A few weeks ago I was reading an online article about adoption. I know there are a lot of people who haven’t had great experiences with adoption so I usually try to stay away from the comments section. I was driven there this time and there were a surprising amount of positive comments posted. There was one comment that struck me, and broke my heart. Perhaps it frightened me so much because it’s something I’m afraid my birth son will feel. It was from an adopted person, she commented, “I was reunited with my birth mom a few years ago, turns out she has other kids who never knew about me. I doubt she ever even thought about me.” My heart aches for that sweet woman and I want to somehow tell her that all birth mothers think about the child they placed, but all birth mothers grieve differently.
There are many ways to grieve a child placed for adoption, I have seen quite a few. I have a birth mom friend who has started scholarships for birth mothers, non-profit organizations for nationwide support, and helps counsel women who are single and pregnant.That is her way of coping and healing. Then there are some who are a little more sheltered, those who talk about placing a child but not with everyone. Those closest to them know and perhaps if they feel inspired to share their story, they will. There are other birth mothers, the ones who don’t talk about the child they placed. They are afraid of resurfacing those wounds and making them fresh. They don’t want to be mocked, torn down, the relationship with their birth child sneered at by those who refuse to understand.
The relationship a birth mother holds for the child she placed is beyond precious.
The relationship a birth mother holds for the child she placed is beyond precious. It’s unique for each child, for each mother, for each situation, for each time period. It used to be that single, pregnant women were shipped off to homes to give birth. They then returned to their home towns and never spoke of their children again. However, I have heard testimony from many women of that era that they think about that child every day, especially on special occasions. Some celebrate by buying themselves a gift on that child’s birthday, though nobody around them knows why. Even in this day and age, when more than 90% of domestic adoptions are considered “open,” a birth mother always thinks of that child placed.
Over the past six years of being a birth mother myself, I have counseled with many other birth mothers. I have talked with many over social media, while at adoption organizations, and even at lunches with some who need a friend. (Sometimes I’ve needed a birth mom friend and someone has come to my aid.) Throughout all of my contact, I have never, ever met a woman who has not thought about her child at least once a day. Giving birth is beautiful, becoming a mother is beautiful, and anything that brings that much beauty into a person’s life is never going to be forgotten. It may be stored in a silent place in our hearts, may be thought about in quiet hours of the night. Something as simple as a television commercial will spark a memory. Whatever causes it, that child, that person, is thought about every day. Adoption is about love. Whenever the adoption happened, however the birth mother grieves, that child, that person, is loved.