If you spend any amount of time on Facebook, you've probably seen at least one or two of the following: a photo of a person adopted as a child who is desperately searching for their birth parents. They're so sweet, you can't help but hit share. And now a woman on the other side of the coin is looking for the same outpouring of Internet support.
She wasn't adopted. She was, is, the birth mom to a little girl she named Crystal Dawn when she gave birth to her way back in 1969. Four days later, her daughter was adopted and the commonwealth of Virginia sealed the records. Now, in a photo that's spreading like wildfire across the Internet, she holds a sign telling her daughter that she has always loved her.
Are you tearing up yet?
I'm glad to see this photo getting some attention for Crystal's (or whatever her name is now) sake and for her birth mom's. But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I was drawn to this particular story because this was a mom rather than a kid.
The world has a pretty negative view of biological mothers who place their kids for adoption. Just ask someone who has adopted a child how many times they've been praised for "rescuing" their new son or daughter. It's meant as a compliment, but really it's a smack against the woman who gave birth to the child and -- for one reason or another -- decided adoption was the right route for her.
Fact: women choose adoption for myriad reasons. Back in the '60s, when Crystal was born, times were especially rough for young pregnant girls, for single moms. Often adoption was less a choice than a reality forced on these girls by a judgmental society. There's still some of that today, and there are other reasons too. Some women know they simply aren't ready for parenthood. Some are dealing with situations where they don't have the support they'll need to provide for their child.
All of them are doing something they think is right for the baby. It isn't about not loving a child. It's about loving them so much that they want something better for them than what they can give.
This is what makes the note on Crystal's mom's photograph so important to the world. This is why her mission is one we should all get behind. Because bio moms aren't monsters. They're women who are trying to do their best for their kids their way. And they could use our support.
Will you share Crystal's mom's plea? How does it affect how you think of birth moms?
Image via In Search of Crystal