I’m a First/Natural Mother, not a Birthmother.
My situation was not a loving, selfless act. It was an act of fear and desperation.
And I did not place my child for adoption . . . I gave him up.
I put my name on a piece of paper that the law viewed as a willing testament to my desire for my son to be separated from me. I placed him in the arms of someone who was a complete stranger to him, allowing another woman he had no bond with at the time to take my place. And then I walked away and left him alone with her, in those precious early days of his life when what he needed most was the sound of my heart beat, my voice. My familiar smell and the comfort of knowing he was loved in my arms.
If that isn’t giving him up, than I don’t know what is.
In our culture, an illusion is created by the adoption industry. A pretty little wrapping they use to try and hide away the darker truths and painful losses that come with separating a mother and her child.
There is no question that those who profit financially from adoption have had many years, decades worth, of study and research and learning on how best to convince a woman that adoption is the answer. The only true light at the end of the dark tunnel she faces in an unexpected pregnancy. They know how to play on her weaknesses. Which fears and insecurities to go after. What works best to show her that loving her child means losing her child.
And after they are done with her, after she has lost the most vital part of herself, she, often times, walks away repeating, as if reading from the same script, exactly what she was told while she was pregnant. Hailing herself on one end by standing proudly on the pedestal they placed her on, declaring she made the loving option by placing her child for adoption. That she gave a great gift to another couple. That she knew she couldn’t be what her child deserved and gave him or her the kind of life she could only wish for them to have.
And yet, on the other end, she is diminishing everything she is as a human being. Denying, as was done to her while pregnant, her own qualities and abilities. She places herself in a position of being “less than” for her own child, her own flesh and blood. Not being good enough, smart enough, educated enough, right enough to deserve to be a mother. Every time she declares that the adoptive parents are better than her for her child, she lowers herself to a level she doesn’t belong, or deserve.
She takes the punishment of her sins, her mistakes. Allows herself and others to see her as “undeserving” of her child because of her failures while casting a glowing light to that couple who did everything right and so deserves the “gift” of her son or daughter.
She was viewed as a failure as a mother before ever being allowed to try and is then encouraged to acknowledge this and praise it. And if she does . . . if she repeats the script, says what is expected, continues to deny her own worth and ability to parent her child while giving all the glory to the couple who had what she believed she could not offer, she is regarded as a saint. Respected for her selfless act. Hailed as a hero. Given love and praise by others in the adoption world for being so brave and wonderful.
As long as she continues to deny her own self worth and proclaims such a traumatic loss was worth it, she remains on the pedestal she was so methodically placed on while she was pregnant.
And it is a powerful drug to be up there. To be seen as such a good “beemommie.” It reaffirms that you did the right thing. That you really weren’t good enough for your own child. That you gave up everything because you recognized and accepted your own failures, mistakes and sins that caused you to be unworthy of being a mother.
It can make you believe that the loss you still feel deep in your heart is worth it. It can cloud the reality of the fact that the loss can, and often does, get worse, not better with time. Chase away the later questions of “Why?” and “How could I?”
Being viewed as a great soul for giving up your child goes far in chasing away the harsher truth of believing you failed at being able to provide your son or daughter with everything they deserve in life. That as a mother, you weren’t capable or able to care for your own flesh and blood. That somebody else was better than you for your own child. Your own baby . . . that part of you that can never be replaced or forgotten.
Somebody else had what you didn’t because they deserved a “gift” and you deserved punishment.
And it makes me so damn angry!
Not at the First Moms who hold on to the top of that pedestal and need that powerful drug to chase away the harsher truths. And not even at those who praise and hail them as wonderful, selfless saints who were so brave to see and accept what failures they were as mothers and lose their child to someone “better.”
No. My anger is at the adoption industry that feeds it into our culture, into every area of our society. It’s their manipulative disgusting ways that anger me, leaving me wanting to scream and yell, pull my hair out and knock my head against a wall.
Because they know what they are doing. They understand fully the importance of keeping a First Mom “happy” with her decision, encouraging others to prop her up and praise her loving sacrifice.
They know the truth. They know the very real risks if a First Mom begins to slip and question what happened. If she starts to look deeper into her experience and face it in a different light.
There is no question in their mind what happens when adoption is talked about in any way outside of their “positive adoption language.” Outside of the very carefully orchestrated counseling they offer. The “sunshine and roses” image they feed into society.
And they are terrified of that. They fear what would happen if more and more people begin to see adoption differently and talk about it in the honest painful truth it is. Because they know it will change everything for them, especially their overflowing, grossly earned profits.
And so they continue to use First Moms and adoptive parents and adoptees and society in general. They feed to us what they want us to believe . . . desperately need us to believe. They do all they can to make sure their illusion withstands all else and is never questioned, especially not by the First Moms who they took so much from before they ever even gave birth.
They still have complete control over so many. They still have the say in what we believe, what we say and how we handle such terrible losses. All so they can continue to profit in the worst of ways.
And what is left with those First Moms who are led to degrade themselves and their own worth in order to keep up the happy illusion of adoption? What happens to them if they begin to realize that they were good enough for their child? That they deserved to be a mother. That nobody was better for their child.
What happens to them when they realize nothing . . . absolutely nothing . . . was worth losing their child over? That everything they have, they would gladly and eagerly give back if it meant they could go back and never have to face that moment when they believed loving their child meant losing them?
What happens to them when they slip off that pedestal and begin to see different truths, harder realities that they were encouraged not to acknowledge for so long?
The sad truth is, these moms are failed all over again.
Because if they aren’t happy, accepting of the very painful loss of their child, they are again not good enough, wrong in some way, selfish, bitter, angry . . . whatever adjective you want to label them with. Again they fall to that level of being “bad” when they could be so “good.” And all for the simple fact that they refuse to live any longer in the cloud of belief that dictates they weren’t good enough to be mothers but they could still succeed as long as they behave as good “birthmothers.”
And once they quit doing that, they are again viewed by so many as the same failures they were back when they faced an unexpected pregnancy. Because only First Moms who repeat the same script we all hear over and over again are worthy of respect and love in today’s world. Only they make others feel good about their own situations. Keep up the happy image of adoption. Chase away the truths that linger just below the surface.
First Mom’s who follow the path that is expected from them find that redemption they feel they must have for their actions. Redemption so many have no problem offering them because it justifies their beliefs, their feelings. Gives them an excuse not to look deeper into the reality of separating a mother and child.
Because to actually look past the illusion the adoption industry portrays, gives light to a completely different knowledge that so many fear and know, on some level, makes no sense.
How can it when it involves such a tremendous loss for mother and child? When it makes no sense to see ANYONE happy and grateful for losing a son or daughter, encouraging others to follow in line with the same grief and suffer a lifetime of the same separation? How can it when the statement, “I gave you up because I loved you,” is such a complete contradiction in terms that in any other logic it would never be accepted.
We need to change our way of thinking. We need to change the views we carry and the expectations we place on expectant moms facing an unplanned pregnancies and First Moms who have lost their children.
We need to take the control away from the adoption industry. Refuse to believe what they claim is real and look into our own common sense, our own feelings and knowledge, to understand the true ramifications of adoption.
We need to be honest in everything we say to any woman considering adoption. Forget the “Positve Adoption Language.” Forget adoption plans and loving options.
Those terms represent nothing of the true act of giving your child up for adoption. They offer not even a sliver of the painful truth that actually occurs in believing, or being led to believe, that you are not good enough for your child. In the empty hearts and empty arms First Mom’s walk away with. In the forced situations we place our babies in with those who are strangers to them at the time of separation. And in the very real fact that the loss, the grief, the pain, doesn’t ever fully go away. It might come and go at times. Feel better one year and worse the other. But it never truly leaves a mother who has lost her child and very often grows stronger and more powerful as the years go by and the loss becomes more and more real with no end in sight.
We need to use honest language and refuse to be a part of the manipulative lying terms the industry wants us to use. Not for our benefit but for their own and at the sacrifice of so many wonderful women and children who are a victim to their words and actions.