Second Chance Adoptions

Second Chance Adoptions-karen version

This is what a Second Chance Adoption would look like for me.  This is my story.  A true story.  We need to put our self in the scenario or our child and wrap our mind around it.  What happened to Forever Family?

Unacceptable…

It is time to put a stop to this.

When Families Un-Adopt a Child

Birth, Bio, First Mother

I was reading a blog post the other day and one of the followers expressed their opinion about the blogger using the term “birth mother”, asking the blogger how she could use such an archaic word to describe a mother.  Truth is this blogger is a mother who placed her child into the adoption system.  She doesn’t speak as an outsider looking in, but rather she is one of the brave souls who took this unexpected emotional journey through uncharted territory of loss and sorrow.  No one ever prepares a woman for the ramifications of choosing to relinquish their child.

For reasons I wrote about in my book, One Woman’s Choice, I also took that emotional journey and relinquished my parental rights four days after I gave birth to my son, Noah.  Personally, it doesn’t bother me if someone’s refers to me as the birth mother, first mother or biological mother.  To me, I am Noah’s birth mother.  I gave birth to him during childbirth, hence the term birth mother.  I am also Noah’s first mother.  I conceived him within my womb and our souls were connected as we shared a space within the temple of my body.   And I am and always will be his biological mother.  My genetics, blood and DNA runs deep throughout his body.

Now, I will say that although I have used the term birth father, this doesn’t make as much sense to me as the birth mother term.  The father doesn’t give birth to his child.  I’m also not fond of the term “birth siblings”.  Sometimes the siblings weren’t even born yet.  How can a brother or sister be deemed the birth sibling if they were not born at the time of the birth?  And even if the sibling was born prior to, they did not choose to relinquish their sibling rights as a brother or sister and should not be subject to a label of lessor prominence.   My two sons are not “birth” brothers, they are brothers, period!  They have the same biological mother and father.  This fact inevitably makes them brothers and no relinquishment document can ever erase that fact.

I am the mother of my son, Jaren.  I conceived him within my womb, gave birth to him, nurtured him, fed him, and have raised and provided for him since the time he entered this world.  On the other hand, I have not done the same for Noah.  When I relinquished my parental rights and handed Noah to his new mom, I passed the “mother” title to her as well.  Don’t get me wrong, it hurts to speak this truth.  As a woman and a mother, I would have loved nothing better than to have raised both of my sons as one family with no added titles, but my choice and signature on a legal document changed all that.

Call me whatever you want, but I know what role I have to both of my sons and they know who I am to them.  Whatever they choose to call me is their choice.  Either way, no political title will define me or my relationship with my sons.  My love for them is far greater than any barrier the public tries to wedge between families of diverse circumstances.

I asked Noah one time how he wanted me to introduce him; as my birth son, my son, or Jaren’s brother.  He said, “You can just say I’m your son.”   And so it is…

I Dreamed of You…

You entered my womb without a sound,
Patiently waiting to be found.

Without effort, we bonded to each other
You become my child…I, your mother.

And I dreamed of you…

I provided nutrients, your living bowl
I became your life line….you, my little soul.

You snuggled inside, warm and tight
You became my courage, my inner light.

And I dreamed of you…

The time had come and you were complete
Our bodies worked together, we didn’t miss a beat.

I held you in my arms, thankful for my gift
You became my weight, I became your lift.

Noah's birthAnd my dream came true…

I hugged you… kissed you… and tenderly said good-bye.

I became your birth mother…you, my absent child.

And I dreamed of you…..

TO MY BIRTH MOTHERS

Last month, I went to my very first birth mother’s support group meeting.  It’s hard to believe it’s been thirteen years since I placed my son, Noah, for adoption.  My life was much different back then than it is today.  Not in ways one might imagine.  I mean, I’m still single, I still live in an apartment and I drive a ten year old Toyota.  But emotionally, I’m a different person today than I was thirteen years ago.

When I discovered I was expecting Noah, I was already a working single parent of my twelve month old son, Jaren.  This new pregnancy was unsettling to say the least.  I was very aware of the backlash I would get from my son’s father (who by the way was Jaren’s father), and my family, and friends, and co-workers.  To my despair, my greatest fear was realized when I confronted my son’s father and confessed to my family.

My first instinct was to hide this pregnancy from the general population and have an abortion.  I had had an abortion previously and I knew what to expect.  And my son’s father requested for me to have an abortion and even provided the funds to help guarantee his request.  But for some reason, when the day came for the abortion, I couldn’t go through with it.  I don’t know why.  Maybe because I had gone through the experience of growing a child inside me and giving birth to a heavenly human being, it somehow changed me.  For whatever reason, I decided to carry this new baby inside me and place him for adoption.  However, I would not be emotionally prepared for what was about to occur next in my life.

Any woman who has ever been pregnant knows our emotions are in a bi-polar stage as our body and hormones go through a variety of changes.  Add the fact that I was a single mom, no supportive partner or family, and then having to face the facts that I may need to let go of my baby boy once he is no longer attached to me would discharge any human’s beings emotional state off the charts.  Luckily, I was drug free because if not, it would have been very easy to escape into some kind of comatose reality.

After Noah was adopted, I went into a deep depression.  My eyes fought back tears daily, my face lay heavily on my skull and the mere sound of laughter sounded like hyena’s cackling.  Subliminally, I was thinking, “How can they laugh when I am hurting so much inside?

It seemed everyone around me was enjoying life but I was stuck; stuck in a world that no longer existed.

Now, thirteen years later, sitting in that meeting room, I realized I am in a much better place today, at least emotionally.  You see, I recognized the sadness that penetrated these birth mother’s eyes, I felt the sorrow they were trying to hide and I understood the heartache that drenched their body.  All those emotions lay heavily on the birth mother and we want so much to ring it all out of our body like a wet rag but we can’t.  We’re trapped in this state of helplessness.  We’ve been stripped to our core and our weakness is exposed and we become vulnerable to any attack that is thrown at us.  We are at the mercy of our choice and sometimes, our regret.

No, I didn’t know these birth mothers personally, but I already knew their emotions and their heart.  I know who they are.  They are amazing women who were forced to make decisions under turbulent conditions.  They are women who were willing to risk their reputation and public judgment for their sacrifice.  They are women who helped other women become mothers so they could experience motherhood through the generosity of a birth mother.

I wish I had a magic wand to erase all the birth mother’s sorrow but I don’t and I can’t.  And even though we share this experience, I know that each birth mother needs to grieve the loss of her child under her terms and in her own special way.  In the end, I hope my support and seeing me at thirteen years out, that these birth mothers could see that I am still standing and I continue to heal every day, and my quality of life continues to increase.

Life after adoption is not the end of a birth mother’s story.  But rather, a new life emerges, new chapters begin and our stories continue.  It’s a story of love, strength, perseverance and faith.  And hopefully, one day when her child is fully grown into adulthood, it will be a story of thanksgiving.  Thanks be to God.

Adoption in the Perfect World

English: Globe icon.

English: Globe icon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently read some blogs from a birth mother site. I was surprised to say the least for so many reasons. Birth mothers, who were hurting and very angry, were attacking adoptive families. Adoptive families were backlashing with ridicule towards the birth mothers. One adoptive mother even said she was sparing her child from telling him that he came from “bad stock”. Really? Have we come to this? Or maybe I have just been shielded and naïve to this birth/adoptive community. No loving parent would ever want to bad mouth or say derogatory things about a child’s family; loving being the operative word here.

I was born out of wedlock in 1963. My mother chose to keep me and parent me as a single mother. She already had two mouths to feed, my older brother and sister from her first marriage. Four years down the road, my father went to prison for murder. She never told me that I came from “bad stock”. She actually allowed me to maintain contact through letters and an occasional phone call with my imprisoned father. At times, I felt like a second class citizens for being born out of wedlock, for not having my father in my life and then finding out later about his crime and prison sentence. If I had been told I was from “bad stock” or was made to feel guilty for something my parents had done, it would have made me feel horrible and like less of a human being.

The only reason a person would choose to portray someone as “bad stock” is if one person wants to make another person look bad so they can make themselves look better. So in essence, it has nothing to do with the birth parent or birth child but in fact with the voice who is speaking the hate and judgment.  Isn’t that called bullying?

My mother told me that she decided not to tell me anything derogatory about my father because one day I would grow up and I could decide for myself what kind of man he was. She said if she tried to make me hate him, I would end up hating her; smart woman.

I agree that too often, expecting pre-birth mothers don’t have the resources to consider their other options, like single parenting. And many times, post birth mothers were forced, coerced or convinced that placing her child for adoption was the best choice. But one thing that really bothers me is all this blame going back and forth between (what appears to me) birth mothers and adoptive mothers. Let us not forget that most of these women (birth mothers) had consensual sex. The real reason this child is made available is because too many men are shirking their responsibility and the expecting mother is alone many times without any support of family and friends. So yes, her choice is made in a desperate state. Once she hands over her child (if she was allowed to do so) to the adoptive parents, her grief begins.

It does seem like at times, that some of our society would like a perfect world. But remember, in a perfect world, no pregnant woman would be left to fend for herself without the contributing male donor that helped her conceive “their” expecting child. Couples who are unable to conceive biological children would remain childless. In a perfect world, no woman would be raped by a man but decide to carry her child nine months to be placed for adoption. In a perfect world, no father would molest his daughter. And the daughter would not be shamed again and judged by an adoption agency, a nun, a hospital nurse, or a society claiming “the birth mother” was easy and a slut. IN A PERFECT WORLD!!!

I am a single mother and a birth mother. My first born, I am parenting and my second born I chose to place for adoption. I have an open relationship with my son’s family. And although we have hit bumps in the road, we have worked through them for which I am most grateful.

We may not live in a perfect world and I may not have a perfect solution. This is God’s world and I believe He guides us so we may all work together in a loving way to support each other; to respect each other; to find common ground for the good of our children and for all humanity. I live in the real world.