This is a post about listening.
I am not yet a mom. The term used in our community is “prospective adoptive parent.” It means I’m in the running for all those terms I cannot wait to be called: mommy, maman, mom, mum. Knowing that sometime in the next year I am going to get to be a mom is still staggering to me. But every time I think about being a mom myself, I am reminded that there is woman out there who has missed out on the chance to parent the child that will one day be pitter-pattering up and down my stairs. Another mom, and all to often in the adoption community, an invisible mom.
It’s still National Adoption month and that still means I am trying to work on Flipping the Script. Birth mothers get a horrible wrap, which I myself witness all too often in what should be open, welcoming forums in online adoption communities. Adoptees and birth families need to be allowed to talk about their experiences – good AND bad – without being belittled and diminished.
And we need to listen.
Welcoming them to be a part of our community conversations is not enough. Making a safe space is not enough. What is the point of providing opportunities if we are not putting in our own efforts to ensure that something grows out of said opportunity?
I have some links to birth mom experiences below that I would love everyone to take the opportunity to read. Even if it is just one of them, educating ourselves is part of being in the adoption community. We owe it to each other.
- “The grief took me by surprise, I wasn’t ready for it. I truly believed that open adoption was the cure to birth parent grief; however it is really just a bandaid. Even though I was not prepared for the grief, I would do it all over again because it was the best decision for my son.”
- “Every woman has the right to choose. I am pro-informed choice. I believe every woman needs to be fully informed on all her choices: abortion, adoption, single parenting, and married parenting. Our job as citizens of the world is not to decide for them.”
- After the meeting I knew that I wasn’t going to have any contact with her and I wanted to keep as many items of her that I could and also hoping that one day she will come looking for me and I could show her all the things I saved. I wanted her to know that I never forgot and that I loved her enough to save what I could.”
There are more such tidbits at the Experience Project.
(This post was in no way meant to diminish the experience birth fathers go through as well. Adoption is a loss for each part of the triad.)