I’ll tell you a secret: I still feel shame from time to time, even seven years after choosing adoption.
My Secret Shame
I’m living with it right now. It’s influencing my writing right now. It’s the secret that can weigh on me. I have shared it only with one other person. And now, I share it with you. My dirty, dark, little secret. Of course, if I profess that healing is a journey, and grief is a process, then doesn’t mean I should accept my shame as a part of grief along the healing path? I wish it meant that. I wish that writing about spiritual healing for birth mothers meant having completely overcome grief and the healing process. However, I write about the truth. It would be a lie if I told you that one day you would overcome all the painful feelings associated with choosing adoption and becoming a birth mother.
Further Reflections on Shame
I have been working on a writing project that requires more research than personal experience, which has given me a bit o f a break to reflect on my current relationship with my son. I’ll tell you this: I am far from the perfect birth mother. Right now, I feel as if I have dropped the ball in going a few months without talking to him or attempting to contact his parents. Of course, I know that his parents would tell me that it’s fine. Perhaps they are feeling the same thing on their end, or perhaps they aren’t even thinking about it and enjoying life. Whatever is going through their heads is irrelevant in this situation. This is my shame and guilt that I carry. It is my right and responsibility to heal through what I am experiencing and feeling.
Telling the Truth About Birth Mother Shame
I have decided to come clean today about this secret, and in this forum, because of what I write about. I write about spiritual healing for birth mothers. How can I write about something that I don’t have experience with or am not experiencing anymore? I am honest to a fault, and sometimes I use caution in how I share, as anyone would, but for the most part, I am a very transparent writer. Those who have read my articles and follow me know that I am very bold when it comes to sharing my experience with the adoption community, and whoever else may stumble upon my work.
I’m Just Like Other Birth Mothers
What I do is the same thing other people do. I wake up every morning, put my feet on the floor, go about my day, and hope for the best. I hope to excel financially. I hunger to put heart into my work. I strive to be great for my family. I desire to be strong in my relationships. How am I any different than other birth mothers? Is it because I write about it? Or is it because I have put so much effort into healing? Or is it merely that I’m not different? I’m not different than other birth mothers.
Birth Mothers Come From Everywhere
I have met all types of different women who have chosen adoption throughout the life of my healing path. Some women are open about choosing adoption while others keep it a secret. Some women struggle to communicate with their birth children, while others are in happy open adoption relationships. Some women desire to walk a path of healing, while others choose to ignore their feelings or lash out because of them. So, am I really any different than any of these women?
Birth Mother Rollercoaster
I have had highs and lows throughout my course as a birth mother. I have joy, laughter, and excitement. I have had heartbreak, tears, and pain. I have been on a rollercoaster, and sometimes a long break in the ride. You see, relationships take effort, and that includes the relationship that a birth mother has with her birth child and his or family. However, we all do the best we can with what we have at the time. I would be shocked if someone told me that it didn’t take bravery and focus to choose adoption.
Have No Regrets, Sweet Birth Mother
I hope that you don’t regret your adoption decision, as I do not regret mine. I pray that you find a sense of calm among the storm. I plead that you walk a path of healing, and tend to the other wounds of your past as well.
Even in my darkest of days, I will not give up. So, don’t you do it either.
Lindsay is a guest blogger for Considering Adoption. She placed her son for adoption 7 years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.