If you do not know by now, it is National Adoption Awareness Month. Because of this noteworthy month, I was currently asked, “What does adoption mean to you?”
Where do I start? No words. You would think that question would be easy to answer for a birth mother of thirteen years, and one who has always been beyond grateful for the option of adoption. Grateful is not even the word to describe this completely selfless act – when a woman puts her child’s well- being above her own feelings or desires. I have never traveled out of the United States, but I do know that this country I live in is a land of freedom and opportunity. Boy, do we take for granted what opportunities we have here. Not until about two years ago, did I think much about how my decision of adoption has been such a blessing in my life. This was also around the time that I discovered how much I took the option of adoption for granted.
If you do not know already, open adoption is…
– A safe choice
– A choice that opens the door to more choices
– A new beginning for a mother and her child
– An opportunity to start over
– An added, extended family for everyone
– A beautiful story in every way
– A story worth sharing
– A chain reaction of love
– An opportunity and advantage that many women do not evaluate when facing an unplanned pregnancy
– A life without the heartache of an abortion
So, what does adoption mean to me? Adoption means that there are women in this country of opportunity who know nothing about it. There are mothers facing an unplanned pregnancy, who feel scared, alone, or are being pressured into an abortion, and they are not considering this other option of hope. This is where the pro-life community, and most importantly a birth mother’s presence, expands into action.
I currently spend some of my time peacefully standing and praying outside abortion centers. I have been doing this on and off for almost eleven years. During my time outside of an abortion center two years ago, freezing and wet from the rain, I thought: Do abortion-determined women really know about this blessing in disguise? Certainly the choice of adoption is worth, if anything at all, being able to hold and kiss the little forehead of their newborn baby that is currently growing inside of their tummy. And surely you can see my heartache and discontent watching women walk into and out of abortion centers feeling many emotions, in various circumstances, and not even knowing about this other supernatural act of love.
Many young girls only see two options in front of them: Parenting or abortion. If I could count how many times I have had conversations with intelligent women walking out of abortion centers who are grieve-stricken, conveying they wish they had known about another option, like adoption. If only I could put into words the many wounded women I have come into contact with that do regret their abortion, longing they had someone at that moment in their lives to tell them about all of their options, such as adoption. I know first hand the feelings and thoughts of abortion. Before I became a birth mother, I was a sixteen-year-old naive girl being pressured into an abortion. My story could have easily ended at the abortion center, but because there were peaceful and faithful people who told me about this distinct recourse from abortion, my situation was refined.
Life can be beautiful after choosing adoption. During my pregnancy, I did not think that season of my life would pass, but it went by quick. Giving birth to my birth son through support and assistance from caring people around me – being able to hold my birth son, rock him, and sing to him before saying my “Good-byes” was worth every bit of back pain and health complication. After placement, I survived, seasons changed, time caught up with me, and I now have my own bundles of joy. To this day, I have a flourishing relationship with my birth son. But even if I were to have no contact with him, his life was still all worth every bit of sweat and stress.
If these precious moments can ensue for me, then they can transpire for any woman facing an unexpected pregnancy. That is the beauty of what open adoption is today. Does our current society truly know about adoption? Better yet, is the conventional pro-life community educating themselves on the topic of adoption, just as much as they are on the topic of abortion? Or are we still stuck in the dark ages when, desolately, women awaited the fait of their babies taken from their arms shortly after birth because of the social system before the nineteen sixties?
If we are going to create a culture of life, we need to talk about adoption accurately to women facing unplanned pregnancies. The pro-life community must know exactly what open adoption is today. They must know that open adoption not only provides a better life for a mother and her precious child, but an abundant amount of joy and hope for her, too. They must research their local adoption resources and build a strong relationship with them; so when a woman’s parenting possibilities have been depleted, they will feel confident when speaking with her about the option of adoption. Those active in the pro-life community can begin creating a culture of life by avoiding words “gave up” and assuming the birth mother did not want her child in the beginning. Most importantly, birth mothers must stop hiding behind their fear that someone may think they “gave up” their baby for adoption and “did not want it.” This is a team effort.
With that said, as a birth mother today, adoption means that I have a responsibility to share my adoption story for someone else, because this is not about me anymore. It was never about me in the beginning. It was about my birth son. Women, who are in a crisis pregnancy situation and contemplating abortion, need guidance from a birth mother to offer them empowering choices – Parenting or adoption. Birth mothers have been there, done that. Our younger generation desires to speak to real people who have made this different decision. As open adoption becomes more prevalent, birth mothers have these amazing adoption experiences and the strength to help other women see that shining light at the end of the tunnel. The mainstream media does not understand this adjudication that relies on a mother to give beyond herself. And abortion centers depend on – you guessed it, abortions to stay in business.
You see, it is easy for the adoption triad to know the blessings of adoption and how to get that far into that decision, but women facing unplanned pregnancies know nothing about that exact process unless we speak up. Birth mothers have the opportunity to change people’s perceptions of adoption with their own individual, distinct adoption story; thus giving our younger generation the courage and knowledge if they were to encounter an unexpected pregnancy. This is about using our anecdotes to help another person in need. This is about loving others over ourselves. This is about changing the world. Yes! Birth mothers are that sacred and powerful in this diverse universe!
So, how can birth mothers create change? Most importantly, they should be proud and hold their head up high, because one, options support respect. Of course, birth mothers need their own individual time of healing and coping. Some even seek out the various birth mother support organizations and post-adoption counseling. But after we have acknowledged that this decision was the best through our own mentality and perspectives. Although it was not easy, it was the best. We can unveil our adoption story and share it with those who know nothing about the option of adoption. Where? We can start in our local pregnancy resource centers, our schools, and better yet, peacefully in front of abortion centers where women have never heard of this exceptional word. With abortion centers sweeping our nation, undoubtedly there are at least thousands of women who need to hear our voices. Birth mothers should not only share their adoption story, but also spread the knowledge of these amazing and honest adoption resources. We have this unique opportunity to provide, and become involved in our community to create a culture of life.
This is about changing people’s lives, which in turn, change others, and so on. It is a divine chain reaction. Adoption means a woman not regretting a decision of abortion, a heartache and life saved, and the cycle goes on – just because there was the presence of a faithful person knowledgeable on the topic of adoption, or a birth mother who shared her adoption story. Those active in the pro-life movement should begin to introduce adoption accurately to a generation that demands choices. Birth mothers, who share their adoption story, will be displaying not only life chosen, but a gallant decision that will continue to change the course of history and the future.
Birth mothers can produce fruit, too. I have been able to witness women make a parenting or adoption decision ever since I came out of my worn out closet. It is a wonderful feeling for a mother to squeeze your neck, and to thank you for your presence when she was feeling as if all odds were against her. To see these women looking forward to delivery, naming their baby, and preparing for what’s ahead – it is breathtaking. Let’s come out of these dilapidated closets. Birth mother means beautiful, brave and bold. With the team work of other people active in the pro-life movement, there is a new generation heading towards the word, “choice.” Choice also means adoption. This is the twenty-first century for God sakes. Talk about adoption.
*If you have experienced an abortion, there is complete healing and forgiveness. Rachel’s Vineyard (rachelsvineyard.org) is a safe place to ‘renew, rebuild, and redeem hearts broken by abortion.’
LifeNews Note: Callie Jett is a sidewalk advocate, a proud birth mother, currently a wife and mother to two children, and the President and Founder of Talk About Adoption™