Alright. I've given myself a few days. In fact, I've given myself over a week. Whenever something really upsets me I give myself a few days to calm down, think rationally, and gain some perspective before I respond, blog or facebook about it. This has saved me from saying and doing a lot of stupid things that I would have felt awful about. I think its important to be able to be calm when explaining something and why its a problem.
I gave myself a few days, and then a few more and I've come to realize I'm not sure I will EVER not be irritated, upset and sometimes furious about the things I have heard said about birth moms and what people actually have the nerve to say TO a birth mom. I'm hoping that with time I'll get so used to it that I won't even flinch and I'll be able to use those opportunities to educate rather than want to punch someone.
So, while I'm still pretty angry I'm going to go ahead and talk about it anyway...
Our neighbor is a birth mom. For her privacy I'm not going to give a lot of the specific details of her situation but she had her first child very young and she and her family decided to raise that little girl together. A couple years later she found herself pregnant again with another little girl. She LOVED this new little baby but she also KNEW what was involved in parenting. She wanted that child to have her best possible chance, to have a dad who was always there, to have two parents who love each other and aren't always fighting, and to have all kinds of opportunities she knew she couldn't provide at that time. She also knew adoption was a beautiful way to give all of that to her child. She searched through family profiles using criteria that was important to her, things that she wanted to make sure were a part of her daughter's life, and she found the family. She placed this little girl with the family she had handpicked and has an open adoption with them. She knows how that little girl is doing, how she is growing, and that little girl knows and loves her.
Every single part of that process was done out of LOVE. This is a girl who loved that child so much that she was able to take a critical look at herself and understand that she wasn't able to give this child everything she deserved and everything that our neighbor wanted her to have. She understood clearly that a child needs a lot more than "just love" to be happy and successful.
So I hope you can understand why I was furious when someone said something to me equivalent to "she would never give her baby up, she loves it." Our neighbor told me some of the hurtful things people said about placing with an adoptive family during her pregnancy and I felt sick. Birth moms LOVE their child. A woman who doesn't love, care for or want her child chooses abortion, not adoption. Every birth mom I have asked has said they would have loved to keep their baby, but they loved them way too much to make that child live in the life they were able to provide at that time.
Birth moms handpick the family they want to raise that child. Most women who choose adoption now are over the age of 20, and many already have another child. They KNOW what is involved in parenting. They love their children and they want to give their child something they don't feel they could as a single parent, or on already stretched resources, or whatever their circumstances are.
Daniel and I LOVE birth moms. These are strong women who make a responsible, selfless and hugely difficult decision to place their child with an adoptive family. Women choose adoption not because they "don't love" or "don't want" their baby. They make this decision because they know the beautiful kind of life they can give to that child. Open adoption allows them to continue to see and reassure themselves that they made the right choice for their child.
So PLEASE don't say to an adoptive couple and DEFINITELY don't say to a birth mom that she must not love that child; adoption is all about love.