When I see the term, “given up” used in reference to adoption, it hits a nerve and I flitch a bit. EJ was not given up. Personally, I hate the term “given up” when discussing adoption and children.
You give up coffee. You may give up red meat. You give up an old car.
You don’t give up a kid.
People, even strangers, have asked me many times, “Why did his birth parents give EJ up?” I always answer, “They didn’t.”
There are so many reasons people are unable to parent. So many. Some are tragic and some are selfish. But most are selfless. Birth parents make the unimaginable decision to make a plan for their child. They do what they feel is best for their child, regardless of how painful and difficult it is for them. The strength that takes is truly amazing. Most birth parents, most, don’t just “give them up.” Especially in regards to international adoption, which can be complex, tragic and in some cases even corrupt.
It is unrealistic for me to think I can shield my son from everything I think may be offensive, but I will do my best. I can’t always prevent him from feeling hurt, confused or angry but I try.
And I will work hard to prevent him from ever asking the question, “Why was I given up?”
Because I know that he wasn’t.