I am already gearing up for this year’s #placed campaign.
Started by Birthmother’s Baskets, the #placed campaign is trying to reach out via social media to friends, family, Hollywood, and all people. It is trying to share with everyone what so many birthparents, families who adopted, adopted kiddos, and adoption professionals already know.
The #placed campaign is trying to raise awareness about how much love goes into an adoption plan. How much love and planning goes into a child being #placed for adoption. The love, planning, and actual outcome of adoption is better reflected by using the word “placed.” This love and planning is not reflected by the more commonly (incorrectly) used term “gave up.” (Please see below for examples of use.)
I know an awesome couple that placed their baby with the most fun, adventurous family.
I know a sassy, Cubs-loving family that have a child, #placed by Sox-fan birthparents.
You love the family you placed with? Awesome. I’m so glad.
She gave up her baby for adoption.
It must have been so hard to give up your baby.
Now, let me be honest. When I was interviewing for my internship with Pregnancy Support Services and the supervisor of the program asked me how I felt about adoption, (no, not about the couple adopting), I was thrown off track and used weak phrases such as “I haven’t really thought about the birthparents before.” And then I used incorrect phrases resembling “I guess I’d have to assume that it is really hard for a birthparent to give up a baby” and then followed up with more forgivable comments such as “I am really embarrassed, as a cousin of adopted people, that I have never before considered the birthparents that loved them first and allowed my cousins into our family.”
Fortunately that supervisor saw through my novice ways. She allowed me to meet and work with some of the strongest, loveliest, most sacrificial and thoughtful people alive: birthparents. And I have learned about their love, and about the language that comes closest to respecting and representing that love. And now I advocate. I am now able to teach birthparents that there is better language to reflect the care and pain in what they are planning, that they are choosing to #place a child for adoption.
The amount of love, care, decision making, and paperwork it takes to #PLACE a baby into a family is astounding. I have learned that even calling an agency is a difficult step. Additionally, birthparents have to trust us (the birthparent worker) to connect them to the adoption team (who work with and license the adoptive family) to make the initial match of families. Birthparents then need to trust themselves as they carefully choose the family that they will #PLACE their baby with. Their baby’s family.
Birthparents will ask that family not only to take care of and to love their baby, but to love them too. To be open with them, and to build a relationship.
After seeing the love in the decisions birthparents make, after hearing the love in the words they say, after feeling the love in the passing of gifts between families, one does not hear “
give up” or “ give away” without cringing. After watching birthparents worry about every decision, cry over their paperwork, talk to the adoptive parents like friends, like family, I want people to understand them better. I want people to know about #placed.
With practice and with focus, we can help change the language. We can help people know about #placed. We can show a birthparent, an adopted child, an adoptive family that we understand a little bit about their story.
God wove their stories together because of a birthparent’s desire to Give life. Give love. But never to
Be ready for May. If you know what a hashtag is, use it. If you still think it’s called a pound or number sign, then call or write some friends to discuss this or any other article about #placed.
I have attached some other blogs for your continued education purposes.