An Adoption Story for National Adoption Month
November is the month of Thanksgiving – the time we take stock of what we have and gather with family and loved ones to give thanks for the blessings God has bestowed upon us. We each give thanks in our own way for the things we have and the people who have touched our lives in various ways.
It seems appropriate then that we also celebrate National Adoption Month this month. Adoptive families have much to be thankful for in the children who were placed with them. Their joy and happiness is probably expressed each day in their family, but this is a time to acknowledge and promote adoption more publicly.
Many people have probably told adoptive parents they think it is wonderful that they have adopted children. In the next breath, some of those people have expressed the same sentiments held by much of society – “How could anyone give their baby up for adoption? They must not have loved it very much.” If adoptive parents hear this occasionally, I can tell you that birth mothers hear it a lot. Women are often encouraged to have an abortion as a “quick fix” to an unplanned pregnancy. They are seldom given the same support and encouragement if they choose adoption. The message needs to be given that adoption is a choice of life and love.
Love? Without a doubt! Women have made all sorts of great sacrifices for the health, safety and well-being of their children throughout history. These sacrifices were not made because they didn’t love their children. On the contrary, it was their great love for their children that gave them the strength to make such painful decisions. It is human nature to grieve and cry when someone we love and care about is no longer with us. We seldom express such emotion about people we don’t have a personal relationship with. Birth mothers and fathers love their children! I promise you that. I have seen too much sadness and too many tears to believe otherwise. Against sometimes unbelievable pressure to do otherwise, birth parents who place a child for adoption do so because they love their child and want what they think is best for the child.
A long time ago a 17-year-old high school senior gave birth to a little girl. She and the birth father, also a senior, decided they were not in a position to parent a child and placed the little girl up for adoption. The little girl grew up in a wonderful adoptive family, always knowing she was adopted and feeling very special because of it. Her parents always spoke very positively about her birth parents. That little girl is me. These many years later, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for my birth parents’ decision and know in my heart that it was a decision of love.
So, I join adoptive parents in celebrating National Adoption Month and with them give thanks for all the blessings that I have been given. I also celebrate my birthday this month and honor my birth parents, who chose life and made a difficult but loving and caring decision, and my parents, who taught me the true meaning of that love.
Becky DuBois, MSW
Assistant Office Director,
Piedmont Triad Office