I didn’t know, but I wanted to find out.
Before we adopted our daughter, a case worker did a home study to decide if my husband and I were fit parents. She recommended we buy a book titled, Why Didn’t She Keep Me? by Barbara Burlingham-Brown to prepare us for our adopted daughter’s questions.
We bought that book almost sixteen years ago. It’s still on our book shelf. I leave it there in case Olivia, our daughter, wants to read it. (Yes, thankfully we were classified as fit parents and adopted Olivia 14 years ago.) She won’t find the specific reason her birth mom didn’t keep her in this book, but the stories the writers shared might help her understand possible motives.
Are you wondering what this has to do with Fan Friday? Because, today IS Fan Friday–a day I share a teens writing. Since I don’t have any teens butting in line and pushing to get published here, (yet) I found a random teen from this book. Her story is below.
But first, let me explain why I’m sharing this with you. Her writing isn’t perfect, but it’s from her heart. Think of the lives she’s impacted by sharing her words. She’s probably helped many teen mothers choose life and adoption–the biggest decision they’ll make in their lives.
The writers have also given adoptive mothers like me insight into why a mother would make this choice, so we’re better able to understand our adoptive child’s feelings. I cried when I read many of their stories. They showed me their feelings–the emptiness, loneliness, heart break and pain they and their families suffered. But most of all, they demonstrated what UNSELFISH really means.
So, as you’re writing and looking for things to write, share something from your heart. Don’t worry if it’s perfect. Sometimes sharing a story can help others who are going through a similar experience. Never underestimate the power of words.
Here are a few portions of Kim’s heart-felt story:
“…After delivery, I spent a half hour with him. That may not have been the right decision because that half hour still haunts me, his being my child, completely different from anyone else in the world and completely beautiful. There I was, his mom, and he needed to bond with someone and it should have been me, but I couldn’t imagine feeding and caring for a baby if he weren’t going home with me. Through adoption I could give him to two parents who were prepared to have a child and who wanted one so badly.”
“…The separation was so hard. This was another life, a child who belonged in my own family, an extension of myself, but he couldn’t be mine. All I could think about was how I ached to be with him, it was as though a portion of me was missing. I felt empty. It is an agonizing process to decide to give your child up for adoption, to choose whether or not you’ll be part of a child’s future. Because my baby wasn’t the result of an act of love may have made the decision a little easier for me than for other women. In that sense, I feel more fortunate than women who must deal with a boyfriend, a baby’s father…when they choose adoption. At least it was completely my own decision.”
“…Some people think that there is no good reason to give up your child, that the child must someday deal with feelings of being rejected by his/her own mother. My baby will have to deal with that, plus I want him to know there were extenuating circumstances to his birth….”
“…For at least a year I thought about the baby every single day, wondering how long that was going to last. The second year it got better, I wasn’t constantly wondering what he was doing or crying all the time. Pictures and letters from his adoptive parents helped a lot. In one letter they said they loved me because of what I had done and gone through. I never thought they would think of me that way.”
What have you written lately that could make a difference in someone’s life?