May 10, 2012
I got into a conversation the other day that put me on a very different side of adoption advocacy.
I was at gymnastics with the girls, which normally I don’t get to do since I’m usually at work. But this week Mia had her first class and Nina moved into competition program so I wanted to be there. Anyway…after watching for a while I started up a conversation with another mom…a conversation that went in a most unexpected direction.
The woman who I’m guessing was still in her twenties asked me about the girls and where they were born. She had this easy open way about her and clearly was not judging anything. I could just tell her interest in adoption was genuine and compassionate. I answered freely and shared more than I would normally share with someone I just met.
“My grandmother was adopted” she started. “I’ve often thought about adoption.”
“Really?” I asked with a little too much excitement.
“Well actually, I’ve been thinking about it because I’m pregnant.”
I was silent not sure what to say. My mind raced. Good Lord was she going to ask me to adopt her baby? Did she think heck she’s got six what’s one more? (I know that’s a ridiculous thought but that’s where my mind went.)
I’m so glad I kept my mouth shut.
She went one to tell me how she already had three kids with two different dads and how a third guy fathered the baby she was now carrying. She seemed nervous, like she was waiting for my disapproval. Instead I smiled and joked, “I have six kids with four different dads”.
It was silly but we both laughed and it put her at ease.
She continued with amazing candor to tell me she had considered an abortion and then adoption. And that’s when I found myself advocating against adoption.
All I could think was this poor girl is overwhelmed. She has three little kids and a fourth on the way, she’s not married and it seems like the men in her life are less than stellar. Life had to be hard. And yet it was all circumstantial, subject to change. I could see she adored her children but if she placed her baby for adoption there would be no going back.
I thought about all the women who lost children to adoption and never fully recovered. I thought about the many adoptees who longed for biological connections. And I thought if at all possible, relinquishment should be avoided. Adoption should be a last option.
Which might seem on the surface to be an odd position for me as an adoptive mother but really, it’s not.
Now the good news is this woman; wise beyond her years had already figured this out. She was choosing to parent and trusting any hardship would be temporary or at least better than the loss she might endure if she chose adoption.
And I’m so glad for her and her unborn baby because the hard truth is, if I could give my daughters anything in the world, if somehow I had omnipotent power, I would give them their mothers; healthy, competent, able and loving.
Not because I don’t love them but because I do.