Thursday, October 16, 2014

Birth Parent Loss--My Ache for Them

Sometimes it doesn't take much to light a fire in my heart to make me want to write. Sometimes writing is the only vehicle for my intense emotions.

This morning, it was this picture that undid my heart:
Used with permission from Casey Chappell

This glorious image of a boy, head thrown back in laughter, in the arms of his birth mother also in the same pose.

Don't they look so happy? So ALIKE.

Yet she is not raising him. She has spent the past 5 years getting herself together. And she bravely placed her baby into the arms of a family she only knew by letter…trusting they would raise him well.

And they have.

And as in open adoptions, they know one another.

This was a brave post by this adoptive mom…she was celebrating the amazing choice that this birth mother made to give her baby life and not take it from him because it was not convenient for her to become a parent at that time in her life. 

Let me have you read her sentiment in her own words: 
5 years ago today this brave young lady gave birth to this super smart and adventurous boy. Words can't explain how much I admire her courage to place her baby with a family she only knew through a letter. 
She's had a long 5 years and is getting ready for the rest of her life and knowing Jack is one of those precious things that both she and Dan and I value greatly. Birth moms are incredible and I'm so glad that I have the privilege to know 3 American women and wish I knew the 2 African women who have given life to the children who call me mom.          ~Casey Chappell

I love this. And it had me in a puddle of tears.

This tender young birth mother! She bravely made an adoption plan for her baby and followed through.

How difficult.

How ripping.

Do we, adoptive parents, pause long enough to fathom what these birth parents go through as they place their precious children for adoption?

Or are we all about OUR timelines, our fundraising, our dossiers, and obtaining our police clearances??

We turned to International adoption for many reasons, and one of which was that the adoption would not be open. We would NOT be faced with the unknowns of visitations from birth family. 

I must say, after seeing this post and hearing stories from my domestic adoptive mom friends…I wish we had the opportunity to know our children's birth families.

I am struck how selfish our desire for closed adoptions has been.


Yet, our 3 "grafted in" children's stories would be the same no matter who adopted them. They all have deep, dark gaping holes of their past. Abandonments. Only one with a note, and it was not personal. 

Their aches are so real. So painful.

I ache to hear our son lament that he wishes he could give food to his Africa mommy…because she might be hungry.

I cry at night when I hear him tell me how much he longs to have been born in my tummy. Really, I think he aches to know the woman who gave him life and to KNOW the answers to his past.

I think of these biological parents who gave away their children in China when they were born "different" than they expected.

And honestly, I had PLENTY of time to choose them as my children, to investigate their special needs and to evaluate if I could "handle them." They did not get this luxury.

As Toby giggles or Esty walks using canes and braces I WISH DESPERATELY I could have their birth mothers standing there with me. I'd place my arms around them and say, "LOOK! That's OUR baby!!! Doing sooooo well! Thank you for making this most difficult choice for them!"

And then I'd plant a big fat kiss on their cheeks.

Adoption is riddled with pain, ache, longing. It's impossible to be torn away from your roots and not have scars.

And it is just as impossible to scoop these treasured children into your family and not feel heavy hearted over the loss your children feel, but also the loss for these nebulous birth parents who are just "somewhere" out there. 

Oh how I wish I knew their names, knew their phone numbers. How I'd love to text the video of Esty WALKING into school on her own this morning. 

I'd love to text the funnies said by Toby. I'd love to show them how he can feed himself because of his surgery. I would love to ask them who is the eternal optimist that put such sunshine into my son's heart!

I'd love to let Zeb's mommy know that he is safe. He is well fed, he is attending school and making amazing progress. That their choices have worked out well for their precious child.

I planted rose bushes for each of these mothers. They are still blooming now, well into the fall, just as their babies are blooming here with us.

But I still cry for them. I still feel the pain of their losses. If YOU were one of my children's birth mothers then I say to you: be at peace. Your child is my treasure. Your baby is happy. Your son/daughter is valued, getting an education, knowing love. Your sweet one is being nurtured to discover their strengths and go after their future with gusto. Medical needs are being attended to. Opportunities abound. I carry your child in our family with utmost care and love. Your child will soar is soaring!!!

And then, I'd hug them...and then cry too.

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