In June of last year, my husband and I welcomed our first child, Jesse into our family. We loved him immediately. We knew he would get plenty of attention because his grandparents, my adoptive parents, were counting down the days until his birth. They came with us to the hospital and my mom stayed with us overnight the first fews days after he was born.
Those early days of motherhood were challenging, and becoming a mother for the first time made me think about life and adoption completely differently. Like many women, I was emotional after my son’s birth but I also was processing what it must have been like for my birth mother to have me and then lose me, and not by her own choosing. I considered with brand new eyes how devastating that must have been while also realizing that adoption was the only road for me. Of course, I already knew that before my son’s birth but becoming a parent confirmed it even more.
My mother’s mental health prohibited her from being the mom she wanted to be. She loved us deeply yet couldn’t manage to do some of the basics of motherhood, like protect us from abuse or provide a safe home. I have long reconciled that reality in my heart, which is why I can say with certanity that foster care and adoption saved my life.
This, however, does not make my birth mother a bad person. I would even say she is stronger than me in many ways after considering what it must have been like to walk in her shoes. She did not have privilege like me. She was a poor minority woman with six children, yet she chose life for me in the end. Isn’t that what really matters? Choosing life at the end. For me, that singular choice has helped me forgive her for areas where she fell short as a mother. I am thankful that she is with Jesus now, where I know she is finally free.