It seems like in the general population’s point of view of birthmothers puts us into one of two categories – sinners or saints.
Sinners – At least once out of every five times I explain I am a birthmother I hear the phrase “I could never give my baby away.” This makes me feel like a bad person, like a sinner, like I made a mistake. I have said this before and I will probably say it again, but I still do not think placing Charlie was a mistake. The acts that led up to his conception were mistakes, but giving life to him and subsequently entrusting him to his adoptive parents were not. Yet, when I hear that phrase or am viewed negatively my society for my choice, I feel like a sinner, like I am running around with a big scarlet letter “B” on my chest.
Saints – Then there is the other half of the population that thinks I am this saint or angel for the choice I made. They tell me how brave and courageous I am, how happy I made Charlie’s adoptive parents by giving them a son, what a blessing he must be in their lives, that I am selfless, etc… Sometimes this kind of talk is almost harder to listen to than the “sinner talk.” I am not a saint or an angel, I’m just a girl who made some mistakes and tried to do the right thing by both of my children.
Where do I fit in? Sure I have sinned and made mistakes, but I have also learned from my mistakes and rose to the challenges that they have presented. If I had to classify myself, it would be just as a good mother. A good mother puts the need of her child(ren) above her own needs, wants, and desires and my entrusting Charlie to his adoptive parents I was being a good mother and doing the best thing I could for him at that time in my life.