Roman charges at me from across the room and jumps into my lap, bear-hugging me with his arms gripped tightly around my neck, almost knocking me over, all while giggling hysterically. Ruby hears a good beat and instantly begins busting some moves as if she knows the song like the back of her hand, all while belly laughing so hard that she can’t help herself from falling over. She then gets back up again and does the same thing again and again. As I sit back and look at our beautiful children, my heart beams with pride and gratefulness. They are bright little lights to this world, so full of joy. They’ve filled our hearts and home to the brim. I love being their mama. But in these heightened moments of joy and laughter, I can’t help but think of their birth mama and the brave decision she made in choosing adoption for her children. However, it wasn’t just a brave decision; it was the most difficult and heart-wrenching decision of her life.
Although I completely understand why people use “beautiful” to describe adoption, it’s also a profoundly complex and difficult process that can’t be summarized in one word or phrase. There are juxtapositions and tensions in adoption that I sometimes find difficult to absorb. There are three legs to the adoption triad: the adoptee, the birthmother, and the adoptive parents. For the most part, society is only privy to one side of adoption: the parents who have adopted a child. And this is understandable. After all, it’s the relationship our friends and family witness for themselves.
Brokenness & Loss in Adoption
In a perfect world, adoption wouldn’t exist. However, the reality is that we don’t live in a perfect world. We live on the other side of the Fall, where brokenness, pain, and death reside. Although beauty can be found in the brokenness of life, it doesn’t erase all of the pain or hurt that one encountered to get there. Regardless of how beautiful adoption can be, there is loss and brokenness within it. When a woman chooses adoption for her child, she makes the most difficult decision of her life. Placing a child for adoption is a sacrificial and selfless act of unconditional love. As the baby grows inside her womb, the birth mama feels the baby kick and respond to her voice, and she visually sees the child growing inside of her. Can you imagine the emotions she feels as she places her baby into the arms of another woman who her child will one day call “mama?” I can’t imagine that type of loss.
Imagine for a moment leaving the hospital without the child that you grew in your belly for nine months. As you walk through the door to your home, the quietness overwhelms you. Someone is missing. There is no baby there to wake you up in the middle of the night, there is no baby to feed or sing lullabies to, there is no baby to swaddle and snuggle, and there are no more late-night talks to the little one that was growing inside of your belly. Your baby is being cared for by another woman. And you chose this mother and father to be the parents of your child. But, even if you’ve found peace in your decision and are confident that you made the right one, that doesn’t negate all of the pain and feelings of emptiness associated with the loss. Imagine answering questions from curious co-workers and friends about the baby and having constant reminders like stretch marks or possible scars from the c-section you painfully endured. However, the stretch marks and scars on your body pale in comparison to the scars on your heart. I can’t imagine that type of loss.
Adoption Is More Than A Brave Decision
Sometimes, I’m reminded of her loss when my son or daughter looks up at me with their beautiful brown eyes, and I get a glimpse of their Birth Mom. At that moment, I’m overwhelmed by the full weight of the juxtapositions surrounding adoption-the brokenness and beauty. Her greatest loss made me a mama, and that’s my greatest joy.
Adoption is more than a brave decision. Adoption is one of the most selfless, sacrificial acts of unconditional love that any human being can do for another, one that entails great loss. The grieving process for birth moms is complex, ongoing, and a lifelong process to work through. These women deserve our utmost love, prayers, and respect. They have given us a piece of their heart, one that they are entrusting us with forever.
***We provide the following adoption services here at Christian Adoption Consultants: Embryo Adoption, Domestic Adoption & International Adoption. If you are interested in learning more about the programs we offer, you can request an informational packet here, as well as set up a FREE 30-minute consultation with one of our team members and join our free adoption community!
We look forward to hearing from you!***