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A Birthmother's Tale, page 2

Birth Mother: It's really difficult for me to do this. For me to stand here is for me to publicly proclaim to you my sin. You know..."I conceived this child when I wasn't married." And that's not a very easy thing for anybody to do. But, truthfully, that experience has been of great benefit to me. And hopefully my child has been given the gift of life, which has served him well for the 25 years that he's been on this earth. I kind of thought it was significant this year that not only did I turn fifty, so I was double his age, but he's twenty-five, which is the age I was when he was born. So he's out there somewhere and I don't know who he is or where he is because it was a closed adoption that I had. In fact, I don't think open adoption was very much in vogue back then, and if it was, I didn't know anything about it.

The one other thing that's just difficult about being here is that it brings back twenty-five years of this accumulated pain all at once, you know? I'd like to have a picture to show you of my baby, which I did have, from the hospital. But probably seven or eight years after the adoption the pain was so great, the loss was so great to me, that I threw out everything--the picture of him--everything. Because I thought, well if I just don't have to see this and cry every time, it'll be better for me, and I really regret that now, but that's what I had to do at that moment to deal with it.

I went through what I think a lot of people do, of looking to recognize who my baby might be and when hearing that a child is the same age as my son, I'm thinking and somehow asking, "well, when is your birthday?" I mean, weird things like that. It's not that the birth mom wants to invade the life of anybody. I haven't done a search or anything because I have really felt strongly that my son needed to grow up in his family and have his life. I really meant it when I handed him over, that I was entrusting this mother and father--which I couldn't provide for him--to take care of him. And I meant that. But, he's always in my heart and always will be. Even though I don't believe that because biologically this child came from my body, that I have any more rights to him than anybody. But, we have this connection that nobody else has. I've known kids who have been really abused by their parents, and they still love those parents in some way. It's a very mysterious thing. But those are things that I hope you always think about, because I think they're really important in your understanding of that child and his or her understanding of himself.

Anyway, it's difficult to be here so why am I here?

I kind of look at it as a payback in two ways. One is that I did kind of make a mess of my life and I brought onto this child some pain that he probably didn't deserve. So I can make up for that by offering myself and my story to people to help them in whatever way, whatever you can take out of what I say that will help you in your relationship, then that's a good thing. I've brought good from evil.

And also, I've been just given so much from the people who have loved me through this, and just a lot of the life lessons that I learned from it, and I feel that I owe it...for what I've been given, I feel like I should give. So that it's good for you to know birth parents, even if it's not the particular birth parents of your child. I hope that there are two things that you will always remember, and one is that out there somewhere is somebody with a little hole in their heart that will never be filled by anybody else. I would think that in your son or daughter there's a little hole in their heart that as they grow older, they understand is there, and they will be looking to fill that in some way. So, it's scary and it's threatening for everybody, I think, to think about dealing with that. But with love and prayer and understanding I think that it can be good for everybody.


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