Monday, November 10, 2008

Birth mothers are their first mothers

November is National Adoption Month.

I will be doing many adoption posts before the month closes, but I want to start with the women with whom adoption starts - first mothers. They are the first mothers to our children. They are the first to love them. They are so very strong and so very selfless, and they are also the ones who carry the greatest amount of grief.

I, in no way, am saying that first fathers are not important. They are equally vital to our adopted children. They also grieve heavily. Yet, today, I wanted to focus on first mothers.

Our children spend their first nine months with their first mothers. While growing inside their first mother, they are comforted by their movements, soothed by their voice, and nourished by their bodies. When they enter their adoptive homes, they grieve their first mothers. They miss them. They carry them along for a lifetime, with every pulse of their heart, and the physical traits they inherit.

Their first mother may or may not nurse them, but will ultimately find themselves facing swollen breasts, aching for a child that they will no longer nourish. Their pains of recovery are reminders of their grief. Their empty arms ache. Their hearts are broken.

Today I honor first mothers by acknowledging their beauty, their love and their pain. I dedicate today's post to J and R, the first mothers to three of my children. I am proud to call you family, and although watching your children grow cannot take away your pain, you deserve the comfort that it brings. Our children deserve the answers that they need, and beyond that, we are all amazingly blessed to have you in our lives. You are a gift.

Letting Go and Holding On

Forever in My Heart

What I Wish My Child's Adoptive Mother Knew


Llama Momma said...

Thank you for this. As a birthmom, I'm honored by your words.

And I pray that the incredible love I felt (and still feel) for my birthson took root in his soul during those nine months I carried him. (Well, eight and a half, actually)

The novel I'm writing for NaNoWriMo is actually a young adult novel about teen pregnancy, based in large part on my own experience. Reliving some of those moments has been really incredible...and it brings me right back to that vulnerable place.

Your words are a soothing balm this morning. Bless you.

FireMom said...

Ah, you. Thanks for starting my week out in such a positive way.

Recovering Noah said...

Can you not write this stuff while I'm PMS'ing? I'm already a fragile wreck -what with the Operation Christmas Child video I watched this morning with the kids and now those poems you linked to.

Please Christine - mark this week on your calendar and know that I'll be PMS'ing in exactly 4 more weeks from now and 4 weeks after that and 4 after that.

I would appreciate it if you stayed away from tear-inducing posts during those times.



Christine said...

Oh, holy hooch, Leslie! OUR CYCLES ARE ALIGNED!

It happened with me and my college roommates, but I had no idea that there was that much power in blogging. Our words must ooze hormones.

I was actually reading through every poem at that site last night. It was rough, because those aren't professional writers - just real first mothers who are looking to find some healing by writing out their feelings.

I was a big giant mess, especially the more I realized that hurting FOR them can never, ever compare to their actual grief.

Sorry for the PMS insensitivity. That was very thoughtless of me. Now that I know, I'll try to do better. :)

Brenda said...

Interesting Christine....I need to do some thinking about our boys' birthmom. There are some very negative circomustances around their removal so the situation is different but I am sure the pain is real. I may blog on that this week. I stick in a link to this post for those who have a foreing or domestic adoption that does not involve abuse and neglect....You have a heart the size of Oklahoma.

T and T Livesay said...

Great post ... linking to it.

Christine said...


We have, many times, prepared to adopt a child from abuse and/or neglect. So, amazingly enough, there are many, many ways to honor first mothers even in these situations.

My kids' situations are not perfect, and we do have some very difficult things that we have to address (especially when you talk about all members of the first family, or the dissolved adoption with which we are involved - those that choose to have contact and those that do not - and the reasons and circumstances behind those decisions).

Our agency in Texas trains all families (even those adopting from foster care) to have open adoptions, and gave such amazing assistance on how to provide important links with appropriate and healthy boundaries - many times with extended family, old teachers, former neighbors or babysitters, etc. These are the people that can fill in the gaps, and also share the positives that they witnessed, involving first families. It takes a lot of work to find these people, but the information they provide can be invaluable.

Amy said...

That is beautiful. My friends just adopted, and I know they have many of the same feelings and thoughts.

Thank you

Amanda said...

I think birth mothers are fantastic. I obviously don't know any different, but I don't have an open adoption and I definitely don't feel incomplete by not knowing her. I'm very proud of her though. She did a beautiful thing for me. :)

Kristen said...

These are beautiful thoughts. We do not have the opportunity of open adoptions with our kids (one due to parental death, one due to abduction history/incarceration). But I think of the birthmoms often and always have a pang of sadness that my boys will never know their first moms. I am so blessed to have a photo of both of them, and wish so much they could both know how loved their kids are.

Lori said...

I join you in the honoring.

For Crystal and Michele, my kids' firstmoms.