“This emptiness in my life is so hard to deal with but I pray every day and I know God has the perfect baby and the perfect birthmother planned for us. I must be patient and someday this sadness will be forgotten.”
I hear statements like this over and over again in the world of adoption. Hopeful couples struggling with their desire to have a child while praying desperately for the pregnant woman who will choose them to raise her baby.
And when I run across them, I can’t help but to wonder if they realize, in their grief, they are praying for another women to suffer a terrible loss even as they are struggling with their own.
I know, when we are hurting, it is so hard to see outside that pain that surrounds us, controls us. But, I believe, when what you are praying or wishing so desperately for involves harming another to heal your heart, you must look outside your personal sadness and understand the affects your “answered prayers” will have on another human being.
Because, no matter what you might believe from what others have told you, when a woman gives up her child for adoption, she suffers a great loss. Losing a child, for whatever reason, is a horrid event, something most people would never even wish on their worst enemy. But in the world of adoption, it’s not only okay to wish this on another person, it’s accepted and encouraged.
First moms aren’t some strange creatures who don’t feel pain when they lose their child. They aren’t unknown life forms who can suddenly shut off that emptiness in their heart, that void in their life, when they face day after day, month after month, year after year, empty arms that were meant to hold their child.
And telling us we’re brave or strong or unselfish doesn’t change it. That loss is still there. It still exists and doesn’t ever go away. Because, we too, have a mother’s heart and it breaks just as easily when we don’t have our children.
When I hear other women say how hard it is to see mothers with their babies, how dark things like the holidays can be without a child to celebrate with. How they will go out of their way in stores to avoid anything baby or child related because they can’t handle the pain it causes them, I wonder if they realize the very act of adoption transfers that loss and pain to another women in order for them to move past it.
Because once they hold that baby they have prayed for in their arms, there is then a mother who walks down the street, sees a baby being pushed in a stroller and feels that terrible ache in her heart. There is a mother who hurts deep into her core when Christmas comes and her child isn’t there with her around the tree. When the birthdays hit and she isn’t baking a cake and wrapping the present.
And as an adoptive mother gets to suddenly hit every baby and child section in the stores with a new found glee. The mother who carried that child inside of her for nine months is now the one who will go out of her way to avoid any reminder of the loss she now suffers and struggles with.
Our pain is there. Our loss is real.
We may create ways to avoid it, to deny it, but it still exists within us. It still has a bearing on who we are and who we will become.
We don’t get a pass on that simply because we are First moms. We don’t get a special remedy that makes our heart ache any less for the child we’ve lost.
Even if we sink into denial or close ourselves off because of the shame, it is that loss that brings us to that point. It’s that ache deep in our souls that brings about such ways to somehow try and protect ourselves from that which we can never truly get away from.
Because we are mothers too. We hurt, we mourn and we bleed from the wounds left the moment our children were no longer in our arms.