Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Letting Go and Moving Forward

I have some thoughts. They are my thoughts alone, so please take them only for what they are worth. I mean no offense.

I was the recipient of a rant from a fellow birthmom about the phrase "letting go and moving forward". This fellow birthmom doesn't like those terms with regard to our situation. She was upset by the idea of 'moving on' from her adoption story, or 'sticking it in the closet', as she understood the phrase to mean. It's semantics, perhaps, but it got me thinking.

Similarly, I was reading some forum posts by birthmothers, on Facebook, on blogs and other adoption websites. And I was discouraged to see how many birthmothers fall prey to grief and shame, years after the placement of their children. It seems stronger in those who placed within closed adoptions, but it is still rampant.

My adoption experience doesn't bring me sorrow. Not anymore. I have healed. To be perfectly honest, it makes me uncomfortable to read and listen to birthmothers who seem to dwell in their grief. I was reading a discussion post about how birthmoms celebrate the birthday of their placed-children, and it was swarmed with stories about grief and pain. It made me uncomfortable! Because I celebrate my son's birthday, just as I would anyone else's. It brings me joy, not pain.

That's really what "letting go and moving forward" was about for me. It's not about forgetting our adoption and placement experiences. I agree with my fellow birthmom--that would be impossible and unhealthy. But I think it is important to move forward with our lives. I think it's crucially important! Yes, we have experienced a grave loss. Yes, we will grieve. But if we don't move forward with our lives, then we will forever be a victim of that grief and loss. By letting go of that--the overwhelming grief and pain and bitterness and sorrow--and moving forward, we can become advocates for children and for healthy adoption experiences. We can live our lives. We can cherish that child, we can cherish our family, and we can do so in an uplifting and healthy manner that benefits us and and our children.

I am a birthmom. But being a birthmom is only part of who I am. =)

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