Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The OTHER woman

Adoption has so many sides and angles and truly is a complex arrangement. So often this process is viewed from only the adoptive family's perspective...... as has our adoption. It is difficult to understand or relate to someone and their situation without having lived it personally no matter WHAT you are talking about. But today, I'm thinking about the OTHER woman in adoption.

There are lots of stereo-types out there surrounding this woman.... words like; irresponsible, desperate, alone, immature, young, poor, sick etc. Yet, we all know a stereo-type can't possibly define every birth mother out there nor is it fair to do so.

Why am I thinking about this today? Because the last 5 days God has given me the opportunity to see adoption from a neutral and objective perspective.

I received a call last Thursday from a friend of an OBGYN. She asked if I could find a godly, Christian home for a baby girl to be born in less than 2 weeks. Wow! Never gotten a call like that before!!!

After a couple phone calls, we found a family! Over the course of the next few days, there was a very anxious and cautiously excited family on one hand and a birth mother who seemingly was apathetic about pursuiing the next steps on the other. And as of last night, the whole thing fell apart when the birth mother discovered they were all from the same town and without telling her OB, had contacted an adoption agency.

That was NOT the kind of phone call I wanted to make to this sweet adoptive family. Oh, the heartbreak : (

It is easy for me to relate with the adoptive family.... I've been there, I know that position. But what about the OTHER woman??

I can't tell you how many times I would feel angry, confused and hurt when I thought about certain details of Sarah's birth mom's interview process. Quite honestly, these are things I still don't understand as a mother myself but they are things God has finally given me peace over and helped me to accept.

A HUGE part of that acceptance was the day we received our 2nd packet(the 1st one was confiscated by Customs) in the mail with all of Sarah's adoption paperwork. All of you adoptive families know that this packet is like GOLD!!

I'll never forget sitting at my kitchen table watching Sarah munch on some cheerios as I read the social worker report...... my first and only glimpse we'll ever have of Sarah's biological mother and father. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about reading the desperate, sad story of Sarah becoming fatherless in a factual little paragraph written between mountains of legal paperwork. In that moment, ALL of who Sarah was and is became very real to me. Her previous life could not be denied. I could not love Sarah without loving her birth parents too. They were now as much a part of me as my new daughter is a part of me and forever will be.

Considering the OTHER woman can bring out insecurities too. I know I also struggled from time to time throughout our entire process with who's the "real mom". These thoughts can produce in a woman a feeling of being threatened or even a feeling of threat for her adopted child( you know, that mama bear feeling ). The truth is that the birth mom and the adoptive mom both play God-ordained roles in a child's life. The thing with insecurity is the desire to want to claim something as "MINE". However, when all is said and done, the only ONE that can claim a child as truly His, is the Lord.

So, I'd have to say this experience the last few days has been a good one, despite the outcome not being my plan. I've been privileged to objectively view adoption personally unattached. I have been able to see those raw feelings from the prospective adoptive mom that I so easily relate to, I've had a peek at the reality of the situation a birth mother might find herself in, and I've experienced a moment of being that facilitator(social worker if you will) wanting to see a happy ending for one precious child of God. What a crazy week!

Thank you Lord for helping me to love Sarah's birthmother and once again reminding me to see things from your perspective!


Janie Rider said...

Thank you for this entry. You know my deep love for Gracie's life giver. I am going to Guatemala this summer and the reason for my trip is to meet Juanita. I think it something we each need to work through. Thanks again.

Amy said...

This is a very touching post. We are so grateful for the life that our birth mom's gave to our children. As a mom my heart goes out to the many different sides that are represented in adoption.

There truly are so many different emotions involved in adoption.