Maybe you’ve been thinking for years that someday you should start that search and find the woman who gave birth to your child. But figuring out where to start, knowing who to trust, coming up with the funds, and digging out the paperwork can be overwhelming, not to mention the emotional issues this all brings up. If you are on the fence, here are 3 reasons why you should consider getting started now.
1. Your chances of finding her decrease as time goes by
Even though we know this, It is hard to get our heads around - the reason she gave up her baby was because she is poor in a way we can’t imagine. Which means she lives in circumstances that don’t lend themselves to longevity. The average life expectancy in Guatemala runs about 8 years less than that in the U.S. according to the CIA World Fact Book. Life expectancy for a person born in 2002 is 66 years. And this is an average for the whole country. Birth mothers are the poorest of the poor and born well before 2002 so we would expect them to fall below this average.
2. Your child really will want this information someday - no matter what they say now
I get it, I have one of those kids who really isn’t a deep thinker, who doesn’t talk much about her “deep thoughts,” who says “let’s talk” but then is more interested in telling me about who won the latest episode of Cupcake Wars than giving me even a glimpse of what is going on with her emotional development. But I believe with all my being that she does want to know about her birth family and maybe even because she does have information about them she doesn’t feel the need to talk about them. Beneath the Mask, Understanding Adopted Teens published by The Center for Adoption Support and Education, lists six common “stuck spots” for adopted teens and four of these can only be solved by having information about and even better yet, directly from, the birth family. I’ll write more about these stuck spots in a future post.
3. It is the greatest gift ever that you can give to the woman who gave you the greatest gift ever
Ok, this is the one where I get all choked up and emotional and maybe even a bit preachy - apologies in advance. I have no experts or hard facts to quote you on this one, but some days I think it is the most important reason of all to search. Those would be the days when I am overcome by the serendipity of my good fortune in life. When I step back for a second and realize that the world will not end if the house is not clean, if I serve pasta for dinner yet again, if we are five minutes late for basketball practice or if I can’t afford to buy my kid the horse she really, really, really wants. Because after all I have a house to clean, I know there will plenty at dinner to fill us all up and my kid gets to do things like play basketball and ride horses. And pretty much just because I was born where I was born I get to be her mother, while the woman who gave birth to her has a whole different set of daily worries.
So if I can take one of those worries away and bring a bit of joy to this woman’s life just by letting her know her child is alive and loved and happy and healthy, don’t I pretty much HAVE to do that just to be a decent human being?
I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. And if you'd like to receive weekly blog posts in your email, please sign up below.