One thing you must know about me is that I'm a reality TV watching fool. Seriously. Even if it looks like the most ridiculous show ever created in life (Sister Wives, All-American Muslim etc.) I'll give it a watch at least once, and usually that means I'm hooked. Surprisingly enough one reality show that I hadn't gotten sucked into is Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant. I always felt like they were somehow glorifying teen pregnancy and just providing a way for these girls to be "famous" in a way by being on television and I just couldn't jump on that train. The story line is obviously something that hits close to home and perhaps that was maybe an underlying reason as to why I didn't want to watch. However, last week I gave it a go and boy was I hooked! Then again today I caught an episode where the end result was an open adoption and oh my stars was that an emotional moment for me. It chronicled the birth mom (who is adopted herself) going back and forth between keeping the baby or giving it up for adoption. She waffled on this decision for at least the last five months of her pregnancy and didn't have full support from the birth father either. Her mom was a nagging mess that was basically forcing her into choosing adoption and the poor girl was just a train wreck. There were two things she said in the episode that stood out to me.
First, "He's (the baby) is my only blood relative, and now I'm going to give him away." So true and heartbreaking. Not only did FM give her baby up for adoption, she gave away the only piece of family that she has left. Unreal the sacrifice this kid made for her kid. I watched through tears as the girl on Teen Mom wrestled with the fact that she knew she couldn't give her son the life he deserved. I watched her give birth and sob, and hold him and know that she was making the right decision. I cried even harder when I saw her hand the baby over to the adoptive parents. That was me over a year ago, and while I can't remember every last detail I do remember feeling connected to FM in a way that I don't think either of us understand. Her trust in me, while it's sort of weird given the fact that I'm 15 years older than her, didn't go unnoticed.
Second, "I don't have my birth mother here to tell me why she chose adoption, but I know that because of the openness in adoption I chose for my son I'll be able to explain to him with my own words one day why I chose it for us." So wise for a 17 year old! I will tell you that's always one of my top three reasons for being ok with an open adoption. I want that line of communication to be available to Emery whenever she's ready for it. I want those questions answered mostly by the one who made those decisions, and for Emery to have that is priceless.
There are many times where I wonder how lonely FM is. She has no parents or family besides a sister that randomly pops up every now and then so I just can't help but wonder how she gets through life. Who is on her side? Who can she trust? Who does she love and who loves her? Will she be the minority and come out on top? Or will she age out of foster care and just get lost in life and into things she shouldn't? It just plain sucks. As watched this show I saw this girl being supported by her parents, they were there for the delivery and post delivery. They were there when she came home without a baby. FM tried to parent Emery after she was born, and she just couldn't do it. That just shows her strength and tenacity which I see in my little love every single day.
That episode not only gave me insight but visually it allowed me a sneak peek into the thought process and truly difficult struggle that every birth mom faces when they choose adoption. I don't care how they got to that point, and I don't care how many times they've done it. They all have their own stories. They don't choose the easy way out, and most importantly they chose life for their child even if they aren't planning on being the ones to help them live it.