Hi! I’m Joy and this blog post is part of the series 31 Days on Adoption. If you are just joining us, start HERE.
Somewhere through this journey, God really moved my heart towards birth mothers.
When we started our adoption process with the department of children and families (DFACS), I think we got in the wrong mindset. We viewed the birth parents as the bad guys and maybe rightly so, since it was their actions that caused their children to be in foster care. Even when we began working with a private agency, it was hard not to think of the birth mothers as the “bad guys”, the ones making bad choices. But thanks be to Jesus that He has changed my heart through this journey.
Birth mothers are women who make an adoption plan for their child. The birth mom is making an adoption plan because she thinks it would be best for the child. She is making a selfless choice to do the hardest thing she will ever have to do to help someone else…her child.
Yes, there are many birth mothers who just “aren’t ready” to be a mom. Yes, there are many birth mothers who are drug addicts. Yes, there are many birth mothers who live a promiscuous lifestyle. Birth mothers are sinners, just like you and me. And birth parents of foster kids are sinners, just like you and me. We are all sinners.
BUT GOD, He doesn’t leave us in our sin. Jesus paid for that sin through His sinless life, death, and resurrection. Salvation from our sin is a free gift. And the thing is, none of us deserve it and none of us can earn it by being a better person. None of us is any better a person than the other.
When we look at it that way, we as adoptive and waiting families have such a unique opportunity to show the love of Jesus to birth moms. We have the opportunity to pray for them and over them. We have the opportunity to honor them. We could potentially be the only person to demonstrate unconditional love to them. We have the opportunity to be Jesus.
And you know what? Birth mothers are so, so brave. In our crazy culture of doing “whatever is best for me”, the birth mom choose LIFE for her child. Pregnancy may not have been the easiest route for her, but she did it anyway. And many times her choice of adoption is giving that baby its best chance.
I have read countless birth mother profiles. There is such brokenness in the backgrounds of the birth mothers. Some birth moms are choosing adoption to save the baby from an abusive birth father. Some birth moms are choosing adoption because the birth father is not her current partner. Some birth moms are choosing adoption because they are going to prison or they have an addiction and they don’t want their baby to go to foster care. The scenarios are endless and the brokenness is overwhelming.
These birth moms need Jesus. That’s why I love working with private agencies who believe the Gospel and connect birth moms with adoptive families who love Jesus. The adoptive families have the potential to impact 2 or even 3 lives for the Gospel….their adoptive child and the child’s birth mom and dad.
There is a lady that works for our agency in FL. Her job is called “birth mother liaison”. I’m not sure what her exact job description is, but I imagine she is working “for” the birth mother like the social worker is working “for” the adoptive family. I’ve heard some of the things she does for birth mothers…she helps them decide if an adoption plan is the right choice for them, she goes to doctor’s appointments with them, she helps them get signed up for medicaid, she goes to the hospital with them, she sits with them while they meet with adoptive families, she brings them their favorite candy bar at the hospital, she makes sure they are choosing an adoptive family who meets their criteria, she may even hold their hand during birth or be with the birth mother when the baby leaves. She is kind of like the face of the agency to the birth mother. And I think its fair to say, that she is the face of Jesus to these ladies, too. What an awesome responsibility and privilege. I think I would love to do that job when I grow up.
Since O’s adoption was not through an agency, his birth mom did not have the privilege of having a birth mother liaison walk with her during her journey. I remember meeting O’s birth mother for the first time. She hugged me right away and she was so relieved to meet us and have a plan for her boy. While we visited with her in the hospital, no one else came to see her (other than our neighbor the first day….check out this post for more details). While we visited with her in the hospital, various friends and family called her to tell her she was being selfish and trying to get her to change her mind. When baby O was discharged from the hospital, she had no one with her as we walked away. That image still breaks my heart.
I am thankful that God changed our hearts before we met O’s birth mom. I’m so glad we didn’t look at her as the “bad guy” and us as the “good guys”. I’m so glad we prayed with her and hugged her and affirmed her. What if we were the only people that have shown her Jesus love in a very long time? I don’t say that to pat us on the back, but to encourage others that relationships with the birth parents could have eternal significance. We have to get over our fear of what might happen to us, as painful as it might be, and realize that adoption is about more than just us getting a baby. Its about redemption in the lives of the baby/child AND the lives of the birth parents. Adoption is mission in more ways than one.
O’s birth mom is one of the bravest ladies I have ever known. Our family honors her by talking to O about her and how much she loves him. We show him pictures. We send her photos every six months whether we hear from her or not. We love her dearly. Her life wasn’t easy and she made some bad choices. But she also made some very good choices….she chose LIFE and she chose to give her son his best chance through adoption. We honor her for that. We pray for her life now continually. And we will love her forever.