(Written by a birth mother)
Who are you now?
I was meeting with a guy I had known only from a distance. Never thought
seriously about going out with him, but here we were, in a diner, splitting a turkey sub
and mugs of steaming hot coffee.
I wanted him to know about the baby I placed for adoption, so I took a deep breath
and said “A few years ago I was going through a tough time. I had a baby and I placed
her for adoption. I love her dearly and she is a big part of who I am. I wanted you to
know this.” He thought for a minute, looked up at me and said “What matters most
is who you are now.”
Time passed, we grew closer, and now, after over 10 years of being together, that
statement still centers me. That one compassionate comment acknowledged an
important truth : Our choices make us who we are and they give us an opportunity
to become who we want to be.
Many birthparents who have placed babies for adoption are faced with the question
of whom to tell…and when. Is there ever a right time to reveal something about
ourselves that is precious and private…something that profoundly affects who we
are, without having the listener wrap us up into a package and set us aside on a
shelf as something too different? Too complicated?
Some reactions to your birthparent status might be senseless and crass. I’ve had
those reactions before. Some might be compassionate and understanding. I’ve had
Who have you become? What is the imprint your choices have made upon your heart that
shine out to the world? Who are you now?
The answer we cherish inside ourselves is the one that matters most.