10 Birthmother Stories About Giving More, Not Giving Up

Of all the birthmother myths—and there are many!—none stings more than the accusation that birthmothers “give up” their children.

And yet despite the advent of open adoption 30 years ago and the more active role that birthmothers play in the placement process today, the stereotype that they are heartless, teenage drug addicts who “give up” or “give away” their babies still persists.

“I could never give up my baby,” some people will say, when hearing about a placement story.

They might not, but many birthmothers don’t either.

Birthmothers are individuals, just like the rest of us. They are daughters, sisters, aunts, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. They have their good points and bad ones, their ups and downs.

To paint them all with the same brush not only also robs them of their individuality and uniqueness, it doesn’t do justice to their decision to place. Continue reading

What I Wish I Could Say to My Daughter’s Birthmother

This guest post is by Paige Knipfer, an adoptive mother.  

Dear Maggie,

We have yet to have our daughter as long as you did. She is now six months but you carried her for nine months.

You carried her all that time knowing that you would eventually place her for adoption. To me, that is the true definition of humility and sacrifice.

You chose to keep her in this world and provided us with a family.

Although it’s a closed adoption and there isn’t a lot I know about you, I imagine that you experienced offensive comments and questions as you went through your pregnancy and created your adoption plan.

So the first thing I want to say is that I’m sorry for what you went through.

I’m not sure what made you pick us but I feel so very fortunate that you did. Continue reading

Waiting To Get Chosen By A Birthmother Is Hard. Here’s What I Do When I Feel Stuck

This guest post is by Jennifer Ruth, a waiting adoptive mother

In my job as a Student Achievement Specialist, I travel from campus to campus talking to teachers and students about topics that increase how much students can achieve.

One of my most popular presentations is based on the book, ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’ by Carol Dweck out of Stanford University.

Carol Dweck’s work identifies two mindsets, growth and fixed. Your mindset is your belief about your most basic qualities and abilities.

You could say that your mindset is the view you adopt for yourself (no pun intended) which impacts your whole life.

People who believe in a fixed mindset believe that a person is born with a certain amount of intelligence, talent, gifts, and abilities and that is all you will get.

You must be born intelligent or talented in order to be successful.

A person with a growth mindset believes that your human qualities can be cultivated by effort.

If you have a growth mindset, you believe that you have a great deal of control over your life.

These mindsets have a huge impact on student academic achievement in the classroom.

In my adoption journey, as the wait to get chosen by a birthmother has progressed, I have begun to think that I can apply this same mindset understanding to my waiting process. Continue reading

To the People Who Don’t Understand Why We Have An Open Adoption With Our Children’s Birthparents

This guest post is by Angie Milks, an adoptive mother. 

When we embarked on our adoption journey and started the paperwork, my husband and I knew that we definitely wanted an open adoption.

We felt it was the best way for our future kids to be proud of who they are and to eliminate any questions they might have about where they came from.

We didn’t want them to feel secrecy or shame surrounding their adoptions and we always wanted to be upfront with them about their stories.

We did not know how these open relationships would look or feel, just that we needed the birthparents to know that they were loved and respected and had a place in the lives of our children.

Fast forward 4 ½ years and two open adoptions later, and we wouldn’t change a thing.

We couldn’t have dreamed of all of the ways our lives would be enriched by our new extended family. Family: Because that is who they are and how we all treat each other.

Continue reading