silent mothers: in appreciation of birthmoms

 

“To the world, you may be just somebody.

But to somebody you just might be the World.”

~Unknown

As someone who became a mom through adoption instead of birth, I feel blessed to know that my husband and I were chosen to be the parents of our two beautiful children. The immensity of this knowledge – knowing that another mother chose me to be their child’s mother for the rest of my life – is both staggering and humbling.

She felt the kicks of this growing child, whom I now call my own.  She watched as the baby moved and grew in the pictures on the ultrasound screen, and now I watch as he grows yearly through school pictures on my wall.  She may have wrapped his tiny hand around her finger.  Today he holds my hand.  She dreamed about what he’d be when he grew up.  I do, too.

As mothers we all have a connection.  When you see a child having a meltdown in the store, and you look across the aisles and make eye contact with his mom, giving her a warm smile or nod, you have a connection because you know you’ve been “that mom” with “that kid” before.

Some mothers among us are silently connected.  Quietly she carries her story.  In her womb she carried a child, and in her heart she carries him still.  Maybe it was 3 years ago…maybe it was 30.

She was there in his first moments…she saw his first breaths, she heard his first cries, she held him close…or maybe she didn’t…in those first moments after she sweat and cried and pushed him into the world.  I was not there, but she was.

There are silent mothers among us.  Women who have bravely chosen to carry a child they never planned to raise.  Women who decided against others’ judgments that raising this special child at that point in their lives was not the best decision for them, or for their child, or for both of them.  Mothers who knew that they may be a parent to children…someday…but just not at that time.  Mothers who have loved with every fiber of their being…and still had the strength to let go.

These silent mothers among us are women just like you.  They have dreams, goals, things that make them laugh.  They doubt themselves, they question their abilities, they wonder about what they see in the mirror.

They have a story, too.  Some wear it proudly on the outside.  Some wear it proudly on the inside.  Some are unsure of how to feel…sadness, relief, shame, pride.  Some wish they could tell…but they don’t know how yet…or maybe ever.  They are the silent mothers.

Be the World

On the days when I think I cannot do this, I remember I can, I will, I must. She chose me for this.  When our childrens’ birthmoms decided for the rest of their lives that they could not, they chose me instead.  I get the amazing, proud, happy moments and I get the gut-wrenching difficult, scary and worrisome moments as well.

My wish for you, silent (birth)mothers, is for peace.  I wish for you to know that there are others, like me, who are so grateful for your sacrifice, your choice, and for what you have been through and perhaps still go through, as a result of your choice.

The Women’s Choice Center (2711 Happy Joe Drive, Bettendorf) is offering a Birthparent Support Group beginning January 16th, 7:00-8:00 PM.  Whether you placed a child for adoption recently or many years ago, you are welcome.  For more information, please contact Vicki at 563-332-0475 .  If you are considering adoption, they would be happy to discuss your options with you, as well.

My hands and my heart are full…and every day I’m grateful to the women who loved our children first and gave them life.  If you are a silent mother among us, I am grateful for you, too.

Me and Babies

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6 Responses to silent mothers: in appreciation of birthmoms

  1. Melissa December 16, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    This is beautiful, thank you for sharing.

  2. Lynn December 17, 2013 at 6:11 am #

    Love this post!!! I am forever grateful to my three little angel’s birthmothers and you so beautifully put into words how I feel.

  3. hb December 29, 2013 at 12:15 am #

    I can see you are a loving person who means well.

    However, I do find the following slightly patronising:

    “There are silent mothers among us. Women who have bravely chosen to carry a child they never planned to raise. Women who decided against others’ judgments that raising this special child at that point in their lives was not the best decision for them, or for their child, or for both of them. Mothers who knew that they may be a parent to children…someday…but just not at that time. Mothers who have loved with every fiber of their being…and still had the strength to let go”
    I just feel that for many birthmothers, it is far more complicated than the above and I hope that you are going to offer them true support and not invalidate any feelings they may have. Also, not all birthmothers want “appreciation” for choosing adoption, they might have preferred instead to have had more options that they had.

  4. Emily January 4, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    hb, thanks for your feedback. I meant no harm or in any way to invalidate any of the feelings that birthmothers feel. I am not a birthmom, therefore, I can not truly understand everything that one has gone through. I have never given birth, yet I am a mother…therefore i often share my stories and experiences of being a mother through adoption. However, I have friends and relatives who are birthmothers, and I know that every adoption is different, just like every relationship & every individual. I never meant to minimize the experience of any birthmother, and I DO know that many women did not have a choice in placing their child(ren) for adoption. My hope was that if there are women who are reading this blog & feeling as if their story has not been told or touched upon, that they know that they are welcome here, too. I also wanted to share the information about the local Birthparent Support group. I am not a part of the support group, but only wished to promote it, as I feel it is very important local resource & I hope a successful one, too.

  5. veronica March 31, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    My name is veronica I placed my son Grayson on September 23rd 2013. I as a birthmother know I did what was best for him and at the same time being a blessing to this single adoptive mother which butterd me up with lies agreed that she was supportive of open adoption which we both agreed to and for to tell me 2 weeks ago to never contact her again I’m trying to understand all of this its really devasting especially when you have done nothing to make this person become this way!

  6. veronica March 31, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    In my personal opinion some birthmothers are just thrown under the bus after the baby is placed as if we don’t have feelings we don’t suffer heartbreak or emotional trauma yes there are situations where adotions have happy endings. And there are beautiful adoptive parents that greatly appreciate there birthmothers on the other hand what about the birth mothers that are not appreciated and treated wrong out of pure selfishness what do we do to help mend those broken hearts that have went through hell during their adoption journey!

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