“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 birth 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?
“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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