Thursday, January 3, 2013


I have been holding on to this post for awhile. I am not sure it is entirely constructive in my journey to change others' views on adoption and birthparents but nonetheless, I don't want to be one of those people that makes adoption seem like just happiness, rainbows, and unicorns. There are parts that make me truly frustrated, sad, in pain, and confused. 

Way back when our journey started, I heard a comment from a birthmother. I heard it later on from another birthmother. I also heard it on MTV's 16 and Pregnant and I think even Teen Mom. When these young people were trying to decide what to do with their unexpected pregnancies, they made the comment, "I think I would like to TRY to parent this child." Did you see it? The word that gets under my skin each time I think about this phrase. It is the word 'try'. As a teacher, I didn't think I would ever find that word offensive, but in this instance, I hate it. 

You don't TRY to parent. You either are one or you aren't. It isn't a pair of shoes that you walk around in for a day and then decide whether they fit you or not. It isn't like volleyball or basketball where you try out to see if you are good enough or if it fits into your social life. Choosing to parent means that you are taking full responsibility for another life. It means you never get to be first again. It means you never, ever get a break from being mom (or dad). Even when you aren't with your children you think about them, worry about them, every second of the day. 

It took some deep reflection and a count to 100 to keep me from reaching over and slapping sense into these birthparents' heads. I realize now that these comments are due to either a lack in their ability to articulate their decision, a sign of immaturity, or a sign that motherly instincts are only beginning to kick-in, or a glimpse at a generation who is not passionate or fully committal to anything (sorry to this generation, it is just my observation).

Of course I can't let it go here because I need to reflect a little more to see if I am being unreasonable. One way I do this is by thinking about what response I would deem appropriate... If I can't think of one then I am being unreasonable.

I would expect nothing but fierceness when talking about parenting a child. I expect that motherly instinct to kick in full force with a "Damn it! I may not be very good at this, but no one is. I am going to parent the shit out of my kid!" Okay maybe not those exact words, but you get the point.

My young friends and family, when you are faced with a difficult decision such as this, make a decision and go all in. There are no half-sies here.

PS: If your problem is in finding the words to express yourself, feel free to borrow the above statement. 

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