I want you to read this with an open heart and open mind. It may very well challenge you. My hope is that it will inspire and encourage you more. It is written from my heart to yours. It is my perspective as an adoptee and birth mother. It is not meant to be an attack or judgment on anyone. For we all make up this triangle and we need each other and each other’s voices to make it better. We all want the same thing. To be loved. To be heard. To be honored.
I share your title. I share your grief. I share your hopes. I share your joy and love that you have for your birth children.
I see you trying to rebuild your life after placement. Going to school, working, and chasing your dreams. We want to make our birth children proud of us.
I see you waiting by the mailbox or computer for an update that is long overdue. I have never been in your shoes but I hope and pray with you that it will come. That your child’s adoptive family sees the importance of keeping promises and keeping the line of communication open is so vital. I know you just want to know how they are doing and share in the big and small moments of their lives. Not to overstep your boundaries but to just have joy in reaffirming your decision to place.
I see what Hollywood portrays us as. We are not Juno. The stereotype of birth mothers being selfish, druggies, promiscuous, troubled teens who forget their children after we place couldn’t be further from reality. We made the best choice in a difficult and complex situation as we could. We took weeks even months of weighing our options, researching, and making plans for the children we carried and grew for 9 months. We chose adoption for a number of reasons but I feel the number one reason most of us placed is because of the love we have for our children. That love allowed us to break our own hearts and put our children’s needs before our own.
You, birth mothers, are my heroes. In the midst of trials, family conflict, depression, guilt, and heartache, you rise. You are strong. I honor you. I love you.
Let us continue to be mindful of our choice. The road after placement can be long and hard. Try to remember why you placed. Continue moving forward. Continue to try to be better than you were yesterday. Own your story. Share it. You never know who you might inspire and encourage.
I am one of you. My story might look different but then again, no one story is the same. The world needs your voice. Being adopted can be hard for so many reasons. It can be tragic for some - yet it can also be beautiful and healing. Yes, adoption is born through heartbreak but it can become something so much more. You are wanted. You are loved. You matter.
I encourage you to share your story. The challenges you have faced. Your accomplishments. It will inspire and encourage others to speak up.
We all have different experiences with adoption. I know that it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows but I also know that we are who we choose to become. I say no matter our birth, childhood or circumstances let’s overcome them - chase our dreams and reach our full potential. Let’s be the positive change we want to see in adoption and in the world. Why not you.
To those whose story didn’t have a great beginning, I am sorry. But, you can choose how it ends.
I have fought those feelings of not being wanted, abandoned, and feeling different. I am here to tell you that they are all lies. You are enough. You have worth. Never give up.
Let me again say that you are loved.
I won’t begin to say I know what your life is like as I have never walked in your shoes, but I know and love many of you. Most of you did not wake up one day and think adoption was how you would build your family. But it is and you are special.
I see you month after month longing for two pink lines that never come and feeling broken. I see you emptying out your saving accounts and taking out loans to make your dream of having a family a reality.
I see you day in and day out loving that precious child who has come to you through adoption just as if you gave birth to them yourself. I see you praying and crying over your child who has been through unimaginable trauma and you are unsure how to help. We are all human. We parent the best way we know how.
From mom to mom, I want to say you are enough. You are real. Your struggles do not go unnoticed. We are all on the motherhood journey together. So let’s do it together.
Thank you. Thank you, sweet mamas, for honoring your children's dear birth mothers. Who involve them in your everyday lives. In the small and big moments. Keep sending updates and having Skype dates. It means more than you will ever know. Keep it up. Birth mothers just want to love that child and feel as loved and included as she was when she chose you to raise her baby.
In closing, adoption has come so far yet, I know we have so far to go. Work still needs to be done. Together, each one of us in this complex triad of adoption can do more. We can communicate better. Be kinder. Share our stories. Build each other up. Break barriers and crush stereotypes. Most of all - we can love. Love each other. This is why adoption exists. This is my hope and prayer.
Jori, Adoptee and Birth Mother