Having adopted children myself and being in the adoption field for so many years, I have often come across people who have asked me how a mother could “give up her child” for adoption. I always cringe a little when I hear those words.

I think it is all the things associated with the word “giving up”.  The technical definition is “to yield control or possession, to surrender.” But there is such a negative picture that is associated with those words as well.  “Giving up” denotes quitting.  It brings to mind a throwing up of the hands and walking away. This could not be farther from the truth within the process of choosing to place your child for adoption.

Someone who is in crisis due to an unplanned pregnancy and has no means to support a child goes through a great deal of turmoil.  They go back and forth.  They weigh all of their options and the decision to place for adoption has been labored over and prayed over. Making an adoption plan is not an easy way out. It is not a hasty decision that just comes naturally.

There is nothing “natural” about going through 9 months of carrying your baby, going through hours of labor and delivery and then leaving the hospital empty handed. It is the ultimate sacrifice that birth mother’s and birth father’s can make.

It is a sacrifice made out of love.

It is out of love for that child that they make the biggest, selfless, sacrificial decision of their life. They never “get over it” and they never stop thinking about that child. The decision was made because of their love for their child.

Time after time, I have sat at the bedside of a precious birthmother as she wept over her child while signing away her parental rights. As she tries to place her baby down in that crib one last time, she is overcome with the finality of her decision and her heart breaks.  It is her love for her baby that motivates her.  It is the height of love and in no way the absence of it. It is the only thing that gives her the will and the strength to walk away with empty arms and a broken heart.

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