Before I gave birth to my son, I always thought of adoption in the way it was portrayed on TV. Always as some crazy plot twist filled with deception, drugs, bad decisions or mental illness. It shaped the way I, and I’m sure other people, viewed adoptive parents and birthmothers.
But after giving birth, I entered this community of adoption and discovered what birth mothers really look like.
They are brave. Adoption is scary. Many birthmothers are often alone or without emotional support for their decision. It takes much bravery to deal with all of the small details that need to be assessed when going through the adoption process. This could mean interviewing adoption agencies, counseling sessions, creating the adoption plan, meeting potential adoptive parents, and finally signing the papers. It takes much bravery for a birthmother to move beyond her fears to participate in the adoption process.
They are strong. There is more to adoption than simply placing your child. After adoption there are feelings of bereavement to address, or isolation, or even just reacquainting oneself with friends and family. It is a daily act of strength to wake up each day and commit to move forward.
They are diverse. Yes, sometimes adoption can come out of a bad situation such as illness, abuse, or a break up, but there are other ways as well. Many women choose adoption because of their youth, or their inability to provide as a single mother. Some already have children. Some have more personal and unique reasons for choosing adoption. We are diverse, coming in all shapes, sizes, economic levels, and ages.
So no, all birth mothers are not the same. We look different and have different reasons for joining the adoption family.