myth busters, keep on debunking!

I don’t always deal with my adoption issues, but when I do “go there” my heart skips with glee when I see things like THIS(!!!):      ↓   ↓

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→  →  →   the real myths about birth mothers   ←  ←  ←

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Let the truth breathe, friends…let her breathe and take in the sunlight.  She’s been hidden in the back lower corner of the closet for far too long.

i had a plan. it stank. still stinks

As I’m sure my earlier post intimated, I am having a hard time right now.  There’s no trigger.  There’s nothing wrong in my world.  I’m in a good place in my marriage and even spiritually, I feel.  Just for the past few weeks, in spite of it all, I have had ongoing sadness and an ongoing longing for a history with my son that could lead to a present with him.  Whether it is appropriate or whether it is not is not the issue here.  I just want to, for once, be honest about it.

Even though there is need for serious reform in adoption and adoption practices, I have no wish, at this time, to crusade for it.

There is not a bad guy in my adoption story, and I have no need to blame anyone – not even myself as I’ve really just reached an exhausted end with even blaming myself.

For once, I just want to be what I am, and what I am is sad about losing my son and losing out on his childhood.  I don’t ever, even for one moment, feel that I have the right to ask or even know what is going on in my son’s life…I signed all that away.  I forfeited it.  So I go on, day after day, not asking and, therefore, not knowing.  And that just sickens me and saddens me more than my body and soul is able to even deal with.

I’m not depressed.  I’ve been depressed, so I know what depression is.  I know what mild depression is, and I know what profound depression is.  I know what to do to manage what happens to my serotonin levels this time of year, and I’m doing all the right things.

I’m just sad beyond words that I did what I did.  There is nothing else I can say.  I never could have admitted that until a year or so ago as I didn’t think I had a right to even that.  It doesn’t matter whether I’ve a right to it.  I have it.  I have the regret.  I have the sadness.  I miss my son, every day.  I miss the childhood I missed.  I miss where it would have led us to today had I just not tried to fix something that didn’t need fixing.

I will say this: I was a pregnant woman.  Why I couldn’t just allow myself to be that, for even just one day, I cannot say.  I realized a few months back that I never even let myself have a day to just be a pregnant woman, a woman with a baby on the way.  I had to, for whatever crazy reason I had going on in my head, be the woman with the plan and stay focused on that plan, without deviation, completely blinding myself to the beautiful thing that was happening inside me: a baby was living and growing…in me…my baby.  But I wouldn’t let myself think about that.  I wouldn’t let myself hear the truth.  And let me say, too (and if foul language is offensive to you, then please be advised that I am about to use it here and now), it was a shitty plan, and it’s been shitting on me since the day I followed through with it.  My adoption plan was the shitty “gift” that keeps on shitting on me, and shitting on me, and shitting, and shitting, and shitting again.  And it’s shitty.

I guess I wasn’t through blaming myself, after all…And did I say shitty?

Shit.

an update – of sorts…

I know it’s been eons since I’ve written, and it’s not because I haven’t wanted to write.  I think about you, the beautiful people who’ve been so graciously taking the time to read my rants and explore ponderings on adoption with me, and I’ve yearned to reach out but have been at a loss as to where and with what to begin.  I would love to have new news for you, but I can’t really say that I do.  We have been writing, and that has been life-giving to me.

I will say this.  Just being directly in communication in some form is the only cure I’ve found for the ache and the gaping hole that had blown my heart and world apart after relinquishing.  I’d learned to live with not having that, and just when I’d decided to make peace with always having to live with it, like the brightest light that heaven could shine, that beautiful soul entered my world again.  And I’m still so grateful for it and relieved by it I still, to this day, don’t even know what to do, or to say, or to think.  I wish he could see through my eyes, even just a glimpse of what an amazing person I find him to be.  I wish I could give him an easier world to come of age in.  I wish so, so many things.  But I couldn’t wish to be any prouder or any more pleased with the person I’m finding him to be and with whom I’m starting to get to know.

What’s been on my mind of late I’ll try to talk about but may have difficulty talking about at length just now.  It’s painful.  The fact that Dusten Brown was able to issue this statement is, to me, a testament of grace: Dusten Brown, biological father of Baby Veronica, issues statement.

I didn’t write about the court proceedings between Dusten Brown and the adoptive parents over who would have the right and/or the privilege of parenting Veronica, now 4 years old, but I followed the case closely and intensely and prayed fervently for her to remain with her true father who clearly would have gone to the ends of the earth to keep being who he is – her true father – if only his rights had not been trampled and so completely violated, disregarded, and discarded.  Words cannot express the depth of the laceration it is to my soul’s sense of justice it is that his daughter was taken from him.  If I write any more beyond this, at this juncture, to say I would not be gracious to those responsible for this unconscionable (on so many levels it’s insane) set of circumstances is way beyond an understatement.  In other words, I’m very clearly not over it, and I probably won’t be over it for quite a long time.  My heart aches for Dusten and for Veronica, and my soul wants substantially more than justice right now.  What my soul is crying out for is vengeance.  However, I am kept [mostly] in check by the knowledge of Who vengeance belongs to, and it’s taking everything I can muster to keep that outcry at bay and simply go with praying for a greater good to come from all that’s gone down.

I will not forget.  I can say this with confidence because I have not forgotten Terry Schindler Shiavo and how it shook me to my very core the way her life was so cruelly and brazenly – yet “legally” – robbed from her.  It still shakes me to this day.  What happened to Dusten Brown has shaken me just as violently to the very core of my being.  I will not stop praying for justice for Veronica and for her dad.

Revision:

I can too say more because I have been deeply disturbed by more, and what has been eating at me the most is this:

I can’t help but think about what the next few days, weeks, and years hold for Veronica.  In the first hours, it’s probably like a treat: going on a trip, being showered with presents and getting all this extra attention from all these new and excited people.  But what happens when reality starts to set in?  What happens when her daddy’s not there to tuck her in, and she begins to miss him – terribly?  What happens as the days and the nights keep going by, and she begins to become aware that something’s missing, something’s gone…something that meant a great deal more than she is equipped to comprehend?  Her daddy didn’t die (physically), yet she is left now to grapple with an acute awareness that a major presence, a rock and a staple in her life, is now missing from her life – that didn’t have to be.  She’s just 4 years old!  How can she begin to understand this hole that’s been blown into her world, her heart, her soul – AGAIN?  We have only just begun to tap into the profundity of the loss that newborns experience when thrust into an environment that the soul was not prepared to be born into from the womb.  All the signals and mechanisms at work in the DNA matrix and senses have been cut off and something new, something foreign, has now been introduced.  Veronica got a second chance at knowing some of what went missing the day her mother relinquished her to her adoptive parents.  And now she has to adjust to a whole new environment and shock to her system – for yet a third time!  Kids are resilient.  They will continue to be kids.  But she is being affected, and it is all very confusing, and no amount of attempting to explain will help her make sense of it all.  How can it?  It’s very difficult to think about what’s been done to her world without thinking of the adoptive parents as perpetrators of a most insidious and heinous crime.

I will not forget about her either.  And talking about some of my concerns for her helps me to recognize that I’ve got to find a way to move past how I feel about the immediacy of the injustice and concentrate my prayers and energy where the potential to do the most good exists.

To Dusten I wish to say this: NEVER GIVE UP, and NEVER GIVE IN!  Your child is your child is your child, period, and nothing can change this rock-solid truth in fact.  To all fathers whose rights are not being considered while adoption plans are being made without your knowledge and/or consent, I wish to say this:  Please learn from what Dusten went through!  This is YOUR child!  Find out what’s really going on, even if you and your child’s mom are not together!  I speak from the perspective and experience of having made an adoption plan without the benefit of ANY KIND OF INPUT WHATSOEVER that could have helped me to better understand what it was I was really doing and what adoption could mean for me and for my child over the long haul.  Please know that YOU MATTER!!  YOUR CHILD MATTERS – and will very much matter to you likely much sooner than you might think!  Don’t keep blowing it all off only to have to find that out when it’s too late.  Women are at their most vulnerable when they are pregnant, and a lack of resources and support can exacerbate those vulnerabilities and leave her feeling so backed into a corner she sees no way other than adoption to ensure the safety and wellbeing of her child – and there are predators out there (baby brokers, but that’s not what they prefer to call themselves) all too ready and willing to find these women and entertain and pacify, and, ultimately, exploit and capitalize on those vulnerabilities.  This may sound like early-to-mid 20th century stuff, but it’s happening right here in the 21st century.  If Dusten’s case doesn’t blaringly point that out and sober you up, then you may want to consider rehab of some kind to help sober you up.

mother grief…gotta grieve it.

Tree-of-Life

When I married my husband a little over 2 years ago, he was extremely concerned about my health.  Actually, more accurately, I could see on his face and hear in his voice he was scared that he’d married a terminally ill woman.  So was I.  I didn’t dwell on it, but it’s like I could feel some life-sucking force taking over my body.  I was suffering, like I had learned to suffer – and had suffered my whole life: In silence.  I did not seek medical attention for it, but I didn’t shy away from my doctor either.  There wasn’t enough of one specific acute symptom or set of symptoms to try and get his input into the malady.  It was just a well-being thing – or complete lack thereof – that I really wouldn’t have been able to describe to any kind of healthcare professional.  If I had sought him about it, my doctor would probably have referred me to a mental health professional for prescription management of depression and anxiety and/or whatever else could be conjured up to write prescriptions for (prescriptions for therapy included).

Now that I’m where I am, it’s become clear that’s not what was needed.  I think I’d known for some time what was needed.  My body had simply just reached a point it could no longer bear the grief I had been stifling.  I hadn’t necessarily been stifling it on purpose as I knew it wasn’t healthy that I had not been able to let myself grieve.  I just had too much going on.  The grieving I needed to do was an all-consuming, 24-hour-a-day thing that a job and other things were not compatible with.  And there was the thing that I knew all too well: It felt as though it would kill me if I really let it happen, and I knew it would go on for a long time if I ever did let the process start.  When I could finally let it out, if felt like it was killing me, but, actually, it was quite the opposite.  It was a pretty intense, good 2 years of deep, deep, exhausting, grievous, gut-wrenching, back-breaking grieving.  I think that part of what kept me from going there before, too, was not having a support system and a safe place to go through it.  My precious husband provided that safe place…HE is a safe place, the safest I’ve experienced in all of my 48 years.  Our home is a safe place.  Our house is a ghetto, foreclosed on former rental unit with 20 people living hard in it at one time with human pee in the corners, oozing dripping stuff that had to be scrubbed from the walls along with rips, tears, holes, you name it.  It was NASTY when I first moved in – and Steve had already spent countless hours scrubbing away the nastiness and repairing the disrepair before bringing me in as his wife to help…and, in spite of all that it was in its former life and all that it still lacks, it has become our home.  We’ve made it our home.  And it has sheltered me through the hardest thing imaginable.

I’m still very much going through that process of grieving – and my son is 21 now, so I had a LOT of catching up to do.  Now that I’ve been through the initial breaking forth of it and have gotten what was dammed up mostly out of my system, I have started to notice the things that I do to be and stay healthy actually contributing to a feeling of health.  I’m starting to feel vitality and life in my body again.

A recommendation: Whatever it is you have to let go of and grieve, you are your only you, and you are incalculably valuable, so give yourself permission to find your safe place, permission to pray for your safe place – whatever it is you need to let what needs to happen happen – and grieve(!) it(!) OUT!!!  It is not the purpose of the human body to be equipped to hold that stuff in.  I almost let grief kill me, and, of this I am certain: There are far better ways to die…(!!!).

exploring further

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In my recent post, I asked women considering adopters to raise their unborn children: “before you shut the door on this person who is about to be born, this mother you are becoming, I encourage you to allow your mind to drift and imagine yourself as that very person, that mom.  Go to the park and watch mothers with their children and let your heart do the talking about what is TRULY right and TRULY in the best interests of your child.  The good, the bad, and the scrubby little ugliness of motherhood will all be there and will give you a pretty well-rounded viewpoint, but what you do not – indeed, cannot – know right now is that even the ugly parts are all part of it, and it’s okay (love covers a multitude of sins).”

I’ll even go one better.  Go ahead and just pretend that adoption of a newborn is illegal, not an option, and that you will have to prove yourself unfit or absolutely unwilling to raise your child before adoption is an option.  Think of your own childhood.  Think of your parents.  What would you like to do differently in your child’s life?  What would you like to do similarly?

A new birth is a brand new start, a clean slate, a new life with no mistakes in it.  If you had that kind of opportunity for yourself, a brand new life with no mistakes in it, what would it look like?

If you can’t imagine any of that, I encourage you to click on any link underneath “Blogs I Follow.”  After reading at least 3 entries in their entirety from 3 different bloggers whose lives have been impacted by adoption, ask yourself: is this a scenario I want to see myself in?  If one or all of the blogs you chose are from people who were raised in adoptive families, ask yourself: is this what I want for my child?

It’s hard to find your way out of the day-to-day, overwhelming changes that pregnancy is bringing to your body and mind.  I realize this.  It’s hard to look outside of all that seems wrong in the world – especially one’s own world – or you probably wouldn’t even be considering adoption.  I know this too.  Give yourself just a few minutes a day to stop and realize that life is longer than 9 months.  Babies don’t stay in diapers.  Kids go from one grade to the next – one way or another.  And they grow up to be people – just like you are a person – and they will have to make choices for themselves just as you are making choices now.  Financial crises come, and financial crises go.  Life and death happens, every day, and the world just keeps on turning – whether we like it or not.  And we keep breathing – whether we like it or not – until we breathe out our last breath (I was reminded recently that none of us comes out of this alive…).

So that’s it.  Life’s ebbs and flows.

When I got pregnant, it was the nicest little surprise I could imagine.  I just couldn’t imagine that I was deserving of such a nice thing, so I didn’t allow myself to embrace it.  Some women hate being pregnant, but, of course, they love the product of it.  I loved being pregnant.  I loved the fact that my child was mine only, and, for just those nine months, I didn’t have to share this person with anyone.  When I remember what it was like to have my child inside me, it’s hard to resist indulging in “If only.”  No doubt, when we raise our children we look back on certain things and have a hard time resisting “If only.”

“If only” is a lonely road.  “If only” is like that set of horse blinders that only allows one to see a tiny portion of life as we know it.  What would happen if you let yourself take those blinders off and ask, “what if?”  What if this baby inside you is the coolest person you could ever imagine?  What if you actually like yourself as this kid’s mom?  What if you reach out and ask for help with whenever you are stuck?  What if you do have to go on food stamps?  It only makes you the lowest life form on earth if you allow it to.  Food stamps do not have the power to determine what kind of life form you are – but you do have the ability to decide what kind of life form you will be.  What if you have to be on some kind of assistance?  “They,” (those in charge of facilitating the giving of assistance) can only degrade you to the degree you allow yourself to be degraded.

I didn’t know any of this when I was pregnant with my one and only child.  You don’t have to be a bucket of grief and guilt like I’ve been for the past 21 years.  That’s not any kind of a life.  Hold your baby.  Embrace your baby.  You’ll be embracing a part of yourself that you wouldn’t have had access to any other way than by being this person’s mom and having this person be your son or daughter.  Be the family you always wanted – or at least allow yourself to imagine it and do something to strive for it every single day.

That’s what I would do if I had it to do over again…in a heartbeat!

unrequited motherhood

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I’d like to write some happy news about adoption…

But if I did that, not only would I be remiss in my responsibility to do whatever I can to ensure that the tragedy that has befallen me not befall someone else in the future, but I would also be adding another layer to the already polluted mountain of deceit in the broader base of information that’s out there regarding adoption and how “wonderful” it is.  Therefore, what I will do is the only thing I can do, which is work through this unrequited motherhood right here for all to see, in front of God and everybody, and let whosoever will see what the real deal is about adoption.

Please, if you have a child on the way and are unprepared for it, and you are considering relinquishing that child to prospective adopters, please, if you know anything at all about unrequited love – even if only in storybooks and/or Shakespearean plays – take what you know of that anguish and multiply it infinity times infinity, and you will have a more honest look at what the future holds for you if you go through with it.

If you have any desire for children at all in the future, then consider this upcoming birth you are preparing for to be your future.  The future is inside you right now.  Chances are, your future as this child’s mom is a whole lot brighter than you’re able to comprehend right now, and that beautiful, unknown person you are carrying is probably someone you are going to want to know – and that time may come much sooner than you might think.

There is no guarantee of open adoption – even if you get it in writing.  Adoptive parents have been known to make all kinds of elaborate promises to keep you in the loop and/or in your child’s life, but I’m here to tell you that promises just like the ones you may be hearing get broken every single day.  If you’re not sure about whether or not this is true, I will unhesitatingly introduce you to people who were given such promises by people they very much loved and trusted only to have that trust betrayed, and they’ve no idea where their children are, how they are, and they hear no news at all.

And even if you’re thinking of closed or semi-closed adoption, and you’re thinking you’re not going to want to know this person who is inside you, let me assure you of this one thing: Giving birth to a child is a twofold event.  You will be bringing a child into this world, an inescapable reality, but you will also be giving birth to a mother, and you are that mother.  You haven’t known yourself in this light before, you haven’t known yourself as a mother, so before you shut the door on this person who is about to be born, this mother you are becoming, I encourage you to allow your mind to drift and imagine yourself as that very person, that mom.  Go to the park and watch mothers with their children and let your heart do the talking about what is TRULY right and TRULY in the best interests of your child.  The good, the bad, and the scrubby little ugliness of motherhood will all be there and will give you a pretty well-rounded viewpoint, but what you do not – indeed, cannot – know right now is that even the ugly parts are all part of it, and it’s okay (love covers a multitude of sins).

Your baby doesn’t need the frills and advantages that prospective adoptive parents can provide.  Your baby just needs one thing, and that is you, his/her mom.  That is all the universe is asking of you at this time is to be your child’s mom.  You are irreplaceable, and the child you are carrying is irreplaceable.  No matter how many children you may have in the future, no one will ever be able to do away with or fill the loss you are about to experience if you give him or her away – no matter how good the promises may sound of a better life than you think you can give to your child.

And if you are naively hoping that you will someday have your child back in your life, let me also put that in a new light: there is no guarantee that your child will want to know you or know anything about you if you give him or her up.  I didn’t have adoptive parents who skipped out on their promises to keep me informed; they faithfully sent letters with plenty of pictures every year, just like they promised.  I naively thought I would have my son back in my life when he came of age.  I know where he is.  I know how to find him.  I have contacted him.  Apparently, he wants nothing to do with me.  This happens too.  If you think it can’t happen to you, I’m here to tell you, I thought that too.

There just are no guarantees in this life – about anything…including one’s next breath.  Whatever it is that is compelling you to look to adoption as an “answer” to what you are struggling with, please let me assure you that adoption is a permanent “solution” to a very temporary set of circumstances.  Whatever it is you are going through, it will pass, and you will move on.  However, my own experience – which is eerily similar to multitudes of birthmothers/first mothers/whatever you choose to call us whose accounts I’ve read, whom I’ve met personally, or whom I’ve come across in passing, and whom I currently know intimately (and not in a sexual way, lol) – has proven that there is no moving on from relinquishing a child to adoption.  As soon as you sign the papers and hand your baby over, you are stuck right there, in that moment, that awful, awful moment, potentially for the rest of your life.  Instead of thinking about adoption, just think about unrequited love.  Think of those star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet.  I’m no stranger to unrequited love, either, and I can tell you that unrequited motherhood is far more tragic than unrequited love’s outcome – multiplied by leaps, and by bounds, by mountains, and by earths, by stars, and by planets – hell, by whole UNIVERSES!

If you’ve any questions, just email me: freebairn@ymail.com.  I’m here all day in my own unrequited motherhood, not going anywhere. I’m busy, but I’ve got all the time in the world for you, and I mean that with every fiber of my being.

You’re pregnant.  It happens.  Every day.  And, guess what:  It’s not the end of the world, not by a long or even a short shot.  It may be hard for you to believe this right now, but it’s going to be alright.  Your baby is inside you – and not inside the potential adoptive mother – for a reason, and if you choose it, you get to live out the next few years finding out what that’s about.  And it’s going to be okay.  Your perspective on children is about to drastically change over the next few weeks and months – and it’s a beautiful thing!  It’s a huge and a very scary thing you are facing, true, but you don’t have to face it alone.

a funny thing happened on the way to a forum today…

I found a discussion on a parenting forum where a woman who is married and already has a child was very glibly talking about conceiving a baby with her husband for some good friends to adopt because these friends deserve so much to be parents.  Their friends have, of course, refused, as they should (of course, that makes me wonder how it’s okay to ask for a baby from a total stranger when it’s not okay from a close friend, but I didn’t go there because it’s not the couple seeking to adopt I was addressing).

The first response she got was pretty obviously from a no adoptions, period, advocate with a militant spin.  I feel the person, and I feel that militant thing within me, too, but I realize when speaking directly to someone about adoption, the militant thing is not necessarily the most effective way to be heard…just saying.  The woman commented to it like, “uhh, okay, but thanks for that…” and you could tell she was like, “What thuh…?”

While a world with no adoptions, period, would be the best world ever, ever, ever, ever, ever to infinity and beyond, I consider myself a bit more of a realist than that.  Unfortunately, no matter how much we advocate for a person’s right to parent, there will still be the mother somewhere who refuses to parent her child, and there will still be the mother who is truly incapable of raising a child on too many levels to deny, and sometimes fathers won’t be there when that happens, and sometimes other family members can’t or won’t step in either.

The next response was quite a bit more sound, but still a tinge of gloom, doom, and even judgment, was discernible – to me, anyway.

So here is my response…kinda just a “Just the facts, ma’am…Just wanna state the facts here.”

Scientific data from years of study is starting to solidify what I have believed for a while.  The biological link that begins in the womb is as unique as the DNA code written into each and every person.  Just as that DNA signature is unique, and there are no 2 signatures alike, and just as there are no 2 finger and thumb prints alike, so, too, that biological link between the child and the 2 genetic contributors is unique.  I believe this biological link is the link that helps that person make sense of the world around him or her.  In adoptive homes, the differences from the rest of the family members are tangible and very apparent to the adoptive child.  If they are not told they were adopted, they feel like aliens in their own families.  If they are told, then it explains those differences that are apparent.  You’re asking a lot of that person who hasn’t yet been conceived – more than is reasonable, really.  And you are asking the impossible of yourself.  That biological link is something that you cannot escape either, and it will betray you for the rest of your life if you do this.  I speak from 21 years of experience as a birth mother who gave up a child up for adoption.  And I felt much the same way about the adoptive parents that you feel toward your friends…still do.  Still, that thing or culmination of things that happened when my son was in the womb betrays me, pretty much daily, to this very day. 

What I’d like to see achieved in my lifetime is such an awareness of the pitfalls of adoption that we’re not so quick to take a woman’s child from the womb, and a woman is not so quick to relinquish because there’s more information out there as to how it will truly affect her for the rest of her life and there’s more information and resources to empower her and help her with raising her child.  The information when I was doing it was out there but so hard to find I was unable to find it.  And parents who want to adopt should be able to adopt, absolutely.  There are multitudes upon multitudes of children, born and alive in this country right now, who have absolutely no one because the people that mattered gave up on them, or gave up on themselves, or everyone who could have mattered is no longer living.

I’m not trying to be insensitive to the infertile, and I do feel for women who can’t conceive.  It may be that I am among them, so I do know that sting, that stab in core, I understand something about what that feels like.  I may never get my chance to be a mom in that sense at all, and I’m learning to accept that.  It’s not fair, it’s not anything like nice, but if it’s the hand I’ve been dealt then okay.  It is.  If I don’t get to experience the joy of birth again and motherhood, seeking a woman who is pregnant and willing to give me her child is not going to console me.  That loss will always be that: a loss – just like my son’s childhood that I didn’t get to be a part of.

Truth vs. Lies

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: freebairn@ymail.com – 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.