The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


To my birth mother

Her sacrifice took courage

Last year I found myself in unfamiliar emotional territory. I'm an average 34-year-old who was raised in a loving Lutheran home. I married at the age of 29 and gave birth to Wyatt, my first child, Dec. 6. I'm adopted. I hadn't considered this a differentiator — until recently.

Pregnancy uncovers many emotions and sides to our personality. I didn't expect it would surface an appreciation and understanding for my birth mother. I was told at an early age that I was adopted. I've never had the desire to find my birth mother. The woman — or more accurately, girl — who gave birth to me made a difficult decision. She's entitled to her privacy and life — just as I feel I'm entitled to mine.

But something has changed. I view this girl differently now. Pregnancy is incredibly exciting, scary and exhilarating for a woman. What must it have been like for a 19-year-old carrying an unplanned child in 1967?

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February issue


Embracing diversity