Tuesday, August 2, 2011


"You're not what I expected....." 

Someone said this to me recently. They had never met me before but knew that they would be meeting me that day and they knew ahead of time that I am a birthmother. I guess by their comment that they had some preconceived ideas of how a birthmother might appear or act and I’m also guessing by their comment that I didn’t meet their preconceived notion of a birthmother.

I jokingly asked if I was better or worse than what they expected and they responded with better. Perhaps they were expecting someone younger, like a teenager or perhaps they were expecting someone who was uneducated. Maybe they were expecting someone who wasn’t parenting a child or maybe someone who isn’t married. I really don’t know; I’m not really sure what they were expecting! But whatever it was, I wasn’t it.

One thing I learned quickly once becoming active in the birthmother and adoption community is that birthmothers come in all different shapes, sizes, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, levels of education, etc. We (birthmothers) have chosen adoption for different reasons and we have varying different types of adoption and thoughts and views on adoption. But there is that one common bond that draws us all together – our (birth) children. 

There is no “look” or “age” that predicts who is going to choose adoption and become a birthmother. And we may or may not be what someone else is expecting when they think of the word birthmother. The truth of the matter is, we each define ourselves instead of our choices defining us. Being a birthmother is only a small part of who we are.

Photo Credit 


  1. I actually had someone say that to me once, as well. Although I guess I AM closer to the more stereotypical birthmother than some. Simply that I was 15 when I got pregnant (maybe it's because they don't expect you to STILL BE a birthmother 10 years later?? LOL!) But I almost wondered the same thing. I'd really love to be able to get an honest answer from a very upfront person to tell me what exactly DO you expect a birth mother to look, act and BE like? It confused me a lot. LOL and of course I assume someone is just going to give me a polite answer when I ask, not really what they REALLY were expecting.

  2. Heck. You're not what *I* expected and I'd seen pictures of you before we met! I think we all go into meetings with ideas of what someone's going to be like and none of us are right about what someone's going to be. You are wonderful. Just the way you are!

  3. I love this post, Coley! Isn't this the truth? It actually reminds me of when my daughter was born and my parents were so surprised she was beautiful! Like they were expecting an alien or something! ;-) We're just people. It's a good reminder to us all to not judge people by what we see.