" motherhood doesn’t have to be punitive. instead of reacting to pregnant teenagers by shaming them for having sex, kicking them out of school, firing them from their jobs, thinking of them as trashy and isolating them from their peers, withholding support and gifts that older mothers would get as a matter of course, why don’t we accept them and celebrate them? what the hell is wrong with a teenage mother anyway that we have to make sure she has it as hard as posssible? nothing inherent, nothing that society hasn’t imposed." – Kateri, Wetfeet
I love him.
I really do. I dont mean love him like spouse, partner, lover kind of love. (Although that was certainly possible). I mean I truly love him for who he is and for his existence on this planet.
I believe that I am presented with opportunities, people, experiences for some reason. I can take from them, learn from them, ignore them, enjoy them or other. Regardless, each person that passes through my life does so for a reason and sometimes they stay and sometimes they go. But I am forever changed by their presence.
He is one of those people. He is a reader here and as such I am a bit shy to gush too much about him but I must to illustrate my point.
When I think of him two words come immediately to mind: validation and hope.
The validation piece pertains to me and our friendship and how incredibly validating he was (and regularly is) to me. He has struggled with PTSD and many other life challenges. He respects pain. He doesn’t mock it, minimize or dismiss it. He allows it to be. To paraphrase Oriah Mountain dreamer, he can sit with pain, mine or his own, without moving to hide it, fade it or fix it. He lets my pain BE and therefore he lets me BE. Other than my therapist (who I PAY for his validation), he was the first person IRL that touched me so deeply. I dont know what the future will hold for our friendship but I can say confidently that he has forever touched a part of my soul and left a permanent positive mark. I would even go so far as to say he has healed a few scars. I am confident he has no idea how much he means to me or deeply he touched me. But he did.
And yeah, I love him for it.
But beyond that selfish validation, I love him for the father he is.
To protect his privacy and that of his family I will limit information but I will say this: when presented with an unplanned pregnancy in his own immediate family, he did not discard his daughter. He supported her – in more ways than one. I stood by a few months back and was witness to some incredible acts of love and kindness that this father displayed for his teenage daughter – who at the time was unwed and pregnant.
I often cried following my interactions with him. I cried for me and the love I witnessed but lacked in my own life when I needed it. I cried for him, and for his daughter and for the unborn child who would have her mama and a wonderful grandfather. I cried for the sheer beauty of it all.
He consulted me, shared with me, expressed his frustrations and concerns with me. I am honored he did.
This is where the hope comes in.
He proved to me that there is hope for our daughters and for their children. He showed me that unlike my father in 1986, Daddy can be a hero and he can help his daughter. Not only did he support his daughter, but he passed my blog on to a coworker who was considering adoption all in the name of being an informed consumer about the reality of adoption in the USofA. He has become a cheerleader for me and my work.
And yeah, I love him.
Dont give up hope. We have to believe. We have to keep fighting. We have to keep resisting the urge to give up and and give in. For if we do, if we surrender to the media, the religous nutters, and more, babies will continue to lose their mammas. Mamas will continue to be traumatized. We have the power to stop this type of child abuse.
If you save ONE baby, you save generations of that family from the trauma of adoption. You prevent collateral damage.
And the adoption industry loses.