Wednesday, November 08, 2006
A Birth Mother's Story
Last night I participated in a panel of birth mothers at a meeting for multi-racial families. Most of the audience were adoptive families with biracial or African American children. The panel included myself and two ohers, Peggy whose child is 35 and Sheena whose child is 15 months old. My adopted son will be 24 this month. Sheena was accompanied by her son's adoptive parents and together they spoke about open adoption. Both Peggy and I had closed adoptions so seeing how open adoptions works was very eye opening and educational for me. The audience seemed very grateful to hear the point of view of birth moms. I still think there is a stigma for birth moms even while everyone extolls their courage and selflessness. The three of us had an opportunity to tell our stories and take questions from the audience. Peggy had a particularly touching story of reuniting with her adult son a couple of years ago and how it felt to come full circle. My adoption search is still in the future. I don't know the impact to the audience, but I hope they found it helpful. I learned more than I was able to share. As I sat in front of the audience playing with my newborn, it struck me that at least some of the women in the audience were adoptive mothers because of infertility issues. It made me wonder if this is the crux of the divide between adoptive and birth mothers- perhaps the birth mother is a constant reminder of what the adoptive mother cannot accomplish and as such must be put out of sight, out of mind, marginalized and stigmitized. At any rate, I'm glad I sat on the panel and told my story.