Friday, September 28, 2012


One of my favorite quotes is the “Serenity Prayer.” For those of you who may not be familiar with it, it reads as follows: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I think this is a perfect quote for a lot of people, but especially for birth moms.

The first part of that prayer can be difficult for any birth mom regardless of placement circumstances. Even if you’re like me and have a relationship with your child and his or her adoptive parents, there can be a lot of things we wish could be or could have been different. We can wish on our darkest days that we’d never gotten pregnant in the first place or that our relationship with our child’s adoptive parents was a closer relationship. We can spend days waiting for a picture, an email, or even a text that was promised and not delivered. If you don’t have a relationship with your child and his or her parents the doubts and desires get a lot stronger. It’s not much of a stretch to believe that accepting the things you can’t change would be harder to do in that circumstance than doing the same thing if there’s not much about your relationship with your child and his or her parents that you would change.
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I think that even if you have a wonderful relationship with your child and his or her parents you still have regret. Even our greatest decisions in life are tinged with regret. I’m not saying that I believe the decision to relinquish my daughter was the greatest decision I’ve ever made. I’m not assuming you would believe the same thing about your own situation, nor should you. However even if you believe as I do that you made an appropriate decision given your circumstances at the time that you will still struggle with regret at least occasionally.

There may not be a thing you can do to change your situation, whatever it may be. But if you cannot change your situation I hope that you find serenity in the things you cannot change. This doesn’t mean that you will be happy with the situation. Finding peace in your situation is not the same as finding happiness. Happiness is elusive and reliant on situations and other people. The peace that comes with a general acceptance of your not being able to change the situation in which you find yourself is something for which to strive.

It’s not easy. I think it’s a lifetime journey just as dealing with the lifetime grief journey that starts once you relinquish your rights to your child. But I also believe that it’s possible.

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