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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Birth Mother Shower in a Box

During our adoption journey I have struggled with the pain that birth mothers must go through in order for adoption to work, and frankly in order for me to experience the incredible joy of motherhood. That is very hard for me.

I have sought out ways to support these incredible women.

Now that I have a personal relationship with the birth mother of our child (whom is scheduled to make his appearance in the next week or so. . . WOW!) I have felt this heaviness with even more poignancy.

It is the truth that no matter my level of empathy I will never truly understand the sacrifice that these women make for their children, for our children. The best that I can do is support and love them in any way I can think of. . . and encourage others to do the same.

I am so blessed to be surrounded with a group of amazing women. My sister, mother, mother-in-law and friends came together in a loving, fun, and compassionate display of what that support can look like.


Each of these amazing 15 women prepared a small handmade or hand selected gift meant to pamper and offer support to the woman who will deliver our miracle. The purpose was to let her know that she has emotional and spiritual support in places she probably hadn't considered and that her choice reaches far beyond the blessings our family will inherit from her.

My friends and family were so willing and excited to do this and many of them sent notes expressing their feelings to our birth mom to-be.

M. loved it.

What other ways have you found to love and support yours (or someonelse's) child's birth mom?


  1. Megan, I love this! I did one for Sam's birthmom but just from us, next time i would love to include our families!! I wish all the best for you in the upcoming weeks. I will keep your expectant mom in my prayers.

  2. I think it's a beautiful idea, but not sure if I actually agree with it. It's kind of hard to explain and I think I will just leave it at that.

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  4. WOW! Just saw your blog listed on someone else.

    This is a great idea and the love and support that your family and friends are showing to her is amazing. In our state, TX, and with our agency we weren't allowed to give her anything until we finalized but I will remember this for the next time if we are able to.

    Good luck in the coming days waiting for or bonding with the baby.

  5. Hi! I just found your blog through a friend's.

    I can see you have a lot of love behind this idea. It's so evident that everything was prepared with great care.....

    ....so I am hesitating in exactly how to respond. I think that despite your very BEST intentions, this may not be in the best interest of the mom who is expecting. It's hard to explain, so I think for now I too will leave it at that.

    Blessings :)

  6. Michelle and birthmothertalks, I would be interested in hearing your perspectives, as I'm sure other potential adoptive parents would be. Of course this is something you would choose to do on a case by case basis, but our son's birth mother really loved it and felt a great deal of support and love.
    I can see how this would not be appropriate if the birth mother was still iffy about her decision. I would not want her to feel pressured into making such a huge decision based on a box full of small gifts, however, M. was very solid on her decision.
    What other reasons might an adoptive family choose NOT to do something like this. Please share.

  7. Sure Duchess, I'd be happy to share more about my thoughts. However, I'd like to say to the gal who owns the blog that I'f she'd rather have me reply with a post on my own blog I'd be fine with that too. It's not my intention to come in and create any kind of nastiness over something I know was done in love. So if it's ok, I'd like to wait and see what her preference is. (NOT a ploy to direct people to my blog ;), I just want to be considerate.) I know she's a new mama again, so it might take her a bit of time to see this. I'll check back periodically.

  8. Michelle, I am Megan, the owner of this blog. I blog under the name of Duchess because of my first blog. Please go ahead and share your opinions. You have been very respectful and I have read everything on your blog. There is very little I don't agree with. I would love to read your opinions either here or on your blog. I will happily post a link to your blog post for others to follow. I too feel that a greater depth of discussion is important.

  9. Ok. :) That's funny that I didn't know you were you! lol I'm going to try to stick to the topic and not go on a rabbit trail, though I think there are other things that come into play here...but, one topic. Here goes.

    I guess the main thing is that a mom really needs to remake her decision to parent or place after the baby is born. No matter how firm she is on her decision before giving birth, that decision should not be considered final. (so many trails...so little time ;) ) Not only is it not legally final - she child IS hers until she signs TPR - we also have to understand that she may not have been prepared for the the intensity of her emotions for her baby. I say this gently (soooo gently, especially to any woman who will not experience pregnancy or childbirth) but in most cases there is no way a woman can be prepared for the intense feelings she will have for her baby after birth. It took me by surprise every time. A woman who makes an adoption plan BEFORE giving birth is making that plan with only partial information. She is not yet on the other side. I think there probably are SOME situations when a mom might really be 100% sure, but they are very rare. I'm thinking particularly of incarseration and mental/coginitive issues that make parenting prohibitive, though I realize each situation is unique.

    Why am I passionate about this? Because just as adoption is forever, so is relinquishment. FOR-E-VER. Whew. Can you feel the heaviness of that? This mama will forever NOT be her baby's mama. As a woman, this shatters my heart.

    I know. I know. Some women will place. Some will need to place. Some will always say sincerely that it was best. BUT, there are also women who suffer daily because they did not know (at a heart level) the pain relinquishment would bring. They did not know the pain would be lifelong. They did not know they would not get over it. Additionally, not only does the decision to relinquish impact the woman making it, it also affects the child who will now be parented by someone other than the mother he or she was born to.

    These are huge, heavy consequences. I'm not saying they are inherently bad, but that they are enormous in their impact. Ok? :)

    Because of that, we in the adoption community need to make sure that every mom making that decision (as much as we are able) does so with as much information as possible and as little outside influence as possible.

    The very last thing a mom needs after her baby is born is to be considering the feelings of the prospective adoptive parents. And a gift, even something as kind as you offered, could very easily influence the heart. Consider this. She is in crisis. She may already feel she had disappointed people. Now there is this nice couple. They might be telling her she's brave. She doesn't want to disappoint them too. They want a baby so much, and they've been soooo kind. And they really would be good parents. Can you see the subtle influence here? And even though it might not seem significant to those of us on the outside, that small feeling of not wanting to disappoint them could be enough to sway her final decision. It HAS been enough to tip the scales for some women.

    This decision is too important for there to be even the smallest influence from the family she is considering. It will impact her and her child for the rest of their lives. It will be permanent. There will be no recourse.

    It will be forever.

  10. I'm so sick of the attitude that adoptive parents' feelings are irrelevant or somehow less important than the mom's. Losing a child that they believed was theirs is also a lifelong loss for adoptive parents. I've heard plenty of horrible manipulate things that adoptive parents have endured in the name of 'birthmother rights'. As long as the woman is of sound mind and body she should be take ownership of her decisions. A victim mentality does no one good. A parent is made in the years of hardship in raising a child; there are plenty of ill fit biological parents out there.

  11. Thank you for this beautiful idea. I think I will discuss this with my friends who will be adopting my biological grandson when he is born this December. I think it will make a wonderful gift for my daughter. <3

  12. I do see what the others are saying; on the other hand, I'm searching this bc I am planning gifts for my birth mother. She is going to deliver my son on September 1, 2012. My husband and I will be in the delivery room. This is a perfect situation!!!! It's amazing how selfless this birth mother is, and God has just rolled this situation out with no wrinkles. (((Totally different from our daughter's adoption 6 years ago.))) I am going to do sthg like this for my birth mother. I told her I was going to pamper her bc that's the least I can do for the blessing that God has placed on her heart to give our family.

  13. I love this. I'm currently planning a shower for a friend of mine who chose adoption and I think this is wonderful.

  14. I love this idea. I know it may not be ideal for every situation but in our case it is perfect. We have 2 adopted daughters and the oldest one is now pregnant and will be blessing another family with a gift. She has always wanted to experience pregnany and childbirth but does not want or able to raise a child and we are to old to start over. She wants to be the "birth mother" and nothing more. She has asked about a shower and I was at a lose as to how to address it. I do know that over the years she has wanted to know more about her birth family and I was able to provide what I could. On this side, I had thought of a family shower just to provide a "beginnings box" for the child with family history relationshps, history and gifts to be given to the adoptive family. But what about my daughter? I like the idea and plan to talk with the adoptive family about a "thank you & blessing box" for my daughter.

  15. Cannot begin to tell you how much this means to me. I'm a birthmother advocate and am always looking for more ideas of ways to love on these women. Often with an adoptive mom's baby shower, people are celebrating having waited with this woman often for a long time for such a blessing and they naturally shop hard and she gets a ton of stuff. How nice would it be on a invitation to also ask for something for birthmom. And how blessed would everyone be to jot a note of love and thanks. It's a win/win. Bless you and your birthmothers. Eva

    1. PS It is better to do this after placement. Fyi

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