An Adoption Poem: “Broken Umbrella”

When it comes to adoption, sometimes art can express a person’s emotions better than anything else.

Take it from poet Tamara Jennette. A mother and grandmother herself, she was recently inspired by a birth mother’s story to write her poem, “A Broken Umbrella.” The young birth mother was homeless and, to give her unborn baby the best life possible, she made plans to place her for adoption.

“She didn’t have much to offer her baby, except maybe a good decision,” Jennette remembers. “A victim of child abuse herself, she needed to reach deep within herself and make a choice that was extremely difficult but also full of love.”

Inspired by that birth mother’s decision, Jennette began to write:

I’ve got a broken umbrella. It’s been through countless storms.

I’ve had it for quite awhile now… maybe since the day I was born.

My umbrella, at times, gets heavy and it never seemed to work right.

But still, it was there to protect me when no one else was in sight.

As I watch you sleep in your crib through the hospital glass window,

I want so bad to be a good mother, but I hear thunder still down the road.

I may not always be here, you know, to protect you when the rain pours.

And I want you to have more than I did. You need a home that feels safe and secure.

People around here try to judge me. They say I’m selfish. They say I’m no good.

They say I don’t make good decisions, or carry myself like I should.

They think they know who I am, but they don’t even have a clue.

They scoff at my broken umbrella in their raincoats and clean rubber boots.

It’s true I don’t have very much to offer, but what I have I’m giving to you.

I want you to have my umbrella, in case your skies ever turn grayish hues.

I’ll miss that umbrella of mine, but it’s not about me anymore.

And I’ll do whatever it takes, to keep you out of the storm.

I hope one day you understand that I don’t throw things I love away.

But I love you enough to let you go. May you only see bright sunny days.

A note from the author: “This poem was inspired by a special young lady named Brooke and dedicated to all mothers that struggle with the decision to place for adoption — and in doing so, give their child more love than they may have ever had by anyone in life themselves.”

Comments 5

  1. Beautiful poem by Ms. Jennette. Acutely insightful and sensitive. To be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, shows ultimate empathy. Maybe one day the child will meet her birth mother. And maybe one day her child might read this poem. It might give some comfort knowing that a total stranger empathized enough to write this beautiful poem.

  2. Absolutely beautiful! So many children in need of an umbrella instead of standing in the middle of their homes storms without protection. So many would be better off. And she said it perfectly.

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