's adoptive parents, but by no means did I place my first born child as a 'gift' to a childless couple. I am not that nice, not that giving. When I clutched my nine month pregnant belly with tears in my eyes, I did not recite the phrase, "Just think how I am giving a special gift to people I do not know".

When it comes down to the day when you hold your child for the first time, all thoughts of anyone else but your child and yourself fade away. There has to a higher reason for placement.

I gave Emily's parents as a gift to my daughter. That was my plan. That was my intention. Now, as an added benefit, I see her parents lives enriched by Emily's existence. Together, we celebrate the gift of knowing our daughter, Emily.

III. "You can have other children"

This speaker means well, I am sure, but this comment can strike the very heart of a Birthmother. Other children? You can never replace another child with another! To try and do so is to dishonor the child you have placed for adoption and the child you use to fill the void.

Let us remember our children. Let us celebrate them. We hold a special place in our hearts where their names will be etched forever.

No matter how many babies you carry out of the hospital with you, you never will forget the one you did not.

IV. A lady once said to me, "That sure is 'nice' of her parents to let you see Emily."

My quick reply was, "That sure was nice of me to give them my baby!"

Needless to say she said nothing more. I try to educate people by telling them my story, even on days I do not feel like doing so. Some, I have learned, are not able to be very teachable on the subject.

Her attitude was that I should be grateful, as a dog is grateful to get scraps from the dinner table. I will not put myself in such a position. I refuse to be the silent shadow in the corner with my eyes downcast.

Aside from the fact my daughter's parents would never treat me in such a fashion, I am grateful to God. The open adoption I have with my daughter is like a gift from Him-a gift that I get to open each time I see her smiling face.

V. The fifth response a Birthmother does not want to hear is an akward silence.

We want to talk about our children. We want to remember them. We know when you are avoiding it, and it hurts.

I love it when others ask me how Emily is doing and to ask to see the pictures from my recent visit. I enjoy swapping my labor and delivery tales with other mothers. By the way, I was in labor for forty-two hours with my Emily! Ouch!

It is okay to talk about the children we placed. We placed them for adoption. We did not place them out of our thoughts and hearts.

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We are just so excited to find OUR birthmother. I know she is out there and we can't wait to meet her! I am in awe at the strength that these women have. They place the needs of their baby above their own happiness. I just know that our birthmom will become my best friend. :)

For National Adoption Month, I'm going to try to post as often as possible about adoption. If you have a story, I would LOVE to hear it. If you want to do a post on my blog about adoption, I would be tickled pink!!! :) Adoption is so wonderful and I want the whole world to know (because not everyone thinks as I do).

3 comments:

Brower Family said...

I would be willing to let you post a link about my story that I wrote back in May if you would like. I won't be offended if you decide not to. I just wanted to let you know that I am okay with it! Thanks for posting all of these wonderful things about adoption. I can't wait for you to meet your wonderful birthmother! And, I can't wait for her to meet you both! She will be pretty lucky!

Yankee Girl said...

Excellent post on birth mothers! I can't believe that some people would actually say some of those things.

My mom is in charge of making menu assignments for Thanksgiving at your parent's house this year and we were wondering what your diet is. I was thinking you are vegan and Janel is thinking you eat raw foods only. If you get a chance send me an email at crtnbrnsatgmail.com to let us know. Also include any menu items that you would like to see on the table.

Susie said...

I enjoyed reading this blog! Sorry, I don't think I've added you to my blog, you're the one actually that made me want to get one!
I'm pretty sure I have probably said or asked one of those things before, not literally to a birth mom, but more to myself. I know I ask you a million questions about your adoption process and please let me know if anything that I have asked you or might ask you in the future has been rude. Keep posting more about adoption please!!