I try to avoid a lot of the adoption-debate drama on the internet. I don't make a habit of reading blogs that are angry and use words like “always” and “never” and whose authors tear apart people who disagree with them.
I also try to avoid being the sort of person who stirs the pot. I don't think the pot needs stirring, and even if it did, I don't think that's my job. I don't write this blog to educate the world or to convince anyone of anything. I get woefully unfocused at times but I really do want this blog to be for Roo. I want her to be able to read it when she's older and to understand things.
But it's impossible to avoid meanies all the time, and I have read my share of anti-adoption propaganda written by self-described first mothers. One thing that seems to come up a lot on this sort of blog is the word “enough.” Apparently many disenfranchised first mothers were told by adoption agencies that they weren't good enough or old enough or rich enough or whatever enough to parent their children. They were ostensibly guilted into placement. This is wrong on so many levels!
I am not going to get into that today. But I do want to address this idea of “enough” and how it fits in with placing Roo.
I have been told by those who disagree with my idea of an adoption that my agency lied to me, that I am all my baby needed, that I am good enough and smart enough and doggone it people like me. But my agency, as it happens, never once told me I wasn't good enough to parent Roo. They never said that she deserved better than me. It never got personal in that way.
I was Roo's mother for nine weeks. I know that I was enough. I know that I was a good mother, that I took the very best care of her, that I could do it – no matter what, I could find a way to provide for her. But none of those things were factors in my choice. I didn't place her because I thought I was a bad mother or that I couldn't do it or that I couldn't take care of her. None of those things made my decision for me.
I don't believe for a second that Roo deserved better than me, because I was certainly enough.
I didn't place her because I wasn't enough. I placed her because I couldn't give her enough. Do you see the difference? It's not that she deserved better than me. It's that she deserved better than I could give her. The former is about me. The latter is about her.
I was a good mother. I took excellent care of my tiny girl. And I love her so much! Nothing in the world puts a smile on my face faster than Roo. I love her so much that I gave her the things I knew she deserved – an eternal family; a stable, happy home; parents who are utterly devoted to each other. (Please note that none of those things have to do with wealth.)
I couldn't give those things to her as her mother. So I gave them to her by giving her parents who could.
I was enough. I am still enough! But adoption wasn't about me. I'm glad that I knew that then and that I know it now. I am grateful that no one tried to convince me that placement was an admission of my failure as a mother. What an awful thing to live with! I'm glad that's not my burden to bear (I have enough, thank you).
I am sorry that there are some birth mothers out there who are burdened with that idea. But I am also sorry that some of them want to convince expectant mothers that they needn't even consider adoption because “you are enough!” It's not about being enough or having enough. It's about giving enough, and it's not personal. Adoption is no failure, it's not about giving up. It's about giving more.
Adoption wasn't about my lack; it was about her gain. I placed Roo because I was enough – mature enough, considerate enough, loving enough. I was enough – I am enough – and because of that, Roo has enough.
And that's enough about that.