These were the words my mother said to me when she spoke about me and my birth mother. At first, I thought it is very sweet and endearing. I agreed with her and felt like as though I was a gift.
It wasn’t until later when I started to hear the stories of birth mothers and the pain that they have to endure to gain the courage to relinquish their natural born child and give up their rights to parent. Hearing the stories of endless tears, doubt, regret, confusion, grief, lies, and fear made me think… “Was I really a gift from my birth mother?”
It just seems so hard to believe that if my birth mother even felt just one or two of these feelings, then how can I be given as a gift. Gifts are given from one person to another with the desire to give. Did my mother have the desire to give her child to another family? Gifts are wrapped up in beautiful, shiny, wrapping paper with a large red bow. Did I come wrapped up in a bow with a card? Gifts are given without any obligation attached. Did my birth mother feel obligated to give her child away?
I am not trying to take away the feeling or minimize my mothers feelings about receiving her gift. If she wants to feel and believe that I was a gift, then she has every right to feel that way. For all I know, my mother could be talking about something completely different than what I am speaking of now. My interpretation could be off or my simple minded understanding of her words could be a long shot from her truth. I am not in her position.
Now that I know how some birth mothers feel about giving birth and really having no other options that keep their child with them, I don’t think my birth mother sees it the same way. I truly believe that no woman would view their child as a gift to give to another family. I do not have any children of my own at this point, so I can only imagine how heartbreaking and devastating it could be to give up my rights to parent my child regardless of the situation I am in. And now to turn and wrap that heartache and trauma into a gift of love with a bow seems to be minimizing the feelings of the first woman involved.