Talk about a blast from the past.
The picture is one of my husband and I over two decades ago. In that short span of time before we knew anything of the loss of our oldest child. When our life revolved around school and friends and the innocence of youth.
That was us before the miracle of our first son. Before anyone made us feel unworthy, unable to give our own child everything he deserved.
The girl you see there is someone I have never found again. Never been able to reconnect with, have an association with.
She disappeared over twenty years ago. Became a stranger to me and those close to me after the loss of my son.
Even now. Even with therapy and support groups. With all I have done to learn the truth of what happened. With all the research and learning. I have forever lost that girl I once was.
Lost her on that day I walked out of the hospital with empty arms. When I believed I wasn’t good enough, worthy enough, for my own child. When everything I had believed and carried within me throughout my life became something that no longer mattered as I became THAT kind of woman. The kind who could give up her own flesh and blood.
There is a change, a shift, I believe happens, even today, to women who are led to believe, whether through so-called counseling or the message from society in general, that they are not good enough mothers for their children. That another woman. Someone better. Richer. Married. More successful . . . is the one who deserves to raise her child.
It’s an abuse against her self esteem. Her self worth as a woman, and most importantly as a mother.
It’s an accusation, without merit to base it on, that she will fail without ever trying. That her status, her worth as a mother, is below another woman’s. Unimportant to those that society views as worthy.
And it’s used under the excuse of doing what is best for her and her child.
Because that is what our world revolves around today. That is what so many believe . . . support.
In our loss of human kindness, we have decided that it is acceptable, even encouraged, to take away one woman’s worth to justify another’s.
We find no problem in saying it’s allowed to build up the self esteem of the woman desiring to be a mom at the sacrifice of the one who already is. No problem in creating a lifetime of doubt, insecurity and depression for one woman in a hope to chase away the same emotions from another.
And we base it on which one deserves more, by their accomplishments. Their financial worth. Their career stability.
On who our materialistic society deems as more “worthy” of a child.
I was deemed unworthy of my child. Deemed not good enough for him. A failure as a mother before I ever had a chance to try.
And yet his adoptive mother was deemed worthy of it all. She was seen as the one to be freed from her misery. Important enough to place me in a lifetime of my own misery to save her from hers. I wasn’t good enough . . . she was.
So I was sacrificed.
For her. For the belief it was worth it to end her suffering by settling it on my shoulders. By taking the woman I was and changing her into one who then knew loss, self-doubt and grieving.
Because, somehow, my being young and still in school and unmarried warranted that I take the pain while she was relieved of it.
It’s easy, as a society, to claim we have nothing to do with the loss of mother and child. To stand back and declare that our hands are washed clean of the acts that determines which woman suffers and which one gains.
But we aren’t innocent. We are the problem.
We are the ones who, in so many areas of our lives, base our decisions on who is more worthy by their power, their money, their status. Our voices are what feeds the practice. Our views that continue to accept that a mother deserves to be separated from her child simply because she doesn’t have “enough” compared to that other woman who so desperately wants a child.
You see it everywhere. Everytime someone talks about how great and brave a First Mom (birthmother in most of their talk) is for realizing her child deserved more than she could offer.
They just can’t believe how amazing she is. Are so thankful for the sacrifice she made so they, or another, could be parents.
What a wonderful woman she is. How great is it that she thought of her child first and realized he or she deserved more than she could offer.
What a miracle it is that she will take on a life now of suffering and loss and grief and self-doubt so that another woman can be happy and have that child she deserved.
Another sacrifice. Another woman forever changed. Forever left to see herself as not being good enough for her own child so that another woman could have what she “deserved” and be worthy of that very same child.
Every time you hear of a First Mom so “happy” because of her supposive choice to believe she wasn't good enough, rich enough, successful enough . . .
Every time you visit this blog, or one of the many other First Moms brave enough to step up and speak out against what society wants us to believe, I hope you will think of that picture of my husband and I. And of that woman who once was and will never be again because I too was led to believe that I was doing the right thing. That I wasn’t good enough, worthy enough, right enough, for my own child.
I hope you will remember that I was one of them. One who was sacrificed by society and the adoption industry to bring happiness to another woman while I was left with sorrow, loss and heartache.
That girl you see in the picture is the image of who I was before it was decided that my pain was worth curing the loss of another woman’s. That the insecurities, depression and grief I have lived with my entire life was worth it because it meant that couple who so desperately wanted a child of their own was granted their wish.
I was the sacrifice for another’s happiness.
I was the one who was left never able to find the woman she once was because I wasn’t worthy of being protected and cared about.
Instead, I was the one who deserved to lose because another was better than I was and deserved the happiness that came at the expense of my life full of pain.
In Other Words: Susan Harness and Sandy White Hawk
23 minutes ago