This post was written by my husband about how my story changed his view on birth mothers.
I consider myself a very open-minded person. I respect others who pursue a productive way of life and appear to make decisions that they feel are best for their future. I generally reserve judgment of others actions, especially if I do not necessarily agree with them, until I understand their motives. However, I am just as susceptible as anyone else is to assumptions. From time to time, I make guesses about why a person makes certain choices. Why a person would choose to place a child for adoption is one of those choices about which I used to make assumptions. Adoption was not a topic that was always on the forefront of my mind or anything, but I am sure all of us hear about the topic from time to time.
As I was growing up throughout the years, I mostly only heard of people choosing to parent. I cannot recall ever hearing about the topic of adoption until high school. Prior to meeting Sierra, I only had two somewhat close associations with adoption. A family I went to church with in high school had an adopted child, and a childhood family friend placed a child for adoption when she got pregnant as a young adult. In the first family’s situation, I never really gave much thought as to what the birth mother’s story was or where she came from. I simply thought the family who was raising her was a good family and that she was in good hands.
The situation of my childhood friend (whom I will refer to as Kelly) on the other hand, hit a tad closer to home. At the time of Kelly’s adoption, we were not as familiar with each other since I had moved away years prior. We would occasionally cross paths when I would come back and visit friends and similar acquaintances. I remember when I heard about Kelly placing her child for adoption. I remember being a little surprised. I remember wondering why she would choose to place since she was a very nice person and came from a nice family. Because I was very ignorant on the subject of adoption at the time, I honestly assumed Kelly chose adoption simply because she did not want to be a parent. It was nothing against her personally, but my thinking at the time was, who chooses to give his or her child away to someone else?
I did realize there was a difference between adoption and foster care, which is the result in situations where the welfare of a child is in danger and a judge rules in favor of the removal of a child from the custody of his or her parents. However, this was not the situation with Kelly. In my eyes, nothing about her suggested she was being reckless or unethical or putting her child in danger in any way. That is why I assumed that Kelly’s giving away her child was simply because she did not want to be a parent. Like many people back then and still today, I questioned why she would not just parent, be a single mom, and utilize the support of her strong family. I wondered what she thought was so bad about being a mother to her child that she would give her child to someone else. It is shocking to think of just how ignorant and off the mark my assumptions of her choice were.
My perception of adoption began to change when Sierra and I began dating. We originally met online, and I could not believe how beautiful she was. Shortly after corresponding with her a few times, she informed me that she was pregnant. As a single person at the time, I was not sure how I felt about getting involved with a pregnant woman. However, she was so beautiful it was hard to care that I could one day in the future be a stepfather. That worry was short lived because I also had thoughts of how special she could be, and having a child would not necessarily change that.
A short time later, Sierra informed me that she was going to forego parenting and was choosing to place her child for adoption. At the time, my original assumptions about adoption began to surface; however, they did not last very long because I felt deep in my heart that Sierra was a very special person with an awesome heart. Over the course of our time dating, I really began to learn and understand what it means to choose adoption and what it means to be a birth parent.
My wife is the most selfless person I know. She gives of herself to a fault, at times. She placed her child because she understood, as much as her heart wanted to be his mother and raise him every day of his life, that her ability to do so would be inadequate for what she believed he deserved. She understood the instability and troubles her child would experience throughout his life. She understood that those troubles and instabilities should and could be avoided. She understood that as much as she wanted to give him the stable foundation and loving home life that she desired, she would fall short.
My wonderful wife has helped me understand that choosing adoption has nothing to do with not wanting to be a child’s parent and giving them away for selfish reasons. She has helped me realize that being a birth parent and choosing adoption has everything to do with being selfless and making the ultimate sacrifice. She has helped me realize that a birth mother’s choice to place a child means placing him or her in the best possible situation with the best possible opportunities, regardless of how much she desires to be that child’s parent.
As the husband of a birth mother, my eyes have not only been opened to just how strong and selfless birth mothers are, but I have also become an advocate and supporter for any person who makes such a heartfelt decision. I hope the world continues learning and gaining a true understanding of what adoption really is about. Birth parents are some of the most selfless people on Earth. It is my belief that the greatest lesson we can learn from birth parents is just how strong and honorable the human spirit can be when a person is faced with an unimaginable decision.