Thursday, August 15, 2013

Heroic Parenting Decisions

Parenting.  A blog about parenting.  It is something I feel strongly about.  Parenting that is…not necessarily blogging…although I am getting into blogging these days.  So far I’m just sharing opinions, not feelings.  When I get really good…I’ll start sharing all my feelings.  Then you’ll be in for a treat! (BAHAHAHA!)

What comes to mind when talking about parenting are some of the things learned while working at a non-profit.  For 9 years I counseled women in unplanned pregnancies.  When a woman finds herself in an unplanned pregnancy, there are only two choices – carry the pregnancy to term or end the pregnancy.

Should a woman choose to carry the pregnancy to term, she now has two additional choices – place the child for adoption or raise the child.  Let me just say…not every woman is ready to be (or capable of being) a good parent.  But every woman that ends up pregnant and chooses to carry to term has to make at least one parenting decision.

Do you realize what a heroic parenting decision adoption is?  HEROIC!  A child gets a loving home, a couple gets a beautiful baby to love and cherish. The first parenting decision made by a mom can be such a heroic one.

I would tend to believe that most of us think adoption is a good thing.  Yes we've all heard horror stories.  But how many wonderful stories have we all heard too?  How many childless adults got to be parents because a woman somewhere thought outside of herself and her needs - put a child’s need for a stable environment above herself and chose to place her child for adoption? How many children were raised in a great home because of adoption?  My good friend was.  She has an adopted brother and two wonderful parents because her biological mom realized she was not ready to be a mom and placed her baby girl for adoption.

But let’s think for a moment about how we TALK about adoption.  What do you think is the most often heard statement about adoption?  I hear it in your head even now…”I could never ‘give’ my child up for adoption.”  “I just don’t know how she could do that.”  “How could anyone ‘give’ their child up for adoption?”

First of all children are not possessions to be given…they are people to be cherished.  Secondly, what is being given is a chance at a complete home, a stable home, a loving home, a home where parents are WAITING for a child as opposed to (possibly) a broken home, a home of unemployment, drugs or abuse.

Let me say it again.  Adoption is a HEROIC parenting decision. 

Adoption is not easy for birth mothers.  Don’t think I don’t know that.  I've grieved beside women who have placed their children for adoption, and celebrated with the same mothers as they see the fruition of their selflessness.  And I've seen how much harder we as society have made choosing adoption for them by the words we speak.

If we truly think adoption is a positive action (and I think we do) we need to start using words that speak positively to adoption, words that edify a woman who is considering adoption (instead of vilifying her).  Words like “Adoption is such a selfless decision.” “I could only hope to be as strong as her, should I ever need to consider adoption.” 

You may or may not know that many women (particularly teenagers) will choose abortion over adoption because if she chooses abortion, many may never know she was pregnant, and any
shame that may be attached to that pregnancy is avoided.  If she chooses adoption everyone will know she was pregnant, and most will have comments. 

Having said all that, I know that some mothers choose single parenting and do a GREAT job.  But let’s just not make it harder for those who NEED to choose adoption, to feel free, accepted and heroic to do so.

Be careful with your words…you never know who you may be influencing, and what her first parenting decision will be.


P.S.  Do you have a great adoption story?  Share with us in comments.


  1. Debora-
    Oh my goodness what a beautifully written tribute to adoption! I was adopted myself as a baby. My birth mother was just 16 when she found out I was on the way, and not a day goes by when I don't think of her as a hero. If it wasn't for her strength and faith, she might not have let me come into this world. I thank God every day for giving her the strength and for giving her parents who were loving and supportive to help her make such a difficult choice.

    1. Kellye, thank you for sharing. It is stories like yours that affirm adoption...a heroic parenting decision.


  2. Powerful words, friend!! Very needed!

  3. My father was adopted. He was adopted at a time when they were closed adoptions and it is still very hard to find out who the biological mother was. That being said, he has never wanted to find his birth parents because his adoptive parents were his parents to him.


  4. I have two sets of friends who because of a heroic, selfless parenting decision were able to share their love and their lives with children!

    Wonderfully written Debora!

  5. What a wonderful post. Several of my family members have been blessed to raise adopted children. Women who make the thoughtful, loving decision to give their children the very best opportunities are, indeed, brave, truly dedicated parents.