The Ultimate Sacrifice of Motherhood
I’ve worked with a lot of children in the past five years. I’ve worked with children who have been hurt, emotionally and physically by their biological parents.
I’ve written statements that in the end will support a court or child welfare agency’s decision to terminate parental rights.
Last night, as I sat in a family team meeting, a mother was asked to place her children with their father, because she was not following through with recommendations and the children were not safe with her.
And through screams and tears, she ultimately decided to allow this, without going back to court, which would have forced the decision anyway.
And, just like always, I had a knot in my stomach.
Watching the pain a mother goes through when she realizes she cannot care for her child. Sometimes I think there is a general belief that mother’s that place their child for foster care, adoption, or who have their children removed from their home are bad mothers that don’t love their children.
But aside from true sociopaths (which really isn’t common), I don’t believe I’ve ever met a mother who didn’t love their child. It’s just they don’t know how to be a mother. They weren’t taught. They might have been abused in their own life. They may have drug addictions. They are often in abusive relationships. They don’t have resources. Like many mothers, they get overwhelmed, but many of these mothers don’t know how to ask for help -- until it’s too late and the decision is no longer theirs to make.
And so, they make the ultimate sacrifice. Sometimes it’s not their choice, sometimes it is. But it’s always a sacrifice.
I’m not saying the abusive behavior is okay because clearly it’s not, and I have been very angry with parents and made my own judgments about them -- but I’m saying we have to be wary of generalizations, and realize that these women are human beings.
And as I sat in that office, with tears in my eyes, watching a mother choose ultimately what is best for her children over what she wanted, I was proud of her. I was moved by her decision.
And I realized that Casey and I will receive a child into our home someday, whose mother and father have made that decision.
A mother and father who have decided to put their child’s needs over their own.
The ultimate sacrifice.
To that mother and father, wherever they are, whenever we meet, please know we will come without judgment in our hearts, and only gratitude for the bravest decision you’ll ever make.
For more on adoption and life in between please visit our blog: http://caseyandjenn.com
Photo Credit: kylemay.