Monday, February 16, 2015

Dear Birth Parents

I have spent lots of time reflecting on this article from the Huffington Post.  If you haven't read the article, it talks about a woman who divorces her husband after he decides to keep their newborn son with Down Syndrome.  (You can also read the mother's side here.)

This article hits close to home as their story is set in Armenia, where our son was born.  There is little I know of our son's situation and how he came to be an orphan.  I know that he has been an orphan since birth.  I don't know how old Sam's birth parents were, whether he had siblings or how financially well-off they were.  I don't know much, but I am confident that the decision they made was very difficult for them.  I never had to make a decision whether to give my child up for adoption and I have never birthed a child with special needs.  

I refuse to shame or throw stones at this mother or Sam's birth parents.  Instead, I wish to reform the stigma around individuals with special needs and adoption.  It saddens me that these parents didn't have, or didn't feel they had, the resources to raise a child with down syndrome.  My prayer is that places like Reece's Rainbow didn't need to exist because all of our orphans had homes.  

I've been reading a great book called, In on it:  What adoption parents would like you to know about adoption by Elisabeth O'Toole.  One paragraph she wrote was very insightful and exactly how I have been feeling lately, "Expectant adoptive parents are often highly sensitive to the idea that they await someone else's loss in order to gain what they want so much.  In order to be parents, someone else has to release - to lose - a child."

I am grateful for Sam's birth parents.  I think of them often and pray for them daily.  I wish I knew them better so I could thank them for their son.  We recently just celebrated Sam's birthday 6,000 miles away.  My heart was heavy as I thought of how different that day must have been for Sam's birth parents.  

I want to end my entry with a letter I've written for Sam's birth parents.  

Dear Birth Parents,

You don't know me but I think and pray for you often.  A few years ago you made a life-changing decision to surrender your baby boy with down syndrome to an orphanage.  I am sorry you had to make this decision.  However, because of your sacrifice you have given my family an opportunity to raise and love this child.  He will be united into a family and church that will love and encourage him.  You don't have to worry anymore.  

I promise to honor you and your decision.  When Sam grows and asks about his birth parents I promise to hold you and your choice in high regards.  I also promise to learn more about his and your culture and traditions so he has ties to his roots. 

I pray you find peace and comfort knowing he is being cared for.  I will continue to pray for you.

Thank you again.

The Bodes

1 comment:

  1. dropped by your blog...any update on your/Sam's situation? the last update was almost a year ago...