Friday, May 8, 2009

Being a birth mom

One of the hardest days of my life was not the day I signed the paperwork relinquishing my right to parent. It was not the time I walked out of the hospital without anything in my arms. The hardest time for me came a couple days later when I was left completely alone at home, with no friends or family around me, without that little life who felt so connected to me during those nine months. That was hard.

I know my family didn't mean to abandon me. I probably wasn't really easy to be around, just so sad and gloomy. I don't know. But that time, feeling completely alone was devastating.

Becoming a birth mom was obviously not one of those goals I set for myself growing up. It was certainly not something I aspired to. I had been raised with a clear understanding that intimate relations with someone before you are married is not just frowned upon by the Lord, it is absolutely wrong. This I do believe. That act is a sin, just as murder is a sin, a very serious sin. Because it is about the precious God-given gift of life, and it was not right for me as a young person to be toying with the act of creation. In today's society, nobody seems to see it that way. Especially with abortion being considered a reasonable option. Nobody takes accountability for this very serious act.

That was never an option in my mind. I am glad I had the sense at least to know that. And I am grateful that I could go to a caring bishop and begin the repentance process. I am grateful I could make the changes necessary to strengthen my testimony and become a better person. I am thankful that I could make the decision to place the unborn child within me for adoption. And glad that I found the agency of LDS Family Services to help me through this process.

While I lived in Logan during this time, I was able to attend a support group full of other young women, who had either placed previously, chosen to parent, or were considering placing their babies for adoption. This was a huge blessing for me. Being able to talk to others who really knew what I was going through was very healing for me.

But that day after I left the hospital, when no one was there in that apartment with me, it felt like my world was falling apart. I didn't know how to tell me brother to please not leave me alone. I didn't know how to call one of my friends and say, "I can't take this, please help me." I wish I had. I wish I would have reached out. It was a very lonely time.

Still, I survived. And I learned to find a way to reach out for the help I needed. Soon after, I moved back home, away from Logan, away from the birth parent support group. This was also hard. But I learned that as I found friends willing to listen to my story, eager to offer support, this helped me to heal. I wasn't welcomed by everyone when I tried to share my testimony of adoption and my own experience, but I was able to find those who would share in my grief and joy.

As part of a FSA (Families Supporting Adoption) chapter, I have shared my experience with adoptive parents, a chance for them maybe to get a glimpse of what their birth mothers might be like. I have shared my story in adult meetings, where we encourage people to learn about LDS Family Services and the services the Church offers for unwed mothers. I love encouraging people to be open-minded about adoption.

I have had friends who had a hard time with this presentation, because as adoptive parents, they felt like they were saying, "Give us your babies." For me, my message was a little different. I want to give them hope. I want them to see that there are more options available, and choosing adoption can be a huge blessing in a young woman's life.

It was for me.

Remember this post? And this one? Still true. I heart adoption. And I heart birth moms. Send one some love tomorrow. (even if it just in your prayers). Lets make sure no birth mom ever has to feel alone. I added the Birth Mom Missions site over there under my Advocating Adoption section, because they have a group for providing support to other birthmoms. Check it out, if you want. Birth moms are heroes. (Can I say that?) I just want to send lots of positive vibes out there for all these amazing women. Here is a link to some other ways you can do that>


Sara D. said...

Thank you for sharing your story with all of us Nan, I don't know what I would do without you in my life during this period of time in my life. I know that I have made a different decision then you did, but just having someone who has been in this situation before to be there and guide me and talk to me through the hard moments, I am so grateful that you are in my life, and I love you so much.
Sara D.

Chrislynn said...

Happy Birth Mother's Day, Nan. Thanks for sharing your story.

Sara D. said...

Happy Birth Mother's day Nan. I love you.

Brookie said...

you CAN say that! You are my Hero, you are a strength to me and admire you so very much.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts feelings and experiences.
love ya