Monday, February 1, 2010

"16 & pregnant"

Let explain it like this....

Sammy is a cuddler. He likes to nap on my lap. And since he's had some icky sickies since coming home he also has breathing treatments, which I give while he's napping. (Since he is impossible to keep still for ten minutes otherwise, this just works out) But I can't do much else when I'm giving him these treatments so I've taken to watching TV. Just 20 or so minutes of mindless TV, right? Well I stumbled upon MTV's "16 & pregnant" one day. Like that train wreck you've heard of I was drawn in and just couldn't look away.

Because, you see, this 16 year old was definitely pregnant, yes. But this 16 year old was also not keeping her baby. Nope, she and her boyfriend had made "an adoption plan".

I had to watch. Never before had I seen the struggle on the other end in such a way. I was mesmerized and touched by the obvious pain and anguish these kids,, were going through.

It hit me on so many personal levels. Now not all birth mothers are young and unwed, I know this-there are many reasons why a parent chooses to not keep a baby. This show just happened to be about a young, unwed girl and her boyfriend and their decision about their unborn baby.

And it hit me, maybe for the first time......this could have been my birth parents. The circumstances were so similar to mine, how amazing to see what may have gone on for my birth parents. Did they want to see me before sending me to my new life, did they care or was it too painful? Did they worry over this decision, did they waiver and almost keep me? Did they really love me, really want me? I had never put any thought into "them" before. Just what I've been told of them, a blond haired, green eyed girl and a darker boy...faces without expression, except maybe a faint look of relief glinting behind those eyes. I never thought to put real emotions, real life, into my made up image of where I came from....
until I watched~ with tears of both sadness and joy~ this program.

Many things made me feel this way. The love they had for each other, the deliberating over if this was in fact the right choice, the lack of support from family all touched me. One of the things that really struck me was that the birth father wrote a letter to his unborn daughter and it basically said "please don't ever think that you were not wanted, not loved by us. I looked at the type of father I wanted to be and the type of life I could give you, and the two were not the same. I can't give you that life you deserve to have".

My adoption was done during the "closed adoption" era. Records are sealed and there has been no contact or even information about my birth parents-to get it I would have to petition a court. I've never been a strong proponent of "open adoption" just because I am very happy not having any other people in my life in that way. I am content with the path the good Lord saw fit to send me along, and the parents he chose to give me.

But to hear a letter like this from my birth parent, concrete evidence of, what a gift that would have been. To give a letter like this to my children from their birth parents....oh my....what I would give to be able to share such a thing.

So you now see how and why this little documentary has truly touched me in so many ways-both regarding my own adoption and feelings about my birth parents and in the fact that I am also an adoptive mother, that my children have these birth parents.

And now, as we approach my sweet son's first birthday I find myself wondering of what his birth mother's life was like a year ago... her pain? her anguish?

And I feel this sadness that both of my children may never know the feelings and circumstances behind their own adoptions. I think often of both my children's birth families and the tremendous gifts they gave to us, although they themselves may never fully know. But seeing this documentary has put expressions on those faces, the faces I've conjured of these others I owe so much to as well~ my children's birth parents.

It was pretty powerful, and I hope these kids understand the precious gifts they did give their daughter. First they gave her life, and then they gave her a chance at that life that they knew they could not give to her. And they gave another couple a chance for a family they so wanted...

The link to the documentary is:


1 comment:

Lisa said...

Oh gosh....

I actually peeked at this earlier but wished to return when I could truly give it the response and consideration it so deserves.

What makes your perspective so unique and valuable is comprised of many of them being that you have one foot on each side of this often complicated topic.

I so appreciate and value your reflections and wisdom and just as always you approached this with thoughtful honesty and deep compassion.

Its hard not to look back and grieve for our children and their primary losses and too the losses for their birth families. But its not easy to always do that ~ to put those words on paper or examine those thoughts.....the fact that you do is a tribute to your beautiful Mama's heart, ethics and abounding love for your babies.

How fortunate you all are to have one another....I hope for birth parents everywhere that they may have peace in their decisions....for it can't have been easy.....and for our children....that they always know of the many many people who loved them best....first, second...last, regardles of the order....that always they feel cherished & celebrated by so many.