Meet Jessica. A few months ago, Jessica reached out to BraveLove looking for a way to get involved. Being a passionate writer and birth mom herself, it was evident that the greatest way for Jessica to give to BraveLove would be to share her perspective. Having traveled 6 1/2 years through her own adoption journey, Jessica says being a birth mom is her greatest achievement! She's got some invaluable insight to share, so without further adieu, here's Jessica.
I have found there to be three important themes related to the adoption journey - grief, shame, and openness. I have come to this conclusion because I am a birth mom and this is my story...
Grief – Grief has a way of taking over our lives. It consumes our being, and often feels never-ending. It doesn’t just come to a halting end and walk away from you when its time is up - it truly can last a lifetime. Grief is always there when we lose somebody we love. Many times I find people (even the closest to me) forget that I am grieving. I grieve the loss of my son, even though I made the choice to place him into the home of a loving and stable family. I grieve the unknown. I grieve not being able to know how his day is going and the inability to cuddle him to sleep. I trust that his mommy kisses his boo-boo’s when he falls, encourages him on his bicycle, and prays with him before bed, however I grieve the ability to do so myself. My son will be seven in a few short months and grief is something that hasn’t diminished for me after placing him for adoption.
Shame – I have experienced the shame that comes along with adoption first hand. It has been spoken over me for years. Many times I’ve found myself starting to believe that I had reason to be ashamed of my choice. Though, I have never met an adoptive parent who felt shame from being chosen or an adoptee who felt shame from the selfless choice made for them; I have met many, many birth parents covered in shame. They can’t talk about it. They feel ashamed of their choice and fear the judgment they will reap from others. They can’t bring it up at the dinner table, knowing the uncomfortableness this topic could create. Most importantly, birth parents know shame because of how others perceive them. Shame is something brought on upon others, it latches itself deep into the heart and soul of a birthparent and this needs to end.
“If more individuals were aware of the selfless and brave choice a birth mother - and often father - made in placing their child for adoption, they would have an undeniable appreciation and respect for them.”
Openness – I have pictures of my son from the beginning of his life all the way up until 6 weeks ago. This is crucial to my grieving heart. The openness in adoption however, isn’t just for the birth parent; more importantly it is for the child. I can only imagine the wonder that he would have as he grows up, if he didn’t know me and didn’t know the unending love I have and will always have for him. While scars can be ripped open during visitation and quarterly updates, it is so important to maintain openness. (While, I know this cannot always be the case in adoption; I believe the effort needs to be made when it is an option).
The adoption journey certainly isn’t just my own, it's a journey endured by so many, centered around one innocent and undoubtedly loved “little” blessing. Making the decision to place my son for adoption at sixteen years of age shaped who I am. I find it my responsibility to share the importance of understanding grief, recognizing shame and accepting openness. My prayer is that you too will be open to understanding the perspective of a birth mom and supporting her throughout this journey.
Jessica is currently working as a Marketing Manager for an incredible team with Keller Williams Real Estate, where she will soon begin the start of a new career as a Realtor. Just last weekend, she got engaged to the man she admires most in this world, who encourages, supports, and just adores her! "My life is abundantly full of blessings, and being a birth mother is one of them!" To read more about Jessica's adoption journey, read her blog.