In honor of National Adoption Month, we’re bringing you a series this week on adoption and fostering. We hope “A Road to Adoption” provides helpful information for those considering the journey and those who’ve already started!
The idea of BraveLove began in 2012, with a small group of people working with a local pregnancy resource center in Dallas. They witnessed their clients weren’t even considering adoption as an option when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. This observation was consistent with the National Council for Adoption’s Fact Book, which says 2% of women faced with an unplanned pregnancy choose adoption. So often the brave act of placing a baby for adoption is viewed in a negative light, when in reality it is a selfless, difficult, and loving act a mother can make for her child.
As an adoptive mother, I have two adopted children and two biological children. My husband and I are immeasurably grateful to the women who carried our babies, and delivered them into this world, so I have a huge heart for these brave women who place their children for adoption. I started BraveLove to change the way our culture thinks about adoption and the women who choose to place.
Our mission is to change the perception of adoption through honest, informative, and hopeful communication that conveys the heroism and bravery a birth mother displays when she places her child with a loving family through adoption.
The heartbreaking truth is that many women facing unplanned pregnancy feel unable to care for a child. Sometimes the single-most loving thing a mother can do is place her child with a loving adoptive family. We aim to invite and empower women to choose adoption.
If I could convey one message to birth parents it would be that you are loved, respected, and honored. We recognize what you did as a great act of love for your child, and we want others to see you as the brave loving person you really are. You gave your child what you yourself could not give. There is no greater act of selflessness.
In the same regard, if I could convey one message to adoptive parents it would be that your child can only benefit from knowing how loved they are by all the parents (adoptive and birth) in the equation. Every child in an adoptive situation, domestic or international, has a birth mother and birth father somewhere out there. The existence of these individuals needs to weigh upon adoptive parents as they seek to rear their children. It makes me sad that we may never know the birth parents of our adopted children. We may never be able to thank them or show them the incredible fruit of their sacrifice. As much as we are the mommies and daddies to our children, there are two other very important people out there that need to be honored, talked about, and recognized for the role they played in the child’s existence in your family.
Excerpt from a BraveLove open-letter written by Dallas Moms Blog contributor Sally to her birth mom:
I hope that you are in love. I hope you have kids. I hope you think of me. And most of all, I hope that one day you will read this so that you know that I am happy because of what you gave me – a beautiful life. Sincerely, Sally
BraveLove is so much more than I ever thought it would be! At the very beginning, we were not quite sure who BraveLove should be targeting. Everybody is an influencer. Everybody plays a role in a birth mother’s choice to place for adoption. Our perceptions affect the decisions others make. We want BraveLove’s message to touch everybody in a birth parent’s sphere of influence — grandparents, teachers, pastors, friends and family, so that when birth parents decide to place for adoption, they have a network of support that can walk with them through this hard decision. This is not just a movement for birth mothers – it’s for everybody. As we began researching and asking questions, it became loud and clear that the birth parent story was one that needed to be told. It is our honor to acknowledge these unsung heroes of adoption.
BraveLove believes that adoption can be a beautiful thing. We also recognize that there is grief, pain and emotion for all those involved in the process. This is no easy decision, which is why we’ve named this “BraveLove.”
Will you join us in spreading this adoption message?
We invite you to spread the BraveLove by reading our stories, watching our videos and then telling others about our mission. Visit BraveLove.org to find out how to get involved or share your own story.
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Ellen Porter grew up in Dallas, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Corporate Communications. She is married to Reid Porter and is a stay at home mom to her 4 young children. They developed a heart for adoption early in their marriage while attending a Steven Curtis Chapman concert, and the Lord has been working in Ellen’s heart ever since to increase the number of babies that are placed in loving families for adoption.