Archive | January 2012

What is the cost of healthcare for abortion?

What is the cost of healthcare for those who have been the victims of abortion? Whether you are aware of the consequences going into it, or not, I still use the term ‘victim’ because it is my belief that people who have experienced this tragedy, either personally or indirectly, are forever changed in some way, and not for the better.  For starters, it is a physical procedure that has to leave some kind of scar tissue, even if performed by the most highly skilled surgeon in the field.  There are also the emotional scars, of course, that come with the living knowledge that you are responsible for the death of another individual – a human being in essence, with all the building blocks in place for becoming an amazing person.  How many people end up in therapy or suicidal because they have taken the easy route and chosen abortion over adoption?

I’m sure there are women and families with similar emotional wounds as a result of adoptions gone awry, sometimes having been forced on the birthmother by disapproving senior family members.  There are no assurances in open adoption except for one – the child will survive.  No legal document exists, to my knowledge, that can bind a birthmother who has agreed to maintain contact in an open adoption, nor are the adoptive parents obligated, or even the child, himself, once he is old enough to make the choice.  Likewise, plenty of hopeful adoptive parents have been heartbroken when a birthmother decided that she would actually like to parent, after all.  It’s not a decision to make lightly, and to break such a promise gives birthmothers everywhere a bad name.  The system can’t work if people don’t have faith that it will be to everyone’s benefit, in the end.  Fear is still a powerful motivating factor, and trust is often difficult for people.

Is that worse than the damage that is currently being inflicted on children who are the product of parents who didn’t really want to be parents, but weren’t aware of their alternatives at the time?  Foster children everywhere might have considered it a blessing to be placed in a family that was ready to embrace the responsibilities of parenthood.  The idea that you could actually give “your baby” a financially and emotionally stable home and family environment, while still getting to maintain some level of contact, seems absolutely ideal.  It is like having your cake and eating it too, especially when you consider that everyone gets what they want, including the birthmother, even if it’s hard to recognize in those first few, childless months when your body senses that something is missing.  It can feel, at times, almost like a phantom limb for those who have experienced an amputation, and often the grief is overwhelming.

But when you see the photos or have a visit, it’s easy to appreciate the love that surrounds a child in an open adoption.  And at the end of the day, a birthmother is free to explore the possibilities that may present themselves, being less tied down than a new mother could ever be.  All this freedom comes packaged without one minute of suffering from the guilt that results when you know you have made the wrong choice.  It doesn’t often matter what the reasons are for rationalizing a decision like abortion, because the result is always the same, and always will be.

 

 

Why is open adoption not the norm?

There need to be more people who are aware of the connection that exists between a birthmother and the child that she has placed for adoption.  It seems like it would be a natural conclusion for most people that she should, inevitably, love the life inside of her, for how could you not?  For me, I knew in that very moment when I became aware of my pregnancy, that I loved my baby. And he is as much “my baby” today as he was then, since I will never give up that connection in my heart, even though I did relinquish the legal and emotional title of “Mom.”

Devin is eleven years old now, and the relationship we have is completely our own, existing independently of the bond I’ve formed with both of his parents, who I had the privilege of personally choosing.  I have never interfered with the parenting methods they’ve used over the years, nor will I, because I am not his parent – I am his birthparent, and that role has responsibilities and privileges that no other role could ever fulfill.

For example, I recently received an evening phone call from Devin as he worked on a school assignment that required some knowledge of the students’ cultural heredity and ancestral background. Devin called me because he assumed that the teacher would prefer to know about his genetic history, rather than that of his adopted family.  I thought it was prudent to remind him how lucky he is to have the option, and that his adopted family ancestry is just as important as any information that I could provide him with, but he still chose to use my knowledge to complete the project, and truthfully I felt extremely honored that he did.

So how is it possible that there are still people who seem surprised that a birthmother would want to continue that special relationship with “her baby,” when there is no one else who can truly fill the same role?  It is not intended to diminish the child’s relationship with their own parents, but rather to enhance the life of a child who now has more people loving them than they might know what to do with!  I wonder why it is not more commonly known that a woman who finds herself in an unplanned, yet still valued, pregnancy can assuredly keep “her baby” always in her heart, even if she chooses not to parent.  Adoptions can be open or closed, but when they are open it is usually because of an abundance of love for the baby in question.  And why should it not always be so?

Why is this not yet the norm in modern American societies, rather than the impersonal closed, agency adoptions that leave an ever gaping hole in the birthmother’s heart as large as that of any other pregnancy loss?  Open adoption could be the cure for women who believe that they must abort their unborn babies, for fear of suffering the inevitable persecution from society.  But that could only happen if open adoption is accepted as the best possible solution for all parties involved.  Babies, parents and birthparents alike could surely all approve of a choice that benefits everyone.  There are so many women who have never even known it as one of their options, and all because our society is not yet ready to fully embrace the issue of saving lives through open adoption.

I am not a blogger – my First Post

I am not a blogger. I do not tweet. I absolutely hate e-mail. But I do love to write, and I believe strongly in staying connected to the people I love, so it seems appropriate that some form of electronic media should naturally become my best friend… so far it hasn’t happened. It’s not that I’m incompetent – actually, I am perfectly comfortable operating most forms of electronic devices, including my beloved iPhone, which I use less as an actual phone and more for its various other uses. Am I just late to the game, or is it possible that some of us simply prefer to connect with people on a different, perhaps more traditional level? Regardless, I want to have the opportunity to connect with a wider range of audiences than would be possible by any other means, and I also love the idea of having my words immediately published, even if only in the electronic world. Those are my primary motivations for choosing this form in which to present my initial material to any readers why chose to continue with me on this journey.

I have information to share that I think is and can be helpful to many different types of people, and it’s such a burden for me to have to carry it alone. A wise man once said, “Do not be selfish with your journey – allow others to share it with you.” So in the spirit of humility I am trying to follow that advice. I hope many of you out there will find that it strikes a chord somewhere in your heart, whether from a personal experience, a story of someone you know or have heard of, or perhaps simply because we have all made difficult choices at some point in our lives. But there is another thing that I hope to impart in my message – a common base of knowledge. Empathy is always appreciated, but it’s the knowledge that can help drive us forward on a path of community understanding, and eventually lead to an easier dialogue with our children about the choices they have and what the consequences really are for certain actions. Instead of trying to erase our mistakes, wouldn’t it be simpler to learn from them and try to move forward?