Posted below are some excerpts from the book Being a Birthparent: Finding our Place (by Brenda Romanchik, published in 1999). I think these are inspiring and uplifting words, not heard often enough by birthparents. What are your thoughts after reading the following?
“The darkness of grief often makes it difficult for birthparents to see what they have to offer. By relinquishing their right to parent, many may feel as if their work is done. Society tends to reinforce this by portraying good birthparents as silent participants. In addition, birthparents may be struggling with the inner demons of shame and guilt and may not feel worthy of a relationship with their children. They may also have family and friends who are not very supportive of their decision and make it difficult for them to feel good about continued contact.
One way they are valuable is as a source of family information. Birthparents are the keepers of an adopted child's genetic heritage. Most experts in child development agree that a child's development depends on both genetic (nature) and environmental (nurture) factors. Besides physical characteristics, children can inherit talents and temperaments. Is your child good in science like the birth grandmother? Are they creative like the birth sister? Birthparents can help their children discover their genetic origins.
A birthparent's history is also part of the child’s history. A birthmother feels their first kick, remembers the unusual food cravings and remembers their activity level. Birthfathers who are involved in the pregnancy may recall hearing the baby's heart beat for the first time, and may have had the first fuzzy glimpse of them swimming around during an ultrasound. The pregnancy and birth stories that birthparents hold so dear to their hearts, as well as their reasons for choosing adoption, also have meaning to our children.
Ongoing contact can also be reassuring to a child of adoption. Their questions can be answered as they come up and they never need doubt that their birthparents love them. They will always have tangible proof of how they are cared for. No child–or adult for that matter–can have too much love in their life.”