That Moment

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I was raised in foster care.

Every six months I had a new mom and dad.

And a real mom and dad was all I ever wanted.

Not real as in biological.  Logistics didn’t matter to me.

But a mom who would take me training bra shopping and tell me all about menstruation in ways that affirmed the beauty of maidenhood.

A mom who would teach me how to cook by sharing her family recipes and telling me they were ours.

A dad who would take me to father daughter dances and twirl me around and tell me that he loved me.

Parents.  People of authority who wouldn’t misuse power.

When little girls grow up wanting to marry a man like daddy, and little boys grow up wanting to be strong and brave like daddy,

this little girl raised in a broken system grew up believing she should and would take up employment in that broken system.

Until I became pregnant.

And the need for doula support was so compelling, that I shifted the path I had envisioned in my mind as far back as my first memories.

And I began my doula work by supporting struggling pregnant mothers.

Incidentally, mothers who were often choosing an adoption plan.

I wanted adoption.  I wanted family.  I wanted stability and love and I wanted to belong.

But adoption isn’t for everybody.

And so I began to watch as mothers, scared but in love with their babies, had hesitations.  Reservations.  More than that.  Torment.

They wanted to know, if there really is any other way.

And so I watched mothers holding their newborns, sobbing, asking me if I really will help them.  If they really can have resources.  If they really can have support.

And when they would hear the word “yes,”

that moment

It’s like they had met their baby all over again.

They would breathe even more deeply of their baby’s sweet new smell.

Their fingers would widen as their hold is somehow, more confident around their newborn.

They met their baby once, the wonder of the physical, biological connection of this baby.

And then they met their baby again, the magic of the hope, the daring to believe they can pave a path for two, in a different way than adoption would have.

Adoption is wonderful.  I longed for it my whole life.  Adoption brings redemption and healing and interconnected love and mercy and life.

But adoption quite simply isn’t for everybody.

If you are an adoption doula, you need to be open to that moment.

You need to be accountable not to misuse power.

You need to provide love unconditionally, so that the mother can, too.

You need to be in support of mothers who may be choosing an adoption plan,

rather than supporting adoption, while it just so happening to be a laboring mother in front of you to place your agenda upon.

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