Debunking the Myth of "The Birth Parent"
I cannot count how many times I have heard comments like:
"How can someone give away such a gorgeous child?"
"She must have been crazy or on drugs, huh?"
"How can a person not love their child?"
"They must have been abused, huh?"
I get so angry when people ask these kinds of questions about my children or any adopted child. Why do I get so furious? Because the fact of the matter is that every adoption was of initiated due to the horror stories you hear in the media. There are situations where children are removed from a home due to abuse, neglect or child endangerment, but this is not always the case. Even in these situations, questioning the "love” of a birth parent is cruel. What is really in question, is their ability to parent, handle anger and/or be in control of their life.
Always remember that HURT PEOPLE, HURT PEOPLE! This does not dismiss or make light of the abuse, addictions or neglect of a precious child. Just know that their actions are a clear picture of their life experience and affects of their own abuse in many cases.
I will never forget reviewing my youngest son's adoption files and stumbling upon a paragraph of the nurses description of his birth mother's demeanor in the hospital. "She was loving, gentle and interested in his well-being", the nurse noted in the file. On another page, it was mentioned that "she cried a lot and then checked herself out of the hospital." I cried for a while after reading this and was overcome with compassion. My first impression of her was to assume that he was in foster care because she was a horrible, abusive woman that had no feelings or care for this baby. It could not have been further from the truth. Yes, she had issues in her life that were long standing and seemed to her to be insurmountable. I refuse to believe that she did not love the 3 children that she gave birth to, that I now raise with complete joy. I pray for her regularly and when I notice things about all 3 of my children that they have in common, like their long hands, toe nails and their "fire cracker" personalities, I just smile. I know that they must have gotten that from her. We hope to meet her one day and assure her that her children had a wonderful life and fulfilled their full potential.
On the other hand, there are an entirely different group of birth parents that are judged unjustly for voluntarily placing their children for adoption. You hear people say, "What kind of person gives up their child?" or "How can they sleep at night?". There are birth parents that find themselves in situations they feel are not ideal for raising a child.
Most decide to parent their child and take what life throws at them. However there are a select few that decide to place for adoption and feel that it will give the child a life that they want them to have, but cannot give them. I have met birth mothers who have placed children for adoption. They are as loving and concerned about the well-being of their child as someone who decides to parent their child.
So the next time you meet an adopted child, keep in mind that in most cases , they are loved and nurtured by their adoptive parents. However, some one, somewhere is also thinking of them every morning when they awake and every night when they go to sleep. They are loved by them as well.