On April 29,2004 I became a birthmama. Ten years ago today. I was thirty-three years of age and had already been a single mother for the previous five years. I adored being a mom and wanted to have more children of my own but bad timing, choices and luck had joined together to create a crisis pregnancy and when I looked at the nine-month timeline, I didn’t see any possible way that I would be able to successfully parent both my children and deal with some of the fallout I had on my plate at the time. In retrospect, I was limited in my investigations. I wasn’t asking the right questions and I wasn’t demanding enough of my rights back when I had some.
Most of all, I believed that I was relinquishing out of the love I held for my child, for all of my children, but by being fully involved in the decision leading up to placement and then being available post-placement for anything the adoptive family might need from the birthfamily and certainly anything my son would need from me, but I thought that eventually the pain would lessen. That the worst would pass and life would get “back to normal.”
Now I’m a decade into my intimate understanding of the adoption world and I’ve had a lot more time to ask those questions, feel those feelings and to deal with the things that I probably only gave the “Cliff Notes” version of attention back in 2003. I’ve sought out other birthmothers; some in reunion and some still searching for their children. I have developed training to understand birthparent addiction and participated in adoption symposiums. I write to birthmothers who are incarcerated because of their addictions and have had to give birth and had their parental rights terminated while in prison.
I’ve developed the XIX program of recovery support services to help strengthen the individual’s recovery by learning what motivated them to become addicted and working to advocate and mentor towards the life that they want for themselves instead of the life I want, or their probation officer wants for them. I am a member of the completely fabulous Ohio Birthparents Group. I learn so much in community with others, peer supported. I believe that we are strengthened by sharing.
Fear and shame closes down….and sends us back to the Dark Ages.
Love opens up up…and encourages the blossoming of the next Renaissance
And I’m all about the Love, sweet babies. I’m not saying that some of this stuff isn’t scary as heck! It is. However, instead of closing down to fear…I let the love do it’s magick and see where we end up if we allow ourselves to grow and change and heal. To develop into whatever the new me will be. I would like an Adoption Renaissance very much. A change of thought and heart and mind (and policy and law too!) is well in order if we are to truly uphold birthparents as nobel and honored members in the adoption dynamic.