I read a lot of blog posts. I enjoy blog hopping, especially with different adoption blogs. I don’t always agree with what I read, so it’s nice to see the other side of people’s opinions, especially from people somewhere else in the adoption triad.
I read one the other day that I just can’t seem to shake out of my head. It was from a birthmother who had placed a child for adoption a number of years earlier. Her adoption was a closed adoption and she sort of “moved on” after placement, I guess. I don’t really know. Something brought her interest back into the adoption world and when she went blog hopping, just like I like to do, she encountered the term “birthmother” for the first time. I’m not really sure how she’d avoided hearing that term through so many years, but she didn’t like it at all. She drew out a long equation of what the term truly meant to her, summing it up in the end that birthmother is just a term synonymous with… “breeder”.
Dear birthmother, if you walk into our home, one of the first things you’ll see is something our son’s birthmother made for us that says, “Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, but still miraculously my own.” It’s not something she made up, but the fact that our son’s birthmom made it for us is evidence that she loves us. It’s proof that she doesn’t think that we view her as just a breeder. It’s clear she knows differently.
Take a few more steps and you’re into the bedroom where our little boy and little girl share a room, and you’ll see just three pictures displayed. Right on the wall for everyone to see is a nice big picture of Jesus, a picture we will always want our children to stare at as they wake up and as they go to sleep. Not far away from that picture is a picture of our son’s birthmom. And not far away from that… a picture of our daughter’s birthmom. Both of those pictures are also faces that we want our children to see as they get up and go down for their naps.
Those pictures mean more to us than being a means of bringing us children. If that were the case, we’d have pictures of our caseworkers right next to them. If that were the case, we’d have pictures of the judge who made the adoption final. No, those women are more to us than that. Those women are the epitome of the type of selflessness we want to instill in our children. They’re examples of the type of heavenly love radiated by the Man in the other picture on their bedroom wall.
No, birthmothers does not equal breeders. Birthmothers equals selflessness. Birthmothers equals hope. Birthmothers equals love.
By Russell Elkins, author of Open Adoption, Open Heart