If you are pregnant and considering adoption, let me give you a glimpse of what the rest of your life will probably look like after you give your child to people you don’t know or that you barely know: The power of being a Birth Mother.
I have felt this way, many times. You may think that being pregnant and being abandoned is the worst thing that ever happened to you. Let me tell you the truth: this baby is the best thing you’ll ever do. No matter what you do in life, no matter what you achieve, you’ll never top that. And when you give birth, YOU will have labored to bring your child here. YOU will have fought the very tough fight, and the proof of his or her birth is proof that you won! And when you see that shiny little shriveled up face, it will be the most beautiful thing you will ever see.
Those prospective adoptive parents? They didn’t labor; they didn’t fight. The lie is that you messed up, so you don’t deserve this child. The truth is that these strangers that an adoption agency or that someone else found to adopt did nothing special – and even if they did, it still doesn’t make them any more deserving of your hard fought-and-won labor of love than you are. Whoever told you you’ll go on with your life and be happy knowing your child is in a “better place” IS LYING (they say that when somebody dies too, when few people living have ever been there or have any real hint of a clue, so those words and others like them ought to be cause for pause in and of themselves…am I right??)!!! Hear this: THEY’RE LYING!! And if you give that baby up, you’ll wake up and realize that you are alone in this world, left behind, discarded, no longer needed now that you’re not carrying the motherlode – literally – and it will hit you very soon after relinquishing: I was lied to…It was all just a lie.
Your baby is not a problem that has to be fixed. Your baby is the best thing that will ever happen to you, and the best thing you’ll ever do is love this child and continue to fight for this child’s right to live and to thrive. Yes, your child holds within himself, within herself, the potential to break your heart like no one else ever could, but he/she is still the best thing you’ll ever do with your life.
That thing that’s quietly nagging at you and gnawing at you that something is not quite right as you’re moving forward with this adoption thing, as you’re talking with the prospective adoptive parents, talking with counselors, talking with social workers and with everyone else whose interests lie in telling you that you’re doing the right thing – as you are being backed into that corner…that nagging thing is the truth. You are already this child’s mother, even though he/she is not even born yet. And what this child is going to need when he/she is born is you, just you. There will be other people he/she will need, but the biggest, most immediate need throughout the entirety of your baby’s childhood will always be you. The lie is that you can’t do this. The truth is, you can. Yes, it will hurt like hell – just like giving birth. But, just like giving birth, there is no greater joy. Will it be easy? No. Not at all. But I can tell you that if you relinquish, nothing that you can achieve or do with your life will be worth doing without your child there with you – as much of an uphill battle as it will seem at times.
This baby is the best thing that has and will ever happen to you. It doesn’t matter whether you deserve it or not. Your baby is yours, and there is nothing that can take that away, and there’s nothing that you, or he, or she, or anyone else can do about it, so go ahead and don’t deserve it, but do it anyway. Be who you are: You are your baby’s mom. That is who you are. Make all the mistakes you’re going to make – just like every mother does. Just don’t make the biggest mistake any mother ever made. Giving up your child will be the biggest mistake you’ve ever made. I’ve had almost 21 years to try and convince myself I did the right thing in giving my son up. The truth is, I’m more convinced than ever that all I did was force-feed myself the biggest lie ever told. The lies are out there, in abundance…it doesn’t mean you’re obligated to eat them. I know the truth now. If you need help, I’ll help, so contact me: Here is my email: firstname.lastname@example.org – or contact someone, anyone, who believes in your rights and abilities to parent your child. If you need me to contact you, I will contact you, just say the word. Tell me you need to know how to reach me, and I’ll give you my number. I will do for you what I never got to do for my baby, which is figure out a way, and it will mean everything to me, so, please, just call me. Whatever I can do, I will do. We’ll put our heads together. We’ll figure this out.
Nobody did this for me, and someone should have. Why should someone have said and done these things when I was in the situation that is very similar to yours? Because it is the eff-ing RIGHT thing to do, that’s why! So, because it is the right thing, I’m doing for you what no one did for me, and what no one did for my fellow sisters, my fellow mothers who gave up their children for adoption. The right thing to do is tell the truth – even if the truth hurts. Here’s the truth: You’re the mom! The child you are carrying is your child. You can back out. It’s not too late; as deep as you’re in, you’re not in so deep that you can’t get out…that, too, is part of the lie. You don’t know it yet, but you’ve got a whole army behind you fighting every day for your right to parent your child, and I can’t wait to introduce you to them!
PS…, and if you think I didn’t have problems, I also can’t wait to show you the list and recite the litany of all that was wrong with me when I got pregnant…the list is scary and long. So, whatever you think is wrong with you, it’s probably on my list, and you know what? It’s not wrong enough to make right what just isn’t right and will never be right. Please don’t learn too late, like I did, like my fellow sisters who relinquished did: that giving up your child will never be right. As long as there is that glimmer of a spark of hope that whatever needs to change can change, and that whatever needs to be possible in order for you to parent your child is possible (and it is), then you’ve got enough of everything that you will ever need, right there.
And the best news is, you don’t even have to believe that right now. All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other and take each day as it comes. If you can’t give yourself permission yet, then I give you permission to indulge in imagining yourself as a mother to your baby. Look around at mothers you admire and realize that same potential is within you. Look around at mothers who are hard to respect and recognize what you see and loathe as a signpost of what no one else has to be or perpetuate – including and especially you. Let yourself imagine what kind of mother you’d like to be…the sky is the limit…what kind of wonderful things can you be and do for your child? Let yourself imagine it. In that powerful place of imagination is where everything that is and ever was became possible.