"We are all just one circumstance away from really bad situations."
It made me think, on many levels. It's true for me. And probably true for you. And definitely true for the birthmothers we work with.
Children who are placed for adoption come from many different circumstances. Still, we encounter people who think it is okay to say whatever they want about a child's birth parents; the very people that gave your child life - and gave you the opportunity to be a parent. So, why do people think it is okay to speculate about the choices of birth parents? There are those who seem to believe that the only women who would place a baby for adoption are young, single, and poor. While that profile might fit some birth mothers, it certainly does not fit all.
There is a certain segment of our society that says, "If you want to be successful then all you have to do is work hard and make the right choices". That sounds nice, but if your reality is dysfunctional family and lack of support, poor education, low socioeconomic factors and lack of opportunity, it is difficult make seemingly right choices. They aren't available to you. There are some who do it, but those very few usually have someone in their life helping them make the right choice and offering the opportunity. This isn't an excuse for their behavior, but a look into why things happen this way.
Working in adoption, we have access to more than average amount of information on birth parents, and it's often quite clear how a birth mother's choices led her to where she is. And to be honest, I feel for them - I really do. Because most of them are really good, caring women who love their children. But usually they have no family support. They rarely have examples of functional parenting/family life, and most are doing the very best they can with what they know.
If one circumstance had been different, they'd probably be in very different situation.
I can only imagine how hard it is for parents with little support and multiple challenges.
As one of my daughter's birthmother told me, "I've made a lot of bad choices in my life, but placing this baby is the best one I've ever made. And one I will always be proud of."
So maybe next time there are judgments being made about a birthparent, exercise a little tolerance. Appreciation. And maybe even just . . . love.