Selfless, insightful, courageous and hopeful are all words that come to mind as I think about the women I’ve had the honor of serving for the past ten years who placed a child for adoption. Most of them do not see these attributes in themselves. As a matter of fact, most of them use terms like “giving up my baby”. In truth, none of them “gave up”. What they did was courageously create a responsible plan for their baby; one that provided love and safety.
Most parent-child relationships have foundations of selflessness, but none so profound as the mother who endures the pain of separation from her child. On the day of separation I witness the anguish in their faces, but I also see the determination to do what they have decided is best for their child no matter what the cost to themselves. And the cost is high.
During the process of pregnancy counseling I see women discern, consider, and wrestle with all the possibilities. None make the decision of placing their child for adoption without great consideration of anything they might do to change their circumstances. It takes a great deal of insight to be able to realistically evaluate your present and future circumstances when it would be so much easier to ignore the facts and create a fairy-tale in your mind about how you wish things were.
Women who relinquish their children for adoption not only must have the courage to make heart-breaking decisions, they are doing so on a public stage, as pregnancy in the last few months is obvious to everyone including your family, other students, your pastor, and even the grocery store clerk. People in their lives are constantly asking about the baby, the pregnancy and their future plans. Of course, they don’t have to share their plans, but the point is they must be courageous enough to face those questions before and most certainly after the baby is born and placed for adoption.
These women have hope, not just for their child’s future, but for themselves also. Some mothers feel that having made the sacrifice to place their child for adoption has freed them to make new and different choices for their own futures as well as their child’s.
As a mother, I can certainly say being selfless, insightful, courageous and hope-filled are attributes I want to display to the children I parent. So in many ways, “those women who place their children for adoption” have characteristics that I, and most other mothers, desire; our only differences are our circumstances!
It is for their selfless acts, their careful insight, their courage beyond measure and their hope-filled natures that these women should be honored, not only by the adoptive family who receives their child, but by all who stop and consider what it takes to have such tremendous love for their child.