As the Executive Director of the Agency, I meet with each and every birth mother that comes into our agency. These brave women are choosing the road less traveled, so they can make sure their unborn child has the life they want their child to have. I started meeting every birth mother client years ago, because I wanted to change any preconceived perceptions our clients may have of me or my agency. I am fully aware that being the director/cofounder/president of an entity lends its own way of establishing a sense of credibility with strangers before being met and in a way, almost commanding a sense of authority that may not be owed or even deserved. One of my goals in these meetings is to earn respect and trust so I can be allowed to walk with our clients during their adoption journey.
Every pregnant woman that walks into an adoption agency deserves full transparency and an understanding of every aspect of what an adoption entails, including a step by step overview of the process. Adoption is a sacred trust on all levels and on all entities involved. Adoption is also beautiful choice and often a very misunderstood one. I believe that the main source of society’s misunderstanding is an inaccurate perception of a birth mother’s choice. Support, education, and acceptance are the three key aspects to changing the part of society that doesn’t understand a birth mother’s choice and instead of celebrating her choice, condemns or abandons her for it.
Adoption choices are difficult, there is no other way to explain this. Choosing to carry a baby for nine months and place that baby with another family may seem unimaginable. However, to that pregnant woman, she has stories, secrets and dreams that people may not be aware of. She may not be in the same financial position, in a safe relationship, have family support or even available resources. She may not have a place to call “home”, know where her next meal is coming from, or have the ability to even seek medical care for herself. An adoption choice is a deeply personal one and should remain a personal one, it’s an incredibly respectable choice that a woman has had since the biblical times. A woman who has chosen adoption has chosen life, but is selflessly choosing to allow another to parent.
I believe every person has their own story and some choose to share their story, while others don’t. An adoption choice is never a choice that a woman makes easily. Throughout the adoption journey, during those long nine months, counseling, case management, support, and self-esteem are just a few aspects of our adoption program. Following Maslow’s Hierarch of Needs; we understand that before a woman can decide what type of adoptive family she would like to choose for her unborn baby she needs shelter, food and clothing, the ability to communicate with her support system and be provided with medical care. We understand the analogy of the airplane/oxygen mask- a woman must put her own oxygen mask on before she can in turn put one on for another.
At our agency, we also understand grief. Grief is not something that only occurs after a baby is placed for adoption, but actually begins the moment an adoption decision is made. Another misconception is that because a birth mother is experiencing grief she is wavering on her adoption choice. Grief is very normal and is often a stage in the process of adoption, the birth mother is allowing herself to let go of her own dream to secure a different dream for her child. In my opinion, birth mothers remain greatly misunderstood and they may not have the voice, energy, concern or even desire to change the misconceptions concerning their adoption choice.
The heart of a birth mother is like no other; it’s loving another human enough to put aside her own wants and needs to provide a life for her child. This birth mother huge heart is selflessly giving the gift of life to another woman, man, family who may not be able to conceive their own child. A birth mother will always remain a mother to the child she places for adoption, the love she has for her child never dies or is replaced, it just continues to grow.