My name is Terra. I am a birth mother to a beautiful 6 month-old boy and I am not addicted to drugs. I’m not addicted to anything. In fact, I am a straight-A college student who attends church every time the doors open. I have career goals, a loving boyfriend, a stable home life, and a strong support system.
Are you surprised?
Probably. This is because today’s society has placed a stigma on birth mothers a long time ago that has yet to be lifted. Most people expect birth mothers to be addicted to crack or a teenage girl who slept around too much but would be surprised to find that their idea of what a birth mother is, is most likely wrong.
So allow me to help. Here are some things that birth mothers truly are.
We all look different. Birth mothers come in all shapes and sizes. We are short, tall, skinny, chubby, young, old, black, white, dark-haired, light-haired, etc.
We all place for different reasons. All of us have stories that lead to our placement, but none are ever the same. Some of us place because we are not financially stable, some because of their mental health. Some to keep the child out of an abusive situation, some had children taken by the state, and sadly, some because they are forced.
We are all in different stages of our lives. Some birth mothers are in school trying to get a degree. Some are married to the love of their life and have children that they parent. Some are in a relationship that is fading fast. Some birth mothers are searching for a job, trying to pull themselves out of a pit. Some are grandmothers who love their children and grandchildren more than life. Some birth mothers are trying to focus on an algebra test and not write their crushes name all over their binder.
We are from different backgrounds. Some birth mothers had loving parents and a stable home life. Some were kicked out and became homeless. Some were abused by the ones who were supposed to love and protect them. Some were adopted themselves.
There is not a single birth mother that is like the other. Do not put us all into whatever category fits your stereotype.
Birth mothers get told all the time how selfish we are for placing our child. Those people could not be more wrong. A birth mother choosing to place her child can be one of the most selfless acts. We choose to hand the child we have bonded with for 9 months into the hands of another person, most likely a stranger. We choose to suffer silently in the hopes that our child has a better life because of it. We recognize our inability to parent our child and we choose someone who longs to.
Most birth mothers creates a hole in their heart to fill the hole in another woman’s heart. If the adoption is closed, we accept that we may never see our child again or know anything about them. If the adoption is open we watch as our child calls another woman mommy. Regardless, we do it because we want our babies to have the best life possible.
Believe it or not, we are all humans. We laugh, we cry, we make mistakes. We are not perfect, nor have we claimed to be. Your words hurt. When people tear us down and belittle us for our choice to place, it is painful. When people make flippant comments like “well you gave your baby away.” it destroys us. I’ve never met a birth mother who doesn’t love and miss her child terribly. Think before you rush to judge us. Get to know us, talk to us, find out why we chose to place. Understands that your words have the power to throw us into a tailspin for the rest of the day. Birth mothers are humans.
This is probably one of the most controversial topics when it comes to adoption. Some people believe that birth mothers are not mothers and have no right to call themselves that. But let me ask… If we are not mothers, then what are we? An incubator? We carry our children for 9 months. We love our children. We long for our children. We miss our children. We choose the best life we can for our children over our own happiness. How are we not mothers?
Now I don’t say this to cheapen the adoptive mother. She spends thousands of dollars, waits months, and love and provide for the child in a way we could not. We love our children’s adoptive mothers even if they do not love us. We deeply appreciate our children’s adoptive mothers. However, we are still mothers too. My favorite adoption quote is “He is her’s in a way he will never be mine and he is mine in a way he will never be hers. Together we are motherhood.” Adoptive or birth, we are both mothers.
We are not what we are portrayed to be and we are not the negative image so many hold on to. The majority of us love and cherish our children. We want them to live better lives than we could ever give. We are not ashamed of our title. WE. ARE. BIRTH. MOTHERS.