Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thoughts About Birthmothers.

I've been thinking, about things I know that you don't...which is quite a bit, though I'm sure you know quite a bit about things I know nothing about, none the less, I wanted to tell you something that my life has taught me, that every life isn't taught.

My wife and I can't have kids.  She has known for most her life that her body didn't make children. And strangely, I had known for some of my life that we would adopt.  And in this way we were lucky. People who know they can't have kids from the get go are luckier than people who have to slowly find that out.  Though it doesn't really matter, God sends kids to Earth and He does it when He does it and no one really has a choice in that matter. But, I am still grateful that we have always known.

None of this is news, nor is it all that interesting.  But, what I do want you to know is something about birthmothers.  Whatever you may think, or even, how much you may empathize, unless you place your own child in someone else's arms forever, you will never know. Not that I do.  I will never know either. 

But what I do know, and I know it because I have sat two feet away and watched it happen, is a Birthmother is strong. In a deep and powerful way, a birthmother is strong.  I sat at a dinner with friends and the topic of a family up the street who had adopted several children from one birthmother came up. They went on to explain all that the Birthmother was getting out of the whole situation...and these were women who had had children of their own and they seemed to think that this woman could whip out babies with no emotional connection.  Let me just say, anytime you find yourself thinking that your ability to love or find faith or think something through and then soundly come to a conclusion is better than someone else's... it is not.  Every single person on earth has those abilities, so be weary of your thoughts when they lead you to think you've figured it all out for everyone.  Figuring out the same path for everyone was not the plan.

Once, a friend told me, "I could never give up my child." And I suppose that is true for her...but it was also true for the two birthmothers in my life.  But, trying to imagine giving up one of your children is not the way to go about such a thing.  What you need to imagine is, "What would my life have to be like for me to give up my child?" My friend who told me she "could never"was living a pretty sweet and safe life, her family was around and her husband had a good job and she loved her children.  Think of all that must happen in your own life that would lead you to the conclusion, "This child needs something I can't give."  That is a real place.   

A Birthmom is selfless, and not because of what she did for the adopting family...she could care less about me or my wife...well, I mean, she cares, but all she really cares about is that I am nice and safe and steady and committed, but in that moment...or rather, those long never ending months, she is only thinking about one person, her child. It is a rare woman who thinks about a childless couple and what she could give them...though, even they, I suppose, exist.  But most Birthmoms, and certainly the two who are part of our family, thought first, of this unborn child, next of their born children, (both of our Birthmothers parented children before they placed a child with us) and far last, themselves. 

There are several, easier and faster options for a woman who find themselves in the family way.  Not the least of which is to do away with it. Abortion is legal, surprisingly easy, and common.  When I worked in NYC, one of my coworkers requested the day off for a "Procedure". Another coworker told me why and I was shocked.  Here I was, looking to adopt and everyone knew it and yet come to find out multiple associates had done the same thing in the 4 years I had worked there...ah, see how easy it is to feel like I know the solutions to other peoples problems.  Those women made their own choices and also, they were not having my baby.  Years later, two other women did. And it was the harder choice and it was selfless, in the deepest sense of the word.

I know there are a thousand stories out there and I can't speak to every experience, but I want to add my story to all the others.  There is no greater love then that of a parent to a child. I know that because I am a father and have never loved greater then the way I love my children.  I also know it because I was handed those children by women who wanted more then anything to hold onto those babies forever, to watch them grow up and see who they turned out to be, to be there day after day in every part of their lives, and yet, wanting all that but knowing all they knew about that life ahead and knowing what they felt that child needed, they let that knowing outweighed their the wanting. 

And though it had little to do with me...I am forever grateful. 

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