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Many people who talk about adoption focus solely on the baby. The future the baby will have. The opportunities. The blessing that adoption can be in that baby’s life. The amount of joy they adoptive family has over the opportunity to adopt the child. Be the advocate for the child. Raise the child as their own.
Don’t get me wrong, we walked into our adoption with many of the same ideas. We felt lead to adopt and were so excited (and thankful!) for the child who would join our family through this path.
But adoption isn’t just about the baby. In our journey it broke my heart hearing the awful things people would say about birth mothers in general, many even having the nerve to say them to me directly about our situation. Why do so many people support adoption but don’t support the incredible mother’s who choose adoption?
Today’s topic is on love and since I’m on such an adoption kick right now with my posts related to our son’s birth story I wanted to talk about the importance of showing love to the expectant mother during the adoption process:
Be her support system: Many people see the movie Juno and think that it’s what adoption is all about. However, it couldn’t be further from the reality of what most adoption situations look like. It’s important to truly think through it…if an expectant mother has a large support system, if she is in a good place in her life, if things are going well then she probably wouldn’t be pursuing adoption for this child. This is most likely the biggest decision she’s ever made and she needs support and reassurance. She needs love and acceptance and appreciation.
Be her advocate: Many people don’t respect or honor expectant mothers the way they should. I’ve seen it first hand with the way the mama we were matched with was treated during her doctors appointments. I had many people say “it’s so great you are going to appointments so you can be the baby’s advocate.” My main focus at those visits? Being her advocate. I was her friend. There to support her and speak up for her when I felt things needed to be said. By being the advocate for the expectant mother, you’re also advocating for the child too.
Appreciate her for who she IS: Most likely the expectant mother you are matched with will be very different from you. Find common threads. Get to know HER. Not just “the woman who is birthing the child I will raise” but as a person. As the incredibly strong and selfless woman she is. I have so much admiration and respect for our birth mother and am so thankful I have had the opportunity to form that deeper bond and connection with her. I truly love her for who she is and am thankful for her presence in my life. This is an opportunity to form a beautiful bond with the mother of the child you will raise!
Be a light in her life: Like I mentioned earlier, it’s highly likely that a mother in the position to choose adoption placement for her child is probably not where she’s ideally like to be in her life at that time. Showing love to her right where she’s at is HUGE. It’s an opportunity to let her know she’s not alone and that brighter days are ahead. So often people talk about the blessing of adoption to the child and adoptive family but it can be a beautiful blessing to the expectant mother too. It’s an opportunity for her personal growth and to learn more about the Lord through someone who she entrusts with her child. That’s a huge responsibility! I know I personally have felt that maybe God wanted us to adopt not just because we’re going to raise this baby up in Him but because we can be that light for his birth mother too.
Loving her is loving the child: I can also say it this way: loving the child is loving his mother. The two go hand in hand. I felt guilt at times that I wasn’t focused on the baby. All my focus was on his mother. I was there to support her through every step of the process and focused on her needs and what I could best do to show her the love I have for her. I truly believe that the love I showed her throughout this process not only was a blessing to ME but to her as well…and even to our child.
We were blessed with our match that we lived close enough where I could go to majority of her doctor visits with her AND that she felt close enough to me to want me at those visits. I know not everyone is able to have that opportunity to truly get to know the expectant mother on that level. Even if it’s just through texts, or phone calls, or emails. However you are able to communicate with her I encourage you to show her endless love.
When we decided to adopt I never thought I’d feel so passionately about this topic but it’s something that truly needs to be talked about more. Not enough people are speaking up for these incredible women. It takes so much unconditional love to go through pregnancy and childbirth and then see the child you love so much be raised by someone else. I don’t think I’d personally be strong enough or selfless enough to do that.
Not only is it so important to love on her during the process, but it’s especially important to love on her after placement. While things change and shift once placement occurs, that love should never falter or fade away. No matter what she will always be the mother of the child in your arms. She will always grieve this loss in her life. She will always carry a piece of that baby in her heart. She trusts you to raise the child, but she still cares and still appreciates hearing from you. Keep your promises that were agreed on prior to placement. Reach out (even if you don’t always hear back). Keep loving her through it all!
I encourage you to truly put yourself in the shoes of these women. Before you say something ugly, or look down on their path. Think about what these mothers go through. Think about the maturity and wisdom it takes to look at your current situation in life and to love your child enough to want something more for them. If you are entering into adoption I encourage you to pour all the love you can into whatever expectant mother you may be matched with in the future. It’s worth it!
Be sure to visit with all the Babywise Friendly Blog Network bloggers today on our topic of Love:
Chronicles of a Babywise Mom: How to Teach Your Child to Love Others
Christine Keys: How to Have a Happy Marriage When You Have Small Children
Mama’s Organized Chaos: My Daughter: What I Want You To Know About Valentine’s Day
Team Cartwright: Teaching Your Children Valentine’s Day is More Than Just Romance
Rogers Party of 5: How to Show Your Children Love with the 5 Love Languages
Let’s Be Brave: 5 Ways To Show Your Foster Child Love
Wiley Adventures: Another Quick Trick For A Happier and Healthier Marriage