This guest post is by Lynea, a birthmother.
As almost all birth mothers know, moving forward after placement is not an easy process.
We are overwhelmed with our own guilt and self-deprecation as well as all of the assisted pain that is placed on us by others.
I find it interesting that birth mothers are looked at as women who “gave up” their baby.
We live in a society where you are ostracized for judging those who choose to abort, even late term or kept their children but provide no structure for their advancement and welfare.
But somehow taking the initiative and selflessness to find a life for someone we love is quitting.
Those who have spent any time with a birth mother know she never gave up and she never quit loving the child she bore.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about what might have been had I made a different choice for my child.
There’s no doubt abortion would have left me scarred with taking a life but I do admit I did contemplate this action a few times.
My conscience and love for this baby inside of me would not let that happen.
Making the choice to raise my child might have worked out but knowing where I was and what I could offer made that seem a little too far-fetched.
I had recently divorced and the outcome left me financially and soulfully destitute.
I was already relying on people I just couldn’t ask anything more from.
If there would have been a way to pull all of it together that choice had some merit but it was going to be a long hard ride and my baby didn’t deserve to be on it.
My decision brought about more scorn and rejection than I ever could have imagined.
“How could you just give your baby away?” was my mother’s cry.
She just couldn’t bring herself to support me in any way.
Her cruel behavior from the time I announced my decision never eased up.
She also made sure everyone else formed an opinion which would align with hers.
As she got the word out, so came people out of the woodwork trying to gain a place in the adoption line.
But at this point, I must go back to the subject I intended to write about.
The one thing that has always continued to bother me is that when I would let people know I was a birth mother it seemed to be a puzzling word to them.
Also, when I mentioned I had placed my child for adoption, the standard response was “Oh, you gave them up?”
I think this started my determination to change how the world saw birth mothers. I was proud to be a birth mother.
I did a wonderful thing. It’s because of me and other birth mothers that couples who cannot conceive on their own are given a chance at parenthood.
For someone to praise the adoptive parents as the heroes of a child who they saved from a dreadful existence and me as a slut, loser and quitter is bitter to me.
I should be praised for my sacrifice of allowing them to have that opportunity.
My life was changed forever from this with nothing but the massive heartache to dwell within me.
There is no changing what happened, going back or denying. What I want is respect for my selfless act.
I chose to create Life After Placement for birth mothers only and no one else.
I and others in our group want to bring those marvelous women who have placed a baby for adoption to a safe and friendly world where they can know they are not alone and certainly not ostracized.
We will continue to deal with our decision but what we hope will happen is the narrative can be changed.
This is not the Dark Ages anymore. We shouldn’t have to hide in shame.
We made a choice that was the best for the most people.
When pregnancy happens there are only three choices to make.
Depending on the circumstances the choices can be extremely hard.
But the most marvelous choice any woman can make is to show how much she loves the child she bears by choosing what is best for that child, not what society may deem acceptable.
A birth mother puts herself far behind the needs of her child and that needs to be applauded and praised.
Please join me as I earnestly do my best to spread the word in any way I can that birth mothers need to be praised and respected.
Lynea is a birth mother of 25 years who has been reunited with her daughter for 12 years. Along with her other interests, she is passionate about helping other birthmothers to cope with the daily challenges of life after placing a child. Learn more about Lynea and the birthmother support group she founded, Life After Placement.
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