This week’s action idea is related to adoption – most of the time when we think about adoption, we focus on the families who adopt a child, or we celebrate the baby who has been united with a new family. Sometimes we celebrate birth parents who choose life for their children, rather than abortion. We recognize the selflessness that goes into making that decision.
However, many times we miss the harsh reality that birth mothers or fathers face after making the courageous decision of placing their baby for adoption.
But think about it – for nine months, birth mothers carries the child, delivers the baby, and almost immediately the child is given to their adoptive family. There is nothing easy about that scenario, and by talking about it, we can begin to recognize the emotional needs of the birthparents after the adoption.
Once babies are placed with their adoptive parents, birth mothers must work through the hormonal changes and begin a process of living after such a life changing event. They realize that their life has to move on without their children, but it can be hard to do. While their sons or daughters are still alive, they are grieving the loss of children they bonded with during the months of pregnancy. The grieving process looks different for everyone, and for some, the adjustment may be easy, but for others, it may go on for years.
The question I want to ask today is: How are we loving these women that have made the courageous decision to give their babies life AND are grieving the loss of a child that is still alive? If you know a birth mother, no matter how long it’s been since her adoption decision, I’d encourage you to talk to her about her experience. Talk to her, pray with and for her, and walk with her no matter what stage of the grief process she is in. A simple gesture of extending a hand, letting her know that she is not alone, and that grieving is normal, goes a long way. Something as simple as knowing her child’s birth date and sending a card to her could comfort her in knowing that while she may not be raising her child, she is still a mother. Acknowledge her on Mother’s Day!
If there is one thing I’ve learned in life ministry, it’s that a conversation can change the world. A conversation with a tone of love, acceptance, and understanding can change the course of a person’s grief. Where can you be leaning in to address the grief and give birth mothers a safe place to honor their pain, while still celebrating their courage? Where can the Lord use you to heal the wounds that birth mothers carry?
I want to recommend this great book “Reframing Adoption” a Christian based Birthmother Grief Recovery Handbook written by Sharon Fox. It can be ordered on Amazon and, in addition to other ideas I’ve already mentioned to help birth mothers, I encourage you to have a couple of copies of this book on hand in your personal library that can be shared with birth mothers.
If we want to prevent abortion, we must affirm adoption and that includes affirming birth mothers.