This guest post is by Bob Spears, who is married to a birthmother.
Although birthmothers have husbands and partners, it’s not every day that you hear from them.
That’s because many of them are not directly involved in their loved one’s adoption story.
But I’ve found that not being involved in your loved one’s story is not easy or healthy in a relationship.
Placing a child for adoption has a great impact on not only a birth mother’s life, but on ours as well.
It is a commitment that requires us to understand and help them through their journey.
I have been together with a birthmother for 20 years and married for 17.
I have watched experiences, changes and challenges to Lynea’s world each day.
I believe the most influential thing I have learned from watching her life is that a birth mother never gives up on her child.
Every day that child remains a part of her.
Through the years, I have observed how every birthday of Lynea’s child caused emotions to rise within her.
Sometimes she had no idea why she was so upset, anxious and down.
I would remind her that it was that birthday thing again.
In the early days she would hang on the mailbox for her yearly picture.
It was always late and when it did come it was usually a keychain size but it would excite her to no end.
She loved and was so grateful to the adoptive parents but as I observed, they were not so wonderful. That didn’t stop her from cherishing them.
As the years went on, the adoptive parents continued to do all they could to insulate themselves from Lynea. But, as they lost control of their daughter, they began reaching to her.
As hesitant as Lynea was to become involved, she finally did after several pleading requests.
What she didn’t want is to become involved in a situation which would destroy her relationship with her daughter.
Entering her daughter’s life as a disciplinarian was not how she saw the reuniting would happen. And she was right. From that point on, all of their relationships became a nightmare.
Lynea’s daughter was not ready to meet her and was only looking for someone to rescue her from her own mess.
This mess has continued now for many years and has been a real ugly ride.
But the one thing that still prevails is Lynea’s love for her daughter.
I have watched her try everything possible to influence this girl and lead her along.
She has also placed boundaries through love to help her understand that respect goes both ways.
There are now four grandchildren in this mix and that only increased the anguish of the situation.
Through this adventure, Lynea has seen the need for birth mothers to have a safe haven.
Her experiences, although hard to deal with, have helped her understand the challenges faced by many birth mothers.
She sees the need of a support network where these women can connect and understand they are not alone and that their situation is not unique.
I have watched her selflessly spend hundreds of hours reaching out to these women to help. She now has created her own organization for those birthmothers who need help or would like to help others.
Life After Placement is a shrine to her efforts. All of her time and money have gone into this creation with no monetary rewards. I continue to stand amazed at her determination to accomplish these things:
1. Change the narrative that birth mothers give up on their children and get people to understand that they placed them as a selfless act of love.
2. Get an understanding that birth mothers never quit. They live their lives every day with their child’s life deep inside of them.
3. Many birth mothers suffer from PTSD. Throughout their lives they are struck with things which can emotionally impact them. There are constant triggers which will never go away.
4. Adoptive parents have a commitment to their child’s birth mother and her contribution. No matter how the agreements were agreed upon, there is a great need for integrity and honesty.
If you are interested as a birth mother, adoptive child or want to help the cause, I ask you to visit Life After Placement and see the wonderful things that Lynea has done.
I have no doubt this endeavor will grow as more people discover Lynea’s dedication.
Bob Spears is married to Lynea, founder of Life After Placement. They share a life together and are parents to a teenage son. He is an advocate for birth mothers and believes in the cause of Life After Placement.