Sunday, May 11, 2008


Today I am celebrating mother's day by ....working. Yes, I am on call today in the OB - labor and delivery floor. I am giving mother's a great gift....epidural's for delivery. It is actually very slow here....although I may have just jinxed it.

Here is the coincidence. There was a young woman getting a procedure here that required anesthesia. As I was looking through her chart, she delivered yesterday and there was a social work note that she was working with an adoption agency to place her son. I obviously can't really share any details - but the situation made me very pensive. I wanted to tell her that I was an adoptive mom, I wanted to tell her how gratefull I was that my son's birthmom made that difficult decision. I wanted to tell her how gratefull her son's adopting parents would be. I wanted to ask her how she felt, how she came to her decision, what she thought about the future. I know her experience must be totally different that Z's birthmom's, but I wanted to know anyway. I don't know Z's biological parents, I have never had the opportunity to talk with a woman in her situation.

None of the other staff in the procedure had any idea that the patient was not planning on raising her new son. They kept asking his name, how excited his brothers and sisters were, all the things you normally ask a new mom. She uncomfortably answered that she hadn't named him and just didn't really talk or answer any questions.

I wanted to say something to make the situation less uncomfortable for her, but I really couldn't figure out what to say. I didn't say anything about adoption becuase it was not my business, but I am spending all of this down time at work obsessing about what I could have said or if I should have said anything. I just gave her some versed so at least she wouldn't remember it. Better living through pharmacology.

I am sure I have mentioned this before...but the reason for reliquishment on Z's relinquishment papers is "I haven't a husband". Such irony as I adopted him as a single mother. I obviously feel so lucky to have my son - but it really angers me in all of my feminist glory to think that there are women in this world who truly can not raise children without a husband. There are single women in Kyrgyzstan who choose to keep and raise their children - I know because our in country facilitator works with programs designed to help single mother's keep and raise their children. That doesn't mean it is easy or even possible for all women there.

I sometimes wonder if at some point she will get married and come to the bishkek baby house trying to find Z and take him home. I think I wonder this in part because that is what happened to the first referral I accepted. I have this image of her heart breaking when she finds out he is in the U.S. I have an image of her signing the relinquishment papers on the day of his birth with that plan in her some day come back for him. I think if I play these scenarios in my mostly unimaginative brain - won't Z when he is older? If it breaks my heart, how will he feel about it? I trust the legality of the process in Kyrgyzstan, so I don't have to worry about so many other ugly possibilities - that I really didn't consider as major factors when choosing Kyrgyzstan as the country I would adopt from. Now that I have been through this experience of international of the first questions I will ask myself before our next adoption is whether there is any questionable practices in the process that has shut down Cambodia and now Vietnam.

1 comment:

The Stevens said...

Great post! Reminds me of my OB days before medical school! Nothing like the 3 am stat c-sections! I always liked being the hero when you walked into a room with the epidural and then you become their best friend! Cant wait to get back to enough, right? Thanks for the comments on mine!!!

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power