Thursday, March 26, 2009

The other perspective

It's Molly again.

I know, I can't wait to hear from Kim.

Me too! But, we're going to make you wait just a bit for the really good writing!

On my family blog I got a heart-wrenching comment from a birth mother when I wrote about our desires to change the law. It's consumed my mind ever since I read it.

I quickly deleted the comment because I could tell that I had not really communicated well about what we were wanting to do with the law. When this birth mother read it, it was as if we were trying to do something for adoptive parents and something that might coerce birth parents.

In fact, there has been some misunderstanding from agencies as well as other birth mothers. So, I've had to slow down and explain what we are actually doing in only adding to the birth mothers options, not taking anything away from the current law.

I was blessed to have had several "discussions" with this birth mother through email and we were able to share our hearts, our fears, our hurts, and our struggles from both sides. What I wouldn't give to be able to actually meet this incredible woman and thank her for her bravery to speak up for birth mothers everywhere.

So, I thought since I have learned so much from this mother...and that several of you may have never been through adoption, maybe you could learn from her as well.

Every birth parent's situation is very different as to why they are choosing placement. And just like all of us, they process and deal with pain, grief, and loss differently. There is no way that one option is going to work for every birth parent. That is why we feel like giving the option to relinquish in the hospital (or at an agency) would be beneficial to some birth mothers, maybe not all, but some.

This mother, and other birthmothers we have spoken to, agreed that court is devastating and said she thinks there are birth mothers who do back out because of it. She said the only way she survived it was because of the support of the adoptive parents at that time. She knew it was in the interest of the child, and it was not about her at that moment.

This birth mother pointed out to me that there can be a lot of unspoken (and spoken) pressure on the birth parents by some agencies or attorneys. There are actually more agencies and attorneys out there than we would like to believe that see adoption as money and as a transaction. Her fear (and now mine) is that some might use this new law to coerce women into placing their baby, "sign now or it's too late" kind of thing. She has heard of situations in which adoptive parents were hovering until the birth mother signed.

In talking with some agencies, they have the same concern...that this law change might actually end up allowing more of these tragedies to occur. This my dear friends is why our state has hesitated to change the law. How do we protect both the birth parents from being pushed into something they are unsure about and at the same time protect adoptive families from losing children we'd been picked for? One thing that we have written in the law is that this relinquishment in the hospital can only be done by a licensed agency or DHS. There is no way an attorney can have this done in the hospital or any place other than Court. We feel this is the best way we can deal with this particular issue.

This task is bigger than I imagined. As much as I am wondering what God has in store for this "project" and if the law should actually be changed, my heart can't help but wonder if it's right to not change the law because of some bullies out there?

Please pray for clarity in this and at the same time pray for birth parents to be led to agencies and attorneys that will truly show them love, mercy and grace. Placing a child for adoption is more painful than we could ever imagine and it requires much counseling and support to survive it. Because of my faith I want nothing more for these girls than to be shown the love of Christ, but not all (even Christian) agencies take on that mission.

This picture is of Cooper and his birthmom before she had been to court. You guys, I can't tell you the emotions this picture holds. It captures so well the struggle of a mother loving and grieving her child because she is choosing something more for him, she's choosing him over herself. The best part is...she agrees the law needs to be changed and that it would make it easier on most birth mothers. Have I told you how amazing this woman is?

Please pray with me over this law. Please pray with me for our agencies and attorneys so that we can continue to use adoption to glorify God and make the best out of an unplanned pregnancy. Pray that those agencies and attorneys that are not being honest, fair, and respectful will be reported, closed down and penalized.

Part of me fears writing all of this because it might scare some of you off. My dream is that in sifting through all of this together that more families open their homes and hearts to adoption. Adoption is biblical. What this birth mother pointed out to me is that all too often it looks nothing like what God had planned for it to be. It seems too often we hear the horror stories and get our focus off. We put our walls up and harden our hearts instead of trying to understand the "other side" and serve each other. We let fear drive us instead of God.

My heart has been burdened once again to simply pray about this and I beg you to do the same!

In Christ,



Laura said...

What a great post. People that don't KNOW you, could "see" your heart through every word you spoke. I love you...I love your honesty...I love your heart.

I will pray....

Becki Francy said...

Simply beautiful...Your heart, your words, your love...they are so Christlike. I know you have shown M and G the love of Christ. Thank you for being you sweet sister!

Norma said...

We will/are praying about this Molly! How awesome and what a blessing to have M's support! I so miss her and must give her a call... Love, Mom

Fether said...

Molly...Thank you for sharing this with all of us! Now we can pray more specifically for all involved in the process. So sad that "black market" adoptions actually happen...I always thought of that as a hallmark movie scenario. You have an amazing gift of just being you and letting God's love flow from you! You are amazing!

ShannonLayne said...

I am a birth mother myself and i think the law needs to be changed. i will aslo be praying about this. My heart/feelings are strong about this.

ShannonLayne said...
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Giles Family said...

Molly, God is truly working in this endeavor and I am so encouraged by your willingness to explore to the heart of both those who support and those who are concerned about the addition to this law. Your openness allows God to mold this project into what He wants it to look like. I'm so eager to see how this turns out!

Sweetie Pie said...

Molly, I have had the same concern, that your proposed change to the law would provide more opportunity for unscrupulous people to coerce the birth mom. I wanted to ask you if you had considered that but didn't want to be argumentative because I know your heart is in the right place! So I am so glad to see that you are looking at this issue from all angles.

Rebekah said...

I need to go back and read your blog from the beginning to fully understand what you're trying to do, but one thing that surprised me when we adopted Steven is that in Michigan, the adoptive parents are basically not allowed in the courtroom for the relinquishment. (And all non-essential people have to leave too.)

They don't want birthfamilies to feel pressured by adoptive parents or to have a group of strangers witness what will probably be the most difficult decision they ever have to make.

Birthfamilies have until the court date to change their minds (the "legal risk" period). We were blessed that when we adopted Steven, Auntie E had already gone to court that morning and could not change her mind.

We had already decided that if a birthfamily were wavering at all, we wouldn't bring the baby home. Instead, he or she would go into interim care (similar to foster care, but done through the agency). Steven was actually in interim care for a few weeks since they didn't have a family for him when he was born.