In an effort to honor the complex and beautiful process of adoption, Indy Moms Blog has had the opportunity to work with On Your Feet Foundation to feature the stories of birth mothers and their experience of the adoption process. On Your Feet Foundation “honors and values the choice birth parents have made to place their children for adoption, helps birth parents become self-sufficient, and provides support and community after placement.” On Your Feet Foundation’s mission is to provide personal support to birth parents to help them get “back on their feet.” Their focus is on helping clients build a better life by providing necessary tools through case management and coaching, monetary grants, and the support of a community of other birth parents.
What is your story, and what has inspired you to share your story with others? Adoption is so much more than I ever knew it to be. When I considered adoption for my child, I was dealing with the death of my fiancé and parenting 2 young children. We had not announced my pregnancy, and honestly, that was a saving grace. When I was 4 months pregnant, I went to a local Crisis Pregnancy Center really not knowing what led me there. While there, I saw a flier for an adoption agency. There was no question that THIS was what led me there. I called that same day and had a meeting the very next day with an adoption counselor. Open adoption was introduced to me as I was shown profiles of couples waiting on their baby. I was not sure that open adoption was right for me, but that soon changed. I share my story in the hope that it might help other young women with the incredibly difficult decision that they must make for themselves and their babies.
Can you give us some insight into how to respectfully refer to birth moms in a way that honors their role in the beautiful- but complex- process of adoption? For example, what is the term “first mother”? Every birth mom is different and may prefer a different term. I am unfamiliar with the term “first mother.” When I chose to place my child for adoption, I chose to place her into the arms of an other mother and knew that this woman would now take the role as her mom. I placed her in her arms with the full knowledge that my role wasn’t going to be as important as that of the woman who now held her in her arms, but I also placed her knowing that she would ALWAYS understand my love for her, and know my title as “birth mom.” The baby I placed for adoption calls me by my first name and that’s perfect.
Do you have any advice for prospective adoptive parents, as well as prospective birth/first mothers? No adoption plan will be the same. If you choose open adoption, do not place unrealistic expectations. Don’t promise a visit twice a year if you can’t uphold that. Don’t promise pictures and letters if time won’t allow them to be sent. My advice to birth mothers is to respect the decision you made. Trust that your child’s parents are always doing what’s in the best interest of the child.
What are some things you wish others knew about adoption, but may not? As a birth parent, I know that placing a child for adoption (a child that you cannot take care of properly) is the most unselfish thing that any birth mother can do for her child. I almost cringe when I hear people say that someone “gave their child up for adoption”. Adoption is a plan to PLACE your child in a loving home.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? I have realized how invaluable birth moms are to each other. Whether we share similar backgrounds or not, we get each other. We can speak to each other without saying a word. And collectively exhale during various times in our journeys.
Indy Moms Blog wants to thank this interviewee for sharing her story. We believe in and appreciate the beautiful act of adoption, and the sacrifice of birth mothers- all in the interest of their child. If you would like more information about On Your Feet Foundation, please feel free to check out their website at oyff.org.
If you have a story of adoption you would like to share, please email [email protected].