image c/o www.irwinweiner.com
Did you get a chance to watch the video for Mark Schultz’s song to his birth mother?
Many birth parents worry that their child will be angry at them for making their adoption decision, but the song and its lyrics (which include lines like “You gave life to me, a chance to find my dreams”) remind us that adoptees are capable of understanding the difficult decisions their birth parents made. That is one of the reasons why we encourage the birth parents with whom we work to consider open adoption, where they can maintain a relationship with their child and personally explain their adoption decision to them when the time is right.
Not all adoptee experiences are the same, but the stories we hear about adoption in the media are often the ones that are most dramatic and sensationalized. Rarely do we hear about the millions of adoptees who are living happy, healthy lives, because the news outlets don’t find their stories to be nearly as juicy! The stories below probably wouldn’t make it into the news, but they are much more common than any of the ones you see on TV or read about in the newspaper.
Heidi Sprouse was adopted back in 1971, when closed adoption was still common, but she feels similarly to Mark Schultz about her birth mother’s placement decision. In her recent blog post over at America Adopts, she explains, “I will be forever grateful to her. She gave me life and by allowing me to be adopted, she gave me a family.” Sprouse also urges birth parents to let go of the shame and guilt that they often feel: “To anyone considering sharing your child for adoption, it is the most selfless act that you could ever do. There is no shame in it.”
“I Am Happy”
In a lovely essay in Elite Daily, fellow adoptee Tori Lyn, whose adoption was also closed, wrote in an open letter to her birth mother, “Wherever you are in the world, I hope you know I am okay. I’m more than okay, in fact; I am happy.” Like Sprouse, Lyn says she feels gratitude toward the woman who gave birth to her: “I am grateful you chose to give me a life, and I feel that way each day, as I try and become a better person.”
All three of these adult adoptees talk about how grateful they are for their adoptive families and for the lives they’ve been able to lead – that’s a far cry from the stereotype of adopted children being bitter and angry!
For those of you whose children are old enough to express themselves, have you talked to them about your adoption decision? Tell us about it in the comments section below!