I am a birthmother. That is the label given to women who have a baby, place that baby for adoption, and then have a life away from that baby.
That baby, my baby, is 25 today. I love him as much today as i did the day I place him. We bonded for a little shy of 9 months. Then our bonding stopped. Another woman, referred to as the 'adoptive' mother began her bonding. As the birth mother I had to 'let go', some women may or may not be able to understand. It is the greatest motivation for the statements I am about to make. Some will like them, be relieved by them, some will be 'struck' by them, and still others will question my intentions. Go ahead, but its time they get some sunlight. I'm tired of living in the dark on this.
There are so many hallmark cliques to overcome. The most used one of all is the 'I did it out of love'. Love was most certainly present, but so were a great many other 'emotions', and no one addressed them. I often think that no one was capable of addressing them as giving birth is much like dying.. you have to do it alone. Remember, I speak from a large group who are largely ignored in our society. I speak as a woman outside of marriage, the woman no legal commitment was made too. This is very much a part of the birthmother's experience, not the only, but the majority. We are alone in the decision.
Don't confuse alone with neglected. This group of women are not neglected, in fact, are subjected to the most unwanted involvement one can imagine. Everyone seems to think they know what every surprise pregnancy needs... an outside opinion on moral decisionmaking. Not even close. What every woman needs is the knowledge that they have a keen sense, a trustworthy collective, and loving imput (whatever that may be) to make the best possible decision inside them.
My problem was, I was listening to the wrong collective. At the time of my pregnancy there was a vast array of information that had the least amount of 'what's best for me' contained in it. It was filled to the brim with what's best for society, and not my society at that! The 'Look down their nose at me' Society was hard at work undermining my faith in me. This society readily applied the 'your not ready' lotion to every available surface of my being. The part where my 'collective' asked questions and spent time with me, in order to know me, and the nature of me, ... never happened. I guess many believe that one 'moral' fits all. Fuck them.
I can say that now. I did not know how then, to say, fuck you. That was the mistake i made. Hmmmm. Was it a mistake? Or, is that how our little society works? Women are and always have had to strike their own posts. You know, hammer out space and then protect it. Some women have fewer resources to do this with, some simply do not see it as a choice, and still others are purposefully kept from adopting this perspective. I could go on, but it would really get us off track... wouldn't it. Should we reexamine how young women are viewed in this society we share? I vote yes.
I placed my son for adoption after having been inundated with outside opinions spoken like facts. I was impacted by this in the most emotionally harmful way imaginable. Eventually I began to believe the horse hockey, and even took it to the advanced postion of 'aren't i wonderful' and sacrificing and doing the best for my baby! I ventured forward with some high ideals put before me like manna from heaven, straight from the lips of God. I lost faith in myself, condemned myself as incapable, took in the majority's societal condemnation painted to look like 'concern' and made the biggest mistake of my life. For a fact, I was very capable at the time, I was hard working, I was pretty sure that I had a good idea about the reality of life, and that not every child needs to grow up in a suburb with picket fences, soccer games, nintendo, and summer camp. In fact, many children who grow up like that, as I have witnessed, can become the very people who populate board rooms everywhere today. I capitulated. It was the last time I ever did that. I learn.
It is a great responsibility to bring a child into this society, it is an even greater responsibility to be an adult in this society without imposing one's own bullshit on another, but rather, apply yourself to being there for the ones you love, leave the larger segment to the ones who love them, and if they have no one to love them... get some fucking training before you stick your nose in where it really doesn't belong.
Placing my son for adoption was a mistake for me. I don't know if it was a mistake for him, i suppose one day, if its any of my business, he'll let me know. Until then... Happy Birthday to my son.
And to women who are making this very sensitive decision, I give you this. A moment that is raped by others with doubt and causes you to feel shame is a moment you can let go of with a resounding 'fuck you', you don't know me. A moment, without that is something you may regret 25 years later when after years of watching and trying to undo what is done to women, you realize... there really is an environment of negativity against women who are not, do not, or can not or don't want to marry. And society, well, its doing its damnedest to hurt single women, and single mothers.