Here’s another essay by an adoptive mother that caught my eye. (I wrote about a different one last week–they actually make an interesting contrast.) Christina Darden Hjort wrote her essay just for Mother’s Day. She’s an adoptive parent of a very young child and though she briefly alludes to her own journey to parenthood (which is largely the subject of the earlier essay I wrote about in the linked post), the mother she pays tribute to is her child’s birth mother. It’s worth taking the time to read what she wrote.
Adoption can be so many things. There are terrible stories in the press about the corrupting role of money, which operates on many levels. There are stories of children snatched from their parents or taken from them under various misleading or false pretenses. Those stories tend to get press coverage.
Adoptions like Hjort’s typically do not end up in the paper. After all, what’s the news there? But just because it isn’t in the papers doesn’t mean there isn’t a story to be told.
There’s no doubt there is often some sadness at the core of adoption–as you can see from Hjort’s story–and here the sadness is Britt’s story. Britt is the birth mother of the child. In a perfect world a woman like Britt either would be able to raise her child or wouldn’t be giving birth. But we are so far from that perfect world, that adoptions like this one will Hjort’s will be with us for a long while, I think. So the best we can do is to think about what is best for the children (openness and honesty come to mind) and also for the birth parents.
That means giving a woman like Britt the choice to figure out her own needs, to decide for herself how much contact with the adoptive family she wants. And it means recognizing her loss, which is what Hjort’s essay does. It’s a nice tribute on Mother’s Day.