I had never been to Hawaii. Until now, I have never known the tranquility of the waterfalls, the endless ocean views, the black sand, the peacefulness of the people and the rich culture. My husband and I were finally able to go to this amazing utopia 2 weeks ago and it changed who I was. I found peace and happiness truly come from within. I in no way had any impact on Hawaii, nor did I change or improve anything there, but I allowed it to change me. I went there with no expectations, ready with an open mind and heart, excited to experience the unknown.
In Hawaii, we met many new and amazing people who share our support in the process of adoption and understand the need and value of the birth mother to continue her adoption journey after placement. The members of this adoption group, Sacred Selections, understand why a birth mother needs support. Support, so she can grieve, so she can move forward and make a better life for herself (and other children), giving new opportunities and security. To understand adoption is to understand all aspects of the adoption triad: the baby, the adoptive mother/father and the birth mother/father. A new life for the baby and the adoptive family could not exist without the birth mother and until an aftercare program was developed and implemented, the birth mother had little to no opportunity at a chance for real and significant change. Processing the grief of placing a baby for adoption, while accepting that another family was in a better place to parent their baby is traumatic at best. The stages of grief can cycle and without intervention, can continue as it did with my own birth mother, negatively impacting those around her.
Looking back at this amazing time in Hawaii, I became even more aware of the need to have the adoption world understand that an adoption aftercare program is paramount. Often times, adoption carries many preconceived notions; many of which are incorrect. People move quickly through life and don’t stop to think that even though a plan, service or program did not previously exist does not mean we as a society can continue on this path. My own birth mother’s life, in many ways was a beautiful disaster, but without her there would not be an aftercare program. Adoptions would not exist without the selflessness of a birth mother and for both the biological and adoptive mother to begin new lives; and aftercare program has to be in effect.
Adoption isn’t just about the baby or the family who adopts, it’s the ultimate sacrifice that is made on behalf of the birth mother. Yet until now, the one who makes the biggest sacrifice has been the least focused on member of the adoption triad. The Donna K. Evans Foundation focuses on the birth mother who has been the proverbial “adoption underdog.” We believe in fighting for those who can’t step away from grief to ask for help, when there is no one to ask and no place to go, or decide to make a major life change such as finding employment, obtaining a GED, or maybe just needing a food box or shelter for a night. For members of the adoption community whether you are an adoptive parent, agency, attorney or just a good citizen, I ask this…. You see the importance of adoption for a newborn baby, we recognize that sometimes adoption is the best or only option for many adoptive families, yet we undervalue the importance of that newborn’s birth mother and it’s time that we stop walking past the flowers, begrudge the rain, keep a stronghold on our perceived notions, and celebrate the birth mother in her wonderful creation of life.
The time has come and the time is now.
Mahalo Hawaii, Mahalo