Besides telling her story, she takes the time to share some things that she would prefer people not say to her when they hear she chose to give her child a better life. You can read that list below.
I am especially moved by the last bullet point. I continue to have people, fairly frequently, say something to me (an adoptive mother) along the lines of, "Which ones are yours?" or "Does he know his real mom is?" Of course, I never take these questions personally. I know what people mean. But I do think it is important to understand that a child's real mom is the person whom he calls MOM.
I am Isaac's mom. He has another mother -- a birth mother. The respect and love we have for Bri is not something I truly feel I could ever adequately put into words. What I can put into words is that she is one person to Isaac and I am another. And we are both equally important parts of his life.
Here is the author's list of things that she finds unhelpful. I hope you can educate yourself with these points and also use them when speaking to adoptive mothers as well. Here are things she advises you not to say to a birthmother:
- "I'm so sorry, I had no idea." Sorry for what? Don't give me your condolences. I am not in mourning. There was not a life taken. There was a life given. Given by my own accord. Not taken from me. Don't tell me you're sorry. I'm not.
- "I could never give my child up for adoption." All this implies is that a birth mom didn't love her child as much as you love your child. This says that the birth mom was careless, or selfish. This. Is. Not. The right thing to say. To that I always want to say, "Why couldn't you? Why couldn't you give your child the best possible life you could at that time in your life? Why couldn't you choose life and love over anything else? Why would you even have to think about that for a nano second?"
- "Did you not want the baby?" Just. Don't. Of course I wanted him. I wanted him to live, to love, to flourish. If someone said, "hey you can breathe, or he can, what do you pick?" I'd start holding my breath. Just. Don't.
- "I'm sure it was the best thing/right thing for you at the time." Does anybody really, truly believe that birth mothers choose adoption for their own sake? It wasn’t best for me. Birth mothers don't think of themselves first. If it was best for the birth mother, she'd probably be the only mother.
- "Well you made the right decision." Maybe you think this is encouraging. But it's not. It's quite judgmental, actually. Do you go around to young, single mothers & say, "You made the wrong decision!" Probably not. So don't say that.
- "Does he know that you're his real mom?" Uuuuuuum he knows that his mom is his real mom. He knows that I'm his birth mom. And by the way, when you say "real mom", do you mean that there are pretend moms, fake moms? What makes a mom a "real" mom? I'm really his real, real-life birth mom. And his real mom, who is real, is his real-life, real mom. Who happened to adopt him.