Sunday, July 18, 2010

Not so simple...birth siblings

Ive been watching a new show. Its a follow up to the ever popular "16 and pregnant." Its called "teen mom" and you can view it on MTV or if you have Comcast you can find it on the "past season catch up" button on demand.

Many of these stories are focused on these teen moms who chose to keep and parent their babies; however, one story follows a girl and her boyfriend who made an adoption plan for their little girl. Tears flood my eyes as I watch the scenes play out. How smart and brave these two young people were to give their baby away...a baby that they certainly would have had plenty of love for, but not the means to raise.

I found myself in almost the same situation. I got pregnant, gave my baby up for adoption...but for me it was more then that. Ty was my fifth child. I knew that my decision would impact not only me, but my other four children a great deal. I also knew that Ty would live no ordinary life. Yes his life is extraordinary, but certainly not ordinary. He doesn't realize it now, but the questions will come. Fortunately (and I knew this when I picked them) his parents are wise, and loving, and trustworthy, and will only do what is best for him...and that will be to tell him where he came from and why his life is so extraordinary not ordinary. He will learn these things about his life and his past (even though he was in my belly) and it will become not such a big deal...no surprises...no secrets. Rebekah and I talk about this often. Our conversation is open and honest and effortless.

For my other four kids...they think of Ty as nothing less then their brother. They refer to him as their brother and nobody corrects them when they do (not I nor Rebekah and Ben). How can you take that away from a child? They watched him grow as my belly got bigger. They placed their sweet hands on him and felt him kick. He was real, he is real.

I am not naive to the fact that my kids hurt because of the adoption. They have suffered a great loss...a loss equivalent (the experts say) to a death. Sometimes I think they suffered more then I did. I'm older, and I knew exactly what I was doing...but they didn't have a choice...they didn't have a voice. I couldn't give them a voice because I knew what was best for them, even though they couldn't understand.

My children have noticeable wounds because of my choices. I can hardly type that without crying. Can you imagine my pain...its painful...to give a baby away, not because you don't love him, not because you don't want him, but simply because there is not enough of you to go around, because if you kept the baby it would mean that everyone would suffer a lack of attention and a lack of time. One thing I have learned in my fourteen years of being a mom is the biggest thing that children require is time. You could be poor as dirt or as rich as the hills, but if you don't spend time with your kids, nothing else matters. My gift to all five of my kids....was time.

I know my kids hurt, Ty might hurt someday to, but I pray for only a moment, until he grasps the full truth of what I chose for him.

So we heal, we heal, we heal. Time heals.

11 comments:

Michelle said...

in a perfect world adoption wouldn't be necessary... but this is a fallen world, far short of perfect.

that said, i think that IF adoption is necessary, Ty's situation is the very best ANYONE could pray for. his adoptive parents not only love him as their own, they love the family he was born into. they have (as far as i can tell from what is shared on your blogs) kept all their promises to you & i can't imagine that changing. Ty will be ENCOURAGED to have a relationship with you & your family - that alone is so rare in adoption, especially because Ben & Rebekah WANT this for him. many of the parents that allow that relationship simply allow it, not encourage it, and Ty will NEVER have to feel that loving you is being disloyal to them.

Ty is one blessed little boy. and with time, love, and prayer, everyone who loves him will help him see that.

Rebekah said...

This was really good Rebekah. Your words touch people in a way that mine never will. You offer such good perspective and I love you for it!

You have given all of yourself to your kids and one day they WILL see it. I know it doesn't feel like it some days as they press you past your limits, but you are sewing GOOD seeds that will bear fruit.

Keep on keep'n on.

birthmothertalks said...

My children were/are affected by my choice/forced to place my daughter for adoption. They hurt too. They long for that sister that was never to be. I know it's not the same as watching mommy's tummy grow but one day to learn that mommy had a baby and gave her/him away is huge. It does cause all kinds of questions and some pain. All of my children are reunited on a social network and it's been interesting to let them decide what role to play in each other's life.
My biggest question or concern is this and I hope that I word it right. When my daughter was placed or adoption (if I go by my parents choice. (it was in the best interest of her) However, you say that playing Ty was in the best interest for Ty and your other four children. I know they are going to hurt no matter what. But something I wonder is when Mom's are already a parent and then choose adoption.. how do you prevent your children from feeling like they are the cause? That you placed Ty for them and so that makes it their fault. Ya know how some children think that it's their fault that their parents split? Not true at all. But how do you prevent or try to prevent them from feeling like they are the reason that Ty was placed.
I used to watch teen Mom and don't because I don't have cable anymore. From what I have heard is that at least two Mom's have placed children for adoption. right? I can't help but wonder if it's trying to make the ones that are parenting out to look bad to promote adoption. Let's be honest and admit that being a new Mom can look very stressful. I watched it but I don't think it's fair to be having something so deep as an adoption on tv for the whole world to see.

Faith said...

Oh, Rebekah, you are so strong. Your decisions are yours and only yours, and you are right, Ty is living an extraordinary life (from what I can see from my perspective)! All I can say is keep the lines of communication open, continue to be honest with all of your children, and all of you WILL heal. Thank you for continuing to share your story - the good, the bad AND the ugly:). We all learn so much from you...

Sissy said...

I love what you said and how you said it. I love that I read both you and Rebekah's blogs and that you have such a great relationship. If only all adoptions could be so loving and honest.

Thank you for sharing your heart.

webkinzfan said...

Yes, time heals. What you and the kids are going through sounds completly normal to me. Healing takes time- sometimes a long time. I'll be praying for you and the kids as you continue to heal. I'm so thankful to finally be able to read your blog- Ty's story from your perspective. I found it tonight and it touches my heart just like "Heart Cries" does. I wish I could know you and your kids in real life. I wish I could hug you all. I don't know about you, but when I'm upset hugs really help-even if they don't change the situation that made my sad! So here's a virtual HUG- sory it can't be the real thing- sent straight from my heart to yours!! Tracy from Iowa

webkinzfan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yolanda said...

Rebekah-

I have followed your story, and Ben and Rebekah's, and Ty's- for quite some time. There are so many things I could say here, but most importantly, you guys are so awesome it makes my heart smile everytime you post a new blog. One day I'll start one too, I just don't know how well I'd keep up!

I watch Teen Mom too, and I identify so well because I, yes (gasp), had my first child at the ripe old age of 15. Now, I could go through a long list of defenses against the stereotype I know I face. But I truly sought God in every decision after the one I made to give birth and parent, and he has sent me blessings beyond belief- an education, an incredible career, a wonderful husband, a great home in a great neighborhood with great schools, and a baby brother for my daughter. But none of it came without daily sacrifices. And she is still wounded that her biological father is not a part of the picture, I think it still bothers her that my husband and son have such a close relationship (though he loves her dearly too and has been in her life for 11 years, the bond is simply different).

I guess what I am saying is that none of us are perfect parents. I know that some of us may think we did everything right- married the right person, waited for the perfect time to have children, drove the SUV to soccer practice, and so on. But there's a great number of us who didn't. And even those who did will make some mistakes. When you stated-- "My children have noticeable wounds because of my choices. I can hardly type that without crying."-- you really touched my heart in a place that runs so deep. Because my children have and will suffer wounds because of my choices too. And so will the children of Super Mom because they won't always understand her choices either. I can count the wounds from my own mother, and I know that one day if she hasn't already, my daughter will count hers too. But I hope she always knows that I tried to choose the lesser wound- the one that would leave her with the smallest scar. And maybe that's what you did too. You chose to give your children everything you could based on the choices you could make NOW. You can't change the past, but you most certainly can do your best to mold a brighter future.

I know our situations are so very, very different. But our feelings are very similar. We both love our children. We both want what is best for them. And we both make choices by seeking God and with that in mind. Healing is only inevitable- because you chose the wound for them that would leave the smallest scar.

"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit, To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit." - 1 Corinthians 12:7-9

I know this is quite a long comment (and should be a blog itself except that I already said I don't have one :), but I've held in words for a long time while reading both blogs. Rebekah, you have been given wisdom, faith, miracles, and I know that you and your family will be given healing. Love those kiddos like only you can and in Rebekah's words- you just keep on keepin' on!!

- Yolanda

Bestdayever said...

Time never heals with adoption. Your children will never get over this loss.

webkinzfan said...

What Bestdayever said may be true to some extent, but I believe that the pain will decrease over time. Bestdayever- I believe that this comment is harsh. Rebekah already feels bad enough. It seems like you are just rubbing salt into her wounds. She made the best decision she could for all five of her children and she gave such great joy to her son's adoptive parents. I don't believe that the kids are scared for life or anything like that. Rebekah, I believe that everybody involved is very forturate to have an open adoption. I wish that had been an option back in 1966 when I was adopted. Tracy

Debbie B said...

They'll understand one day, slowly and with hesitation, they will.
You did what you believed was right for your entire family. And you are raising your children now which means they'll be raised with the same kind of beliefs that you do (of course they may fight them along the way) but in the end, they'll understand how much you were thinking of each of them.
Are there any adoption groups around you. Maybe some place that your children can express how they feel in a group of others in the same or similar situation.