This final quote is the hardest for me to take, for its discomforting blindness. And yet it opens a door into a struggle that few of us have to face. As an adoptive father this quote shocked me.
“It’s hard to convince others about the depth of it… I’d have an abortion any day of the week before I would ever have another adoption — or lose a kid in the woods, which is basically what it is. You know your child is out there somewhere, you just don’t know where.”
(From a book detailing the experiences of women dealing with unplanned pregnancies before Roe v. Wade, and is quoted from a review in the Atlantic Monthly.)
This is stark.
It does reveals the sense of great loss felt by those who place their children for adoption, a loss that good counseling can ameliorate.
It as well, of course, reveals the blindness of those who cannot see their unborn children as children. Would she really rather see her child dead than lost in the woods? I cannot comprehend that.
I have often said, and truly believe, that one of the unsung heroes in the issues of life and death today are the women, often very young, who bravely against cultural resistance and often severe family pressure, choose to give their babies life. We rarely come face to face with the pain felt by those who then, having given their children life, try to give them the best life they can by placing them for adoption. These women suffer greatly for the sake of their children. But they give them life.
The birth mother of our third adopted child struggled the most. What she said at placement, though, will forever motivate me. “I want to give to my child what I never had: a father.”