|Grady Jin: Year of the Tiger|
When I read about the challenge for 21 Days of Gratitude that Inspired by Family Magazine was putting together, I quickly got on board. Modeling and encouraging gratitude, even at an early age, is so important for children and parents, alike. There is so much around us to be thankful for and more often than not, the daily hustle and bustle pushes that awareness far from our minds.
November is the perfect month to get start making gratitude a practice and a priority for all members of the family. There are so many ways that you begin to make daily gratitude a significant part of your day as a parent and it's as easy as sharing what you are thankful for with your family, friends, or even an online community.
I am grateful for so many things in my life, but one blessing that pops into my head at this moment is my son's birthmother. Ever since we began the process of adopting my son in April of 2010, the word birthmother has triggered so many different emotions and thoughts. Here are just some of my thoughts I have about this wonderful women...
I am grateful that Grady's birthmother had the strength and courage to bring this sweet child into the world. I am thankful that she had the support she needed, in one way or another, to give him his start in life and to make an almost impossible decision. I think about her often, especially when I see his smile and experience his abundant joy that he shares with everyone that he meets. It is without a doubt in my mind, that this wonderful little boy most definitely was loved from the moment he entered into this world. His peaceful nature and exuberant demeanor, in part, has come from knowing that he is loved and feeling that love from day one.
In my own experience, when the subject of birthmothers come up, most of the time it is met with curiosity and mixed feelings. I've often heard questions such as: "Why did she give him up?" "How old is she?" "Do you know anything about his mother or father?" I understand that without being touched by adoption firsthand, others may not know the right questions to ask. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE sharing stories about adoption and what our journey was like during our own experience. I could talk about it for hours. But please, keep in mind, these women are special to us - the adoptive parents and child. For without them, we would not have the precious bundles of joy that fill our heart with happiness each and every day of our lives.
With those questions in mind, this is what I know and this is why I am grateful for, not only Grady's birthmother, but all of the women who had the strength to do what they did. There aren't many reasons that a mother chooses to give up her child. Does it really matter? The bottom line is that she wanted a better life for her child. She loved him enough to give him a family, a life, that she felt was out of her reach.
I also know that these are important members of our family, whether we've met them or not. They will always hold a special place in our hearts. No matter what their circumstances were, they chose life for their little one. They chose to do what they felt was best for their babies. I am grateful for that choice, because with that choice came the birth of our family. Our family tree may have roots in different areas, but the love for my son branches out across an ocean and reaches into the hearts of those that created him and those that continue to care for him as he grows.
We celebrate these women. We send thoughts of comfort and hope that they can have peace of mind believing in the fact that their child will be cared for each and every day of their existence.
We don't question them. We don't think negatively of them. We are grateful for them. After all, this mother, will be a part of Grady's life...his identity...his story. We will share with him all that we know about her, and only him. Because she is a part of his story, not anyone else's. So please, the next time that you question someone about their child's birthmother, remember that she is the person that gave their child life. What could be more special than that?
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