My reason for wanting a mama bird shirt is because the memory behind this book is close to my heart. My mom read it to me when I was little. It was no secret that I was adopted. My mom was always open with me about it and never sugar coated anything. But kept the conversations age appropriate.
I have a weird obsession with birds. I just think they are so cute! When she would read it to me I liked to look at the pictures of the birds. We would talk about the story and meaning but it didn’t really sink in until I was about ten. I saw the book one day and thought bird and adoption hmmm two very good things. But as I read it I began to cry. It turned out the cute birdies didn’t get to stay together. They had to say goodbye. The single mama bird couldn’t take care of the baby bird anymore and had to give him up for adoption.
“Our birth moms share something unique even with different circumstances. They lost someone that day too.”
Reasons vary between different birth moms, but there is something that hasn’t ached in me until adulthood. I was too busy disagreeing with my birth mom’s reason that I didn’t consider of her feelings. She was young, and hurting and may not know the Lord.
Our birth moms share something unique even with different circumstances. They lost someone that day too.
On our adoption day if we do adopt I hope to be wearing my mama bird shirt. Because this book is close to my heart.
Peter and I are going to be foster parents! Right now we are slowly dipping our feet in the water by starting with respite care for ages 18 months and younger. We are hoping to get our first placement in September 2017.
For those who know me personally or have read my story you already know how passionate I am about adoption.
Peter and I have a very high respect for full time foster parents and have been waiting for the right time to start. We have talked about waiting until our first child bio/or adopted had been with us for a year. But after speaking with a friend who told us respite is a high need, my heart couldn’t take it. We prayed, talked and decided. A week went by, we asked for her card, and began the process.
“We prayed, talked, and decided.”
Full time foster parents and those who adopt are hero’s. They are the front line of ending child abuse, and giving children hope. And we are the people are in the back ground saying “Keep on keeping on” that is why we are choosing to do respite care. This is something that has been heavy on my heart even before Peter and I got married.
We are aware of the emtional hurts are going to come. The people who don’t understand. That some might even shame us for starting only two years into our marriage. But when God puts something this heavy on our hearts and has blessed us beyond belief how can we not? It might be confusing to the world but maybe because this love is not of the world.
If it’s any stage in lives where we are the most real with our feelings it’s when we are babies. About six years ago I learned something knew about people and a lot of things started to make more sense.
Babies can grieve.
I believe that the nine months growing in a birth moms womb is a beauty God has created because when they are separated even at a child’s birth their heart is torn.
They then grieve.
I used to always ask questions about my birth mom growing up even though I already knew I had a mom. My birth mom was a stranger who gave birth to me. But I was still curious. Why, because the nine months really do matter.
Babies are the most tender trusting people there are. To break them is to break their spirit and trust. There are people who adopt from foster families or get their brand new baby from the hospital and still the baby will not eat, sleep, or will cry more often then usual.
All this is ok, because you are not mom yet. Mothers this may hurt to read. But Notice I say yet. You get to be apart of their grieving process. You get the rest of their journey. Maybe you don’t want to sing the lullaby their birth mom sang them or wrap them in the blanket they came with. But this isn’t about you. It’s about helping your baby.
I promise you though in time you will be singing your own lullaby to your baby and wrapping them in new blankets in time. God only knows the time frame. Every one grieves at their own pace.
I encourage you mothers stay strong for your baby, because of you we adoptees have a new birth.
I am happy with this change but it has been confusing, and I know it will take time.
“Ma’am what is your name?” The person over the phone asks as I prepare for a women’s retreat.
In that moment I had no idea what to say. Being a newlywed for a few weeks I am still getting used to our identity and who I am to Peter. Who I am now.
I finally got the last name out. “Echols”
“Thank you ma’am and your email.”
“Yeah aaah Cham-ber-lain” I begin slowly
I had no idea how to answer these simple questions. I had to sit down after getting off the phone. I wonder this question as I learn my new identity as a wife Is this what it’s like when you are adopted as and older child? Do their minds spin as they answer the same simple question ‘What is your name?’. Do they stare at the new last or first name after they write it down for as long as I do?
Silvia reads the letter. “It’s from your birth family. Wait this guy claims to be your dad.”
I stand silent.
She asks if I want to see him on the CD.
It wasn’t the I’m craving the empty void inside me kind of ‘yes’ some of us adopted children have when we yearn for our birth families even if we don’t know them. It was a sure why not? Kind of ‘yes’.
You see I once was bonded to my birth mom for nine months in her whom, but that was it. For so long I bound myself in curiosity letting thoughts stir of who the mystery birth-dad was. I even yearned to hear my birth mom’s voice, and feel her embrace. Some babies die and some hurt forever, because those nine months of sharing an identity with a birth-mom is so important.That is why so many babies are traumatized when they are taken away from birth mothers.
But when this guy marched back into my life twenty-one years later “Hi I’m your dad” in a letter all I could think was….
Are you though? You were never there when I needed you most. My dad was. In fact you might think you are my dad because I’m of your blood, but you’re not. I have a dad. But most importantly I have a heavenly father.
Romans 8:15 “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
I do not hate this man for not doing what he should have done, be a dad. I just want to know why now…twenty-one years later…
“Yeah that’s the problem! I’m sober and I’m acting like this.”
Blood boiling of the other person on the line as I listen.
“I know…I know what it’s like to be mad enough to want to kill someone”
Heart beating in your ears. White clenched fists. Words of regret soar. Possible blood and tears shed. All control lost.
How do we let ourselves get mad to the point where the world once made sense then nothing does? What is it in us that drives this rage? Mine was buried in my heart without even knowing it. Truth was I didn’t want to deal with it and did not know it was something I would have to deal with when I was older. I was just a little girl who didn’t know how, so I buried it in my heart hoping it would never come back.
At sixteen I called a counselor I knew from my home church at the time and scheduled an appointment. During these sessions I learned I was mad at my birth mom for giving me up, but even more mad at what happened in the orphanage. Even a child knows they should have a mommy and a daddy, that it is not right to hit, and that when they cry someone called mom or dad should come. I learned I had to grieve in my time, and forgive all of them. I thank God for being bigger than all of this. I thank God for forgiving me so I could forgive them. Readers hear what I’m saying? We can forgive because He forgave us. We can press on, because God has given us this hope by dying on the cross for us.
I once was enraged without even knowing it and wanted to hurt some one but didn’t know who. Here I am today still affected but not anchored by the hurt anymore. I stand forgiven and forgiving because of Christ.
I have a fantasy birth mom. A lot of us adoptees do. She likes us. She can do no wrong. But some of us know that if we were to show up at her door one day she would ask why we came. Our fantasy would die. When I was twenty one I had four thousand dollars saved up. I know I had enough for a plane ticket. I bought a car instead. I know if I went to Romania I would go expecting something, but it wouldn’t be what I fantasized. I know my fantasy would die. So no I don’t plan on meeting my birth mom.
I don’t think you are aware of the things your are saying when you say things like: “There are enough children in the U.S. who need homes. Other children do not need to be adopted.”
Whenever I hear this I always remind people I am Romanian. They soon get uncomfortable and say “Well it is true.” Yes it is, but let me speak on the behalf of my fellow adoptees who are from international adoptions, because just like them, I am sick of hearing those comments.
A child cannot help where they were born. They are innocent beings who just want to be loved. Step out of yourself and imagine yourself with a different skin, hair, or eye color from what you have now. Should you be loved less or forgotten? Walk a mile in our shoes.
Children are children.
Hurt is hurt.
Pain is real.
Why then do you say those things?
Who are you to pick and choose the life of a hurting child? Saying things like “Oh boy another immigrant.” or “U.S children need homes too.” is like saying a hurting child doesn’t need a home. Look into the eyes of the child in the picture. This child has feelings, a past, a future and a story just like you. I hope now after reading this you understand more as to why those words are so hurtful.
-The International Adoptee
P.S Forward this to those who do not understand what they are saying is unfair to an innocent child.