Amongst the supportive comments and emails I received after Ava’s birth, I also managed to secure myself a little stalker. Somebody who persisted in commenting on my blog and sending me emails, making pretty much the same statement:
“Stop pretending to care about the BM. If you cared, you would have helped her keep the child”.
I can’t help thinking this could even be the same person, given the comment is the same. The only difference is that the psycho who made those comments on my blog and emailed to me insisted on calling a BM a Bowel Movement.
Most people don’t really know or understand what is invovled in an adoption, there are some people who are clearly completley ignorant.
But for those of you who are interested, I thought I’d give you a little bit of back ground into how our adoption worked. Our adoption is a pretty standard adoption, the bulk of adoptions going through private social workers will run pretty much the same way.
The most important thing to note is that NOBODY takes the baby away from the birth mom and the SW’s ensure, through various means that the BM never feels that her baby was taken from her.
Firstly, the birth mom’s go through extensive counseling by the SW’s. Obviously, some BM’s only decide as they’re giving birth that they want to give their baby up, in those cases, the SW’s have to make a quick decision, but still do at least a one day, intensive counseling session with her before even notifying adoptive parents that they’ve been selected.
In our case, our BM only found out at 7 months that she was pregnant. She does not have regular periods and from my experience with IF, it definitely sounds to me like she potentially could have PCO. She thought she had a hernia, in her defense, the day before we gave birth, her tummy was still so small she could have past for 5 months pregnant. When she discovered that she was pregnant and 7 months along, she knew straight away that she wanted to give her baby up, for many reasons, reason’s only Ava needs to know. She immediately contacted our SW. From that day, for two solid months, my SW met with her EVERY SINGLE week to council her. Ever week, for a day, they would spend the day together, discussing all her options. Wilna even goes so far as to get the BM’s to write a list of what they’d need for the baby and then she takes them “shopping” to price everything, so if there reasons are financial, they can be absolutely certain.
Any good SW will tell you that while she has the best interests of the BM’s and AP’s at heart, ultimately, her first and no. 1 priority is ALWAYS to the unborn baby and what is in their best interests. So our BM was councellied weekly for two months, only after that did our SW show her the profiles. They will not introduce the BM’s to any of the profiles until they are 100% certain that that is what the BM wants to do. Our BM was shown all the profiles and just never really felt connected to anyone, it was then that our SW called us, 2 days after our meeting with her, to tell us that from the second she met us she had this feeling we were a match for this BM and we should do our profile as they were having a counseling day with her that Saturday and wanted to introduce her to us. Apparently, the way the story goes, the second our BM viewed our front page, she told our SW that this was it. She looked at the photo on the cover of our profile and immediately knew we were the couple.
But STILL our SW did not inform us, even though she knew we were frantically waiting to hear, she would not put us in the line of fire till she was 100% convinced. It took another two weeks and another 2 counseling sessions for us to get the call to say we’d been selected and to come to Cape Town immediately and meet our BM. I think that is why the large majority of adoptions seem to happen so quickly, because the AP’s are not notified until the very last minute. Because there is so much going on for months before the time that no one ever gets to see.
Once the baby is born, there is a lot of symbolic things that happen in an attempt for the BM to NEVER feel that her baby was taken away. For eg. we were told that the baby’s are usually not allowed to leave the hospital until after the BM leaves. This is to ensure that she does not feel like her baby was taken away from her. In our case, we left the hospital together. BUT…. our BM was asked to hold Ava, she was given some time to hold her and cuddle her and then she was asked:
“…. are you sure this is what you want to do?”
“…. are you sure you are comfortable with Walter and Sharon leaving with Ava?”
“Ok, then pass Ava to Sharon”
All of this done so that on a subconscious level she does not feel her baby was taken from her but rather that she gave the baby. Remember, BM’s do not have babies taken from them, they give them up.
When we went to court to sign the papers, two days later, we met at a private location afterward so that our BM could have a chance to say goodbye. The same ritual was done again, again to ensure that she didn’t feel her baby was being taken from her.
We had tea at the SW’s flat, she held Ava the entire time, her Mom and Dad took lots of photo’s of her holding Ava, of us all together, such beautiful photo’s. She was allowed to undress Ava, change her nappy and drink in the scent and the look of every tiny detail of Ava. After an hour the SW started asking her again:
“…. are you sure you want to do this?”
“…. are you comfortable letting Walter and Sharon take Ava?”
“…. are you comfortable you’ve made the right decision?”
And then she was requested to pass Ava to me and we left. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, walking out that flat, carrying her baby, she cried, silent, giant crocodile tears, that made her lips tremble and her shoulders shake, but she stood stoic in her decision, she hugged me to her, pulled away, put her hand to my cheek and nodded and then I turned and walked out carrying her baby.
I guess the point of this very long winded posting is that I wish more people could no that adoption, this type of adoption, obviously there are different types of adoption, abandoned baby adoptions and fostering with the intent to adopt would be a very different process, but this type of private adoption is a labour of love. There is nothing violent about it, nobody snatches the baby from the BM’s, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes which culminates in a beautiful and magical experience.
My BM assured me that while it was painful for her to give Ava up, she had a tremendous amount of peace about the choice she’d made, she could rest easy and not live a life of turmoil wondering what she’d one, she would not be haunted by the choice. She believed Ava is where she’s meant to be.
I say it over and over again, there is a magic in adoption, there is something so selfless and so beautiful in it that there could not possibly be a truer expression of love.