Sunday, October 3, 2010

The love of a birth mother

The Love of a Birthmother by Susan Scharpf
This is my original illustrated poem about the love of a birth mother. I think there are lots different reasons a birth mother gives up a baby.  Maybe she was just so young and didn't feel she had the skills and the resources to take care of a child.  Maybe she was pressured by her parents.  Maybe she was scared.  Maybe she never had any kind of family support to help her sort through her options and be there to love and help her. Or maybe it was because their life was just such a mess she couldn't see how this added responsibility could fit in. Whatever the reason, there is often a decision that this is the best thing for this child. And even if it's because they just don't want to take care of a baby, they did carry that baby to the end when they could have ended his or her life. And sometimes turning over that child is best for everyone. No one knows the deep pain that affects a person's choices. But sometimes, something wonderful comes from it. And for those of us who have dreamed of having that baby placed in our arms, that mother gave a gift that we couldn't get without her. That's what this is about. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Post your adoption stories!

So many thoughts have been in my head about this whole process. It's been a week since we finalized, and I've written 10 poems, all just a little different. So many people are sharing their experiences with me. It's one of those things that you don't realize has affected so many people around you until you start talking abou it. I have one poem that's about glass, so am looking for a glass artist to create something to go with it.

Been thinking about the baby we lost a lot lately. We had him 5 months and the "unknown" father, who wasn't really unknown, got him back. It's been 3 years and as I thought about the day he took him away, I started to tear up again. So I thought about something else. Haven't really let myself go there yet. Don't know how long it will take before I can revisit that day, but I know it's not yet. I'm thrilled we have D, but he's not a replacement. He's his own child, and little Isaac will always hold a special place in our hearts. I haven't written anything about that experience yet---maybe that's next....we'll see.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Forever Family Print

I was up for hours one night while all these poems just came to me. Now, I'm up for hours putting the images with the words. At first this was going to be the beginning of a longer poem, but I really liked the way it sounded short and sweet. One of the things you have come to terms with when you finally reach the point that you're ready to adopt, is that your child or children is probably not going to look like a combination of you and your spouse. And although that may sound a little superficial that you would want that, it's something you've often thought about since you were a kid--what will my kids look like? You have to mourn each loss, no matter what that loss is. Then, when you're filling out paperwork, you have to fill out the laundry list of things you will and won't take in a child, and part of that is physical--what ethnic groups will you accept? What if there are birth defects? It's a long exhausting list, and the emotions of making all those decisions you don't have to make with pregnancy can be daunting. But, when you get the phone call to come see your baby, if you've properly mourned all those losses step by step, you just don't care any more. And it becomes exciting to hear what they look like! Oddly enough, our baby wound up looking a lot like us afterall! So funny how that happens sometimes. But, even if he hadn't, we couldn't love him more if he was flesh and blood.

Newest piece of art

Here is the latest in my series of Adoption related prints. It's great for adoptive kids, because it reminds them that the great differences within their adoptive family can be a strength. Comparing making a salad to adoption, this poem joys in the things that might otherwise separate. A little bit of an ode to Shel Silverstein, he being a huge influence on my writing. Available on my Etsy website. Check it out! Custom sizes available. A really wonderful gift for an adoptive family.

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Saving Us"

All artwork and poems are copyrighted and may not be reused without my permission. When I first posted this painting, we had just finalized the adoption of our first child the day before. It had been a crazy ride, from years of failed fertility treatments, the long process to just get on the list to adopt, losing our first son back to his biological father five months into the process, to waiting out the fourteen months it took to finalize D's adoption from the time we took him home at seven weeks old. I began writing down the thoughts that were flooding my mind and they came out in the form of poems and images. I wanted to put together an exhibit centered on adoption, and then that got put on the back burner until D got a little older. He is two and a half now, and I'm ready to get back to putting together that exhibit and a collection of my own illustrated writings on the subject. This particular print was specifically about our adoption, and the images look like us. My little dark, curly headed boy, happily wrapped in the arms of love. People have told us how great we are to give a child a better life, but we have come to see how much he has brought to us and saved us in so many ways. I never considered that we were in it just to give him a better life. I just wanted a child. But having him has really confirmed that. He has saved me in so many ways. And the love I had for him more than a year ago when I painted this, has only grown in leaps and bounds.