Monday, May 24, 2010

An Open Letter To Birth Mothers

This road we have been on as mothers removed, as I often say, is one ever evolving journey deep into the heart that no other soul could EVER understand unless they themselves have been there. It can send you for quite some time, years perhaps, just going along thinking things are going well. You feel content, proud, peaceful in your decision and all of the sudden, out of the blue one little thing can grab a hold of all you know and pull it from the sky, crashing down on you like one huge bucket of slime that falls all at once, but leaves an icky feeling for months. It is horrible. It is degrading. It is a disruption of life that we do not have the energy for, nor the time for because for us...time has moved on. For some, we have our own children to raise, our own little souls that help us to realize just how much we gave up. We are constantly living on a double edged sword of seeing everything for the first time and at the same time seeing how much we truly missed, what we will someday have to answer to and what will always be with us no matter how long we walk this Earth. No one can understand it and that is why I think there is so much anger, hatred, disappointment and just general disgust in the adoption world. Every one expects us to be this beacon of light that will be able to answer all the questions that everyone has. Everyone expects the birth mother (and I am sorry if I offend you by using those words to describe us, but why should we change who we are for all those that feel the name is them? That is a whole other thought all together that I will elaborate on later in a different post. I have been feeling the need to defend all of us who are constantly forced to change our names, our views, our truths to convenience someone else. I want to shout out to those that tell me not to use birth mother..."I am fine with who I am and I will not change for you or any others out there, thank you very much!" Sorry about that, I went off for a minute ;) ) anyway, everyone expects us to be there punching bag and we are just not designed for that.

And all those counselors and so called helpers out there just cannot fathom living in a frame of mind that at any given moment, life can change dramatically for not just us, but everyone around us. That is what most people do not get. When I am reminded about something adoption, it creeps in sometimes and will affect my relationships. There is a distance that occurs, it is slight and most do not notice, but I do. I know that my mind is not here 100%, that I am preoccupied thinking of a solution, yet again!, to help my heart heal and understand the reason for the pain. I know that I am trying my best to be the woman that I want to be, but how can I when they are constantly trying to beat me down, make me feel guilty all over again for something that I have left behind? And not left behind in a bad way, left behind because I had already beaten it with a stick, beaten myself relentlessly for so many years that my mind told my heart to heal or be crushed. We all have to realize our strengths in this journey because it is those strengths that will eventually get us through all the hate and heartache.

I want to give you hope. Let you know that if you find that strength that is in you, stick with what you know in your heart is right, then you can move mountains! You can be that beacon of light for your child. You can keep with you the very thought that maybe, just maybe they want to know you. They may be thinking just as much about you as you are of them and someday they will be free to come and hug you, thank you, be with you to show you they really do know how much you care about and love them. There is hope. SO don't let anyone tell you any different. You may be a mother of loss, but you are not a mother of defeat. And when that agency, or reader, or ignorant person tells you that you are a whore or you should feel bad about what you chose for your baby, well you just keep in mind that they may be jealous of your strength. You don't need them to tell you this, or make you feel inferior because you were able to do something they could NEVER do! (and when you think about it that is what this all boils down to, I think people are just jealous of how very strong we are, how they could never do what we did and they only wish they could believe in themselves as much as we do!) Most of all, I want you to know that you are not alone. There are many of us out here who have been right where you are, and we know the uncertainty of life at an early age, we know how to handle ourselves, and we will not be told how to feel.

*If you are an agency, please do not take offense to this post. I am not saying that all agencies treat birth mothers with disrespect. All I am saying is that you may be surprised to see just how many do have this line of thinking. Again, not all agencies, counselors and helpers are this way.


Von said...

You are mothers not birth-mothers, not beemoms or anything else...mothers.Others who lay claim to your name are adopters.
So many agencies, churches throughout the adopton industry use clever selling techniques these days and in some ways are worse of than your generation of mothers.

Michelle said...

I'm sorry you have to defend birth mothers and your choice. I am so impressed by anyone who has the guts to do what you (and my daughter's mother) did (and continue to deal with). I know people have also insulted my daughter's mother, telling her she "gave away" her child. I can't even imagine how hard it was/is. The best that I can do -- on my end, as the mother who adopted -- is to nourish the relationship between my daughter and her mother. I hope that maybe - just maybe -- when those ignorant people speak or when those little things happen in life that pierce like tiny daggers, my daughter's mother will have some peace.

BTW, I don't do the birth mother thing. Or first mother. Nikki is just plain Maya's mother. Kids with step mothers have two mothers; kids with gay parents have two mothers. No reason why my little girl can't have two mothers also. Two mothers who have different roles in her life. But two mothers nonetheless. I'm not up for being an "adoptive" mother, so I have a hard time having Nikki be the "birth mother."


Anonymous said...

What part of this statement: "I am fine with who I am and I will not change for you or any others out there, thank you very much!" Did you not read Von? She is who she chooses to be.

MrsPerrbear said...

I love this post. Love it! I am always in awe of your beautiful voice, and after reading this post, I was floored. Absolutely speechless. You put words to what I cannot. Of the continual awareness of trying to get your heart and mind in line with one another. I too, live with my double edged sword every day, though in reverse of you. My own children were here when I made the decision to place. You got it EXACTLY right when you said, "For some, we have our own children to raise, our own little souls that help us to realize just how much we gave up." I look at my children everyday, with gratitude and love, and sometimes, out of the blue, an overwhelming sense of loss when I realize that they have done something I will never see my littlest one do.

I especially loved this line..." You may be a mother of loss, but you are not a mother of defeat." It is a continual struggle to hold it together for the sake of those I love, when a moment of grief or sorrow creeps into my "moving on" life. Your words give hope, Kelsey.

They give wisdom. They help others know that it is possible to move forward, as a mother removed, and still accomplish great things and find great happiness. Thank you so much for this fantastic post!

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

If I were a man, I would marry you right now! Thank you for lifting my spirits today Perr, and I am happy to hear that my words can give you comfort!!!!

ats said...

I hope the birth mothers of my sons feel they are as strong as you are, Kelsey. Happy Birth Mother's Day and Happy Mother's Day!
God bless you! Lisa