A Birth-mother Lets Go

Delana H. Stewart

She came to that moment when she had to do the hardest thing she would ever be called upon to do. She had to let him go.

Talking about birth-mothers occurs weekly in our house, sometimes daily, though it never skips a week. Almost always the floating, sea mountains, pink sky waterbirth mom is brought up by our daughter. There are different ways this may occur:

  • Cheerfully: Let’s pray for my birth mom tonight.
  • Curious: I wonder what my birth mom looks like. I wonder if I look like my birth mother or birth father? I wonder why my birth mom could not raise me.
  • With deep grief and tears: Why did she let me go!?! Why couldn’t she keep me? I miss her so much! My heart hurts so badly.
  • With anger: You are NOT my birth mother! I want my birth mother! Why did she leave me?!? Why doesn’t she love me?

Occasionally I will bring up the topic of her birth mother, to let our daughter know that the topic is totally okay with me, and that I am a safe person she can come to with any of her thoughts, feelings, emotions regarding her birth.

Today, a book I was reading reminded me of a historical birth mother and her great love and grief in letting her son go. I was reading Fueled by Faith by Jennifer Kennedy Dean. In it she talks about Moses and his birth mother, Jochebed. She writes:

Three months (she) loved him and nurtured him and memorized his darling face and recorded in (her) heart his dear sighs and gurgles and cries. With each passing day, love grew. When the day came to let him go, imagine his mother’s walk from her home to the Nile’s edge . . . .Surely only her selfless love for her son could induce her to walk her Via Dolorosa. Had she given one thought to her own desires, she would have turned back . . . .She came to that moment when she had to do the hardest thing she would ever be called upon to do. She had to let him go. She had to die to her mother’s instincts to guard and protect. To save his life, she had to let him go. When she did, her son was put upon the course he had been ordained to travel . . . .The secret was in the letting go (pp. 172-173).

This might be a birth mother’s most difficult thing to do, but probably the most difficult thing for an adoptee (and I say probably since I am not an adoptee) is also letting go. Letting go of hurt, anger, bitterness . . . and learning to forgive. A great movie about this kind of letting go and forgiving is October Baby. If you did not see it in the theater, it is worth buying. If you would like to read more about Jochebed and Moses, click here.

What do you think? I would love to hear from birth-mothers, adoptees, and adoptive parents. What are the struggles you face? What are the things most difficult for you to let go?

****************************************************************

See also: I Was Just A Regular Fifteen-year-old Girl

“The pain has never left me, but it has gotten easier. I think about my little angel every day, but I would never change my decision.  I love that I am forever connected to these amazing people and I am so grateful for everything they have given my little girl that I could not at the time.  I look forward to hopefully meeting her some day and looking at those beautiful hands again.”

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9 thoughts on “A Birth-mother Lets Go

  1. During my pregnancy, the story of Moses’ mother was one I mediated on almost daily. I called on her faith, the kind of faith that it took for her to put her infant son in a basket in the Nile River and trust God that he would be okay. I use that story a lot in my speaking because it seems that in the sphere of adoption the birthmother is marginalized or almost dehuminized in how people see her decision and her ongoing role.
    I have had a good experience in my adoption but one thing that will always be hard is having a relationship with someone that could end any time and with or without reason even if I do everything right. The agreement in open adoption is so one-sided. There is always a tight-rope of fear based anxiety and trusting in the covenant that was made with adoptive family which according to statistics fails 80% of the time. Every aspect of adoption involves loss, that is just a reality.

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  4. I will never let go of the love I have for my son. I will never forgive the adoption industry that caused us to be separated. I will never let go of the fight to restore my son’s civil rights that he lost when he was adopted. I will never give up. I will never let go. And I will never believe that my God endorsed a system that causes so much pain.
    Ever.

    Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy
    http://www.musingsofthelame.com

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am sure Jochebed never let go of her love for Moses either…and I would hope you would never let go of the love you have for your son. I am sorry for your loss. Forgiveness has more to do with healing for yourself than it does with the object of the forgiveness. Recently Matthew West recorded a song based on a mom whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver. Not only through Christ did she find the ability to forgive this man, but she and her family then begin to visit the young man in prison and talk the court into cutting his sentence in half. You can watch it on youtube–http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Lu5udXEZI. If you haven’t seen the movie October Baby, I would recommend it too. I know your pain is deep…I hope you are able to find healing, love, peace, and joy in your life.

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