A few days after my firstborn son graced us with his presence, I sat in my living room cradling him while he slept. I was chatting with my parents, who had traveled from South Africa to herald the arrival of their first grandchild. I looked down at my sleeping baby and my heart filled with so much love that I thought I was going to burst. Softly, I said, “Giving away a baby must be the hardest decision in the world for a mom.”
As I uttered those words, I was thinking of the circumstances of my own birth.
Having a baby out of wedlock was considered to be a social disgrace 42 years ago – so much so that when my birth mother became pregnant, she left town in order to avoid telling her parents. Sometimes I try to put myself in the shoes of this woman who was young and frightened, living in a strange city far away from everyone she knew, and trying to decide on the fate of her unborn child. (more…)