Friday, September 2, 2011

First Interaction With a Birthmother

I just had my first interaction with a birthmother.

Let me back up. When we started down this journey of adoption and learning about it, we were very ignorant of the reality of adoption. As one of the adoptees that spoke at our group class, we didn't realize that adoption "wasn't like the movie Juno." Our group classes spent a lot of time going over triad training and birthmothers, etc. We felt like we had been pushed into the deep end of the pool without knowing how to swim.

It's been several months since our group classes, and we've had some time to process the world we are entering, but coming to grips with the birthmother is one of our biggest hurdles. Our counselor has been wonderful helping us understand this relationship and come to terms with what it really means and the realities of it. And don't get me wrong, we are committed to this and learning and loving what adoption really means. You just have to understand, when you think your family is going to look one way and then you realize what your family is really going to look like, it takes some time and love and patience to come to the place you need to be.

Trying to imagine what a relationship or interaction with a birthmother will be like has been weighing heavily on me. It's something you can never plan for your entire life. There is nothing to compare it too, just as I am learning there was nothing to prepare a birthmother for her decision to choose adoption. You just don't learn that growing up. This is all new to all of us and what it will look like and what it feel like can't be anticipated or feared.

So, back to my interaction. We have our individual interviews set up for next week for our home studies, and I am excited as all get out. For me, this is the same feeling when we decided to start "trying," because I know this is now how we will create our family. So I tweeted it out how excited I was, and I got a reply back to my tweet from a follower saying how happy they were for us. I immediately assumed this was one of my fellow "infertility friends" or an adoptive mother. I clicked on their profile, and I was speechless when I read that it was actually a birthmother.

I immediately became overwhelmed with emotions and just started balling there at the table. Like balling. DH was all "what's wrong! what's wrong?" And I said that someone was happy for us that we had taken one more step to become adoptive parents, and he said "who?" and I said "a birthmother." He just kind of looked at me funny, not knowing what to do, since I was still crying and that usually means...look out and cover your tracks in case it was you.

Anyway, it was such a humbling and powerful moment. Every step along this journey we learn something knew. I don't know if I am doing this emotion justice or not, and I hope I can fully explain the power of it and the love I felt. When you can't have your own child, there is an instinctual feeling of jealousy and competition with the birthmother. And you lay awake at night thinking, am I strong enough to do this? And for some anoymous birthmother to reach out, and express happiness that I was becoming a future adoptive mother, well, my cup runneth over tonight because of her.


  1. i wish you luck on your journey, but i must tell you that a woman who has not signed a TPR is not a birthmother. a birthmother does not go into an open adoption agreement. an expectant mother does.

    as a birthmother, i would hate to go through the end of my days known as The Birthmother. it's much, much more complicated than that.

  2. I am happy for you. Not sure what the previous comment is about, but whatever. Good luck with your upcoming home study. If you need any advice, give me a shout.