Wednesday, January 4, 2012

When the Word Birthmom Seems More Like Burden than Blessing


Over the years we've come along way in the adoption community of showing respect to birthmoms. Many of my fellow adoptive friends do an amazing job of finding ways to honor their child's birthmom. Talking with your children {beginning at a young age} about their past, THEIR story, is so very important. The beginning of each year my thoughts are drawn extensively to both of our daughters birthmoms, as its the time of year we celebrate our daughters' birthdays. Often I have Thoughts of Her . . .

However, what happens when its very difficult to honor that woman? What happens when you're parenting a child that was abused by that woman?, neglected by them?, or despised by her? What THEN? It is critical that we don't put anyone in our child's life up too high on a pedestal. Even birthmoms. I realize that might rub some the wrong way. News Flash: not all birthmoms are loving individuals. Not all birthmoms became part of the adoption triad by making a loving choice for their child. In NO way is this a post to bash birthmoms. If you've visited here much, you know that I'm very passionate about them. And while I think many families are doing an amazing job of showing honor {as they should!} ... I know other families out there struggle to know how to deal with this issue. Perhaps they are faced every day with the harsh realities that came from the decisions their child's birthmom made. They see the toll that those decisions make on this child they are raising as well as other children in the family that it impacts.

So what do you do? How do you make sense of it all? How do you communicate with your child about their past? I think we have to start at the beginning.

  1. We have to remember that ALL of us are human. That we ALL sin. That we ALL fall short. Every single one of us. Yes, especially including adoptive families. We're ALL sinners. We will ALL let these precious children down in one way or other.
  2. We need to commit to walking WITH our children on this journey. We can't fix it. We can't make it all better. We can't wish it away. We MUST walk WITH them. Even through the mucky waters they will no doubt travel through.
  3. We must take every opportunity to speak LIFE into our children. Yes, they each had a birthmom whose womb they were conceived in, but it is the Lord who ultimately gave them LIFE. We need to keep that as our focus. No matter WHAT has happened in our child's life we can give HIM thanks for giving them LIFE.
  4. Don't give up. EVER. The One who called you to adoption, IS THE ONE who will NEVER leave you or your child. THAT is what you can stand on. That ALONE is bigger than drug/alcohol exposure, neglect or rejection. Your child NEEDS to know you're in this for the long haul. And remember, you are not a super hero. You are HUMAN. Don't walk this journey alone.
Maybe you are one facing this issue and you feel alone. You're afraid to speak out because you hear so often in all the great books of the "correct" ways to honor birthparents. Please know, you are not alone. Your child needs delicate honesty and tons of love from his/her new family. He/she needs a safe place to grieve, to heal, to blossom. Be encouraged, dear adoptive parent .... no matter WHAT has ever happened to your child, they have a loving Heavenly Father who KNOWS, who CARES and who will ALWAYS be there.

Feel free to share in the comments below. I would be honored to hear from you.

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