One thing that the adoption community unanimously agrees upon is how important birth mothers are. Without a birth mother, there is no adoption. This year, attending the National Adoption Conference was very different than last year. It was amazing to see the increase in agreement of necessity of adoption aftercare services for birth mothers. Last year, when we spoke at the conference, we spoke about the Donna K. Evans Foundation; how, why, where, the development, offered the program model to any agency who is interested in implementing an aftercare program for their birth mothers.
This conference came on the heels of a tough day. It has been almost two weeks now since the three year anniversary of my birth mother, Donna K. Evans’ death. In some ways, it feels difficult to believe it has been three years have passed, and in other ways it feels like a lifetime. The connection we shared was unique for me because I learned what it was like to share DNA. Never before I met her did I understand what it was like to be able to fill out medical paperwork without having to write unknown over the family history section. To learn where the brown specks in my eyes came from or how to manage the vast amount of unmanageable hair we share was all foreign before I met her.
I can see my mother in Heaven, telling her fellow angels, “my daughter got me a foundation. What did your daughter get you?” She would then go on and say “I don’t brag, I just say, I am blessed.” Because she was from the south, she had the most unforgettable sayings, that I had never heard before but they were funny and endearing. She could make you laugh just by hearing her contagious laugh and take your mind off of anything with her stories.
One thing I know to be true, adoption aftercare services would have changed her life. She would still have been the charismatic, fun loving, crazy, brave woman that she was the day I met her, but she may have been able to reach some of her goals, fulfill more of her dreams and find peace in her adoption choice. Without aftercare services, her life was essentially robbed of all of “what could have-been (s).”
The time to act is now. One of my favorite authors could not say it any better….
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou
So let’s all do better….