Birth Mother Feelings … in Guatemala

Every day that passes brings me one step closer to adopting a baby. I’m filled with happiness and excitement while also being concerned about the birth parents.

It’s really messed up to think that my joy at holding my baby in my arms come from the birth parent’s sadness at losing their child.

As I trolled the internet, I found this article about one family’s journey toward open adoption. Read the article here.

“I’m sorry your mother had to work,” I said.

Helen looked down at her fried chicken. “That’s not why she isn’t here,” she said. “She was worried that if she saw her granddaughter, she wouldn’t be able to let her go.”

I knew that Helen had hidden her pregnancy to preserve her family’s honor. Until that afternoon, I had always imagined that was what her mother would have wanted. Suddenly I understood that when it comes to adoption, grief can ripple through generations.

“In Guatemala, grandmothers treat their grandchildren better than they treat their own children,” she said. “She still hasn’t forgiven me.” As Helen described her mother’s pain, my normally reserved husband tightened his lips around his straw and wiped his eyes.

Yet for all the honesty that day, much was left unsaid. More than a year after our visit, Helen told me she had tried not be too emotional because she didn’t want to make her dear girl sad.

“I would have liked to have asked her to forgive me for not being brave enough to keep her by my side,” she said. For an impossible second, I imagined what that would have meant to my own life.

“I wanted to walk in the street holding hands with her,” Helen said. “But I was so ashamed to ask, because I saw her walking with you.”

 

How sad this is for all involved. The birth mother chose to relinquish, but it has affected the child, herself, and the grandmother as well. Imagine wanting to hold your child’s hand and being afraid to….

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