Sharing has many meanings to me as a birth mother. There are so many things we share in our lives from the time we create life through the years we experience the multitude of interactions it brings. When you become pregnant you are sharing your body with another human life. For nine months, your body is sharing the essentials for the creation, growth and sustaining of life. For some women, it becomes a tremendous hardship which was never expected. It can drain you of your physical abilities and functions. For some of us it is life threatening yet we continue for the sake of the child. And for some it is just an inconvenience but handled very naturally with little or no physical trauma. But for all it is a life changing experience which will affect you for all time. It is also an experience which places a link which never is broken. Your body created this life and by sharing your body, your creation is a part of you forever.
After birth, many share our body by breast feeding. Everything we eat and do will affect that child. If you eat the wrong things it will soon be apparent in the baby’s reaction. Your time must be shared and your personal time becomes almost non-existent. This life you have created now has an enormous demand on every minute of your day. You can only hope they sleep long enough you can find a minute’s experience for yourself.
As a birth mother, I can say that sharing your body is also a part of your life regardless of your decision. Through the years after placement and then having my son I found when I was reunited with my daughter, I was sharing my heart, mind and soul not only with her but with her adoptive parents. I’ll try to explain this in detail.
The bond between mother and child is never broken. Recent studies reinforce this theory. They have shown that the connection may not be understood but exists and that the yearning to find each other feels like a missing puzzle piece that some adoptive children don’t understand. They just feel lost inside. For a birth mother, it like a part of our heart is missing. Emotional this loss can affect both mother and child to the point it becomes a mental disorder that can’t be overcome if not dealt with from the beginning. Therefore, post-placement care is critical for birth mothers.
Sharing with the adoptive parents is a huge thing in our lives, especially in open adoptions. We have given a part of our self to another and hope the they will love this child as much as we do. We placed for the hope that others could provide what we were unable to do. We never just gave up. We want our sacrifice to be honored. Sharing with adoptive parents is hard but it can be amazing if the love and respect for each other exists. Knowing we shared our precious life and that the ones we shared it with provide love for that child helps ease the pain.
I don’t think I realized how much love I left with my adoptive parents till things became difficult with our daughter. For years I felt we shared a bond which was the love we both had for her and each other. I found this was not shared at all by them. It almost killed me. Dealing with the grief of placement and finding peace in my decision took years and now was gone. To watch our child self-destruct is extremely difficult to bare but knowing her parents didn’t share that love towards me or her was devastating. The commitments made and the honor for them I had was all a ruse. They only needed my child and their words of sharing and love for me were only to convince me to place, not to love me as I did them.
As women, we are expected to share our selves. We must share our self as a mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter etc. Being bound to a child is such an amazing bond but it at times can be heart breaking. My husband said that when his step daughter was causing problems as a teenager and an officer walk her to the door he stated, “God made teenagers so it makes it easier to let them go!” How true this comment was but it doesn’t make it emotionally easy to let go. I’m not sure we ever let go. There is always a bond within us which will drive our love no matter how difficult life gets. Probably sharing our bodies and creating life makes a life-long connection which can never be broken.