To Birth Mothers Everywhere

To Birth Mothers Everywhere

At our Annual Birth Mother Brunch in May 2023, we asked a variety of members of the adoption constellation to write an Open Letter to Birth Moms Everywhere. These were letters written to all birth moms that share what the writer appreciates about the birth mom in his or her life as well as birth moms in general. We will be sharing each letter as part of a series over the next few months. We hope these letters communicate just how much birth mothers mean to those who are walking alongside them on the adoption journey.

Dear Birth Moms,

I always wanted a baseball team. When I thought about having a family of my own, I felt I could never have enough kids. As fate had it, I was to just have one, beautiful daughter, Samantha. She brought along all the expected and unexpected emotions and daily living challenges of being a mother. I remember all I ever wanted was to be a mom.

In College, Single, and Pregnant

So, when I found out Samantha was young, in college, single, and pregnant, I was unsure how to feel. I personally waited so long for the ‘perfect’ time to get pregnant, and this was not ‘perfect’. I was torn. On one hand, being a grandma….oh how I’ve waited… on the other hand, is my daughter ready to be a mom? I knew my only job at that moment in time was to be what my daughter needed me to be. I struggled daily with telling her what I felt was best for her and the baby. I knew this was not my decision to make for her. I had few people on my side. Everyone told me, “this is your flesh and blood, she has to keep it and if not, you must raise it, that is your responsibility as Samantha’s mother.”

I struggled daily with telling her what I felt was best for her and the baby. I knew this was not my decision to make for her.

I Knew the Struggles

Being a mother and also a woman, I fought within myself. I knew the struggles of raising a child both as a married woman and a single mother. I knew the expenses of raising a child, I knew the sicknesses that would come about causing me to stay home because my child needed to feel the comfort of her mother more than work needed me to sit in front of screen for 8 hours. I knew how life was about to do a total 180 for my daughter. Nothing would be about her any longer. Life would revolve around this child. No one wants our children to struggle.

On the other hand, I wasn’t the one pregnant. I felt like a bystander who wanted to jump in and save my daughter. I wanted to tell her what to do and why. This is where my nearly 20 years of child rearing was to pay off. I had to trust that I raised Samantha to be a strong, independent woman. I raised her to own up to her responsibilities and be successful, even from a young age.

Considering the Options

Samantha laid out all her options: abortion, adoption, or being a parent. She took abortion off the table immediately. She attempted to adapt her lifestyle to being a single parent. Should she drop out of school and get a job? She worked so diligently to get into college early, but now that wasn’t a priority. She debated on staying in college, but moving closer to home. She debated on changing her major so she would have a good paying job before the baby arrived. Within each conversation I did my best to stay neutral. I was a devil’s advocate for each scenario she presented me with. Personally, I didn’t know what was best for anyone. I stepped back and allowed my daughter to struggle through this event in her life.

Just Stop

While she was doing this 90 minutes away from me, on the home front I had phone calls from friends telling me they heard Samantha was pregnant and knew people who were interested in adopting. People were wanting her number to give out. I had to tell people to stop. Just stop. When/if Samantha were to make the decision to put her child up for adoption, I would then tell her, and she could contact them if she was interested.

People were wanting her number to give out. I had to tell people to stop. Just stop.

Watching Sammi struggle through this period of her life was difficult from a mom’s point of view. I kept questioning if I was doing the right thing not telling her what to do. But, who was I to tell another woman (even if she was my daughter) what was right or wrong. Was my sage advice welcomed or even wanted? I decided that if I had been in her shoes, I would have wanted to make the decision. I would not have wanted another person telling me what to do with my future.

The Perfect Family

So, here we are. Obviously Samantha chose adoption. The strength she exhibited throughout her pregnancy was beyond impressive. Once she chose the adoptive parents, she knew the baby she was carrying was for them. It was difficult from a mother’s standpoint, I was unsure how much to celebrate. Where was that balance of enjoying the growing belly, the kicks, and the experiences that come with being pregnant and the dark reality that we won’t be raising this little bundle of love?

Samantha didn’t let me down. She picked the perfect family to raise the baby. When Samantha said she wanted an open adoption, she meant it! She felt she wasn’t in a place to give the baby all that she wanted to give it, but she still wanted to be involved in everything and I mean… EVERYTHING.

Josh and Aimee’ are the perfect parents to our little Miriam. They are our family. We share photos constantly, text weekly, FaceTime often throughout the month. Miriam knows us, I’m Grandma, my daughter is Momma Sammi. She’s well adjusted and doesn’t think twice about having a birth mom and an adoptive mom. Again, Samantha successfully took a life challenge and made it into a life changing event for so many people.

My Heart Goes Out to You

You, as birth moms, don’t get enough credit. Yes, we all know your strength is beyond words. Your abilities to think beyond yourselves, to be selfless and love your child so much, that you say, “I’m not enough for you right now.” Not enough people look up to you. These silent victories that go unnoticed by so many. When I share my daughter’s adoption story with people, I get flooded with tears. Women have shared with me that they did an adoption, but never told anyone. By me sharing my daughter’s adoption story, they then get to share theirs. Their voices can be heard. They don’t have to feel as though they did something wrong. In reality, the decision was selfless and filled with more love than anyone other than another birth mom can comprehend.

Through your selflessness, you have created mothers, fathers, nanas, and pawpaws. You’ve made big sisters, little brothers, loving aunts, and crazy uncles. Families have been made because of you. Bonds have developed, you have provided hope to many that never thought a family was an option for them. My heart goes out to you. I’m proud of every single one of you. Your devotion to your children is evident. Adoption is not an ‘easy way out’, on the contrary, it’s the most difficult decision you have ever had to make in your life. I admire you; I support you and I truly do love you all for who you are.

Adoption is not an ‘easy way out’, on the contrary, it’s the most difficult decision you have ever had to make in your life.

With Sincere Appreciation,
Amy, the very proud mother of a birth mom