There are approximately two million couples in the U.S. who would love to adopt a baby, yet less than 1% of those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy choose the adoption option. It’s too often never discussed or considered as a viable plan of action for birthmother and child.
Lamb of God Maternity Home is working to assist women who have chosen to place their babies for adoption with one of these couples who want a child in to be a part of their “forever family.” Lamb of God Maternity Home helps a pregnant woman in crisis with 24/7 support. The Home helps about one hundred women a year with resources, adoption education and support through their crisis line. Able to house 6 residents at a time, Lamb of God Maternity Home has housed over 80 women since opening in 2013. All services are free. These include shelter, food, counseling, financial literacy and life skills, spiritual direction, educational/vocational help, transportation, and one-on-one mentoring. Individualization of access to other needed services such as employment, schooling, and addiction programs are also available at no cost to the women. The program is designed to support the woman throughout the pregnancy and complete the journey to self-sufficiency and the appropriate integration of their role in the child’s life afterwards. The founder, Grace Dulaney, is a birth mother herself and obviously has a huge heart for pregnant women in crisis situations.
Adoption Advocate, Nicole Berrong, speaks of birth mothers as “absolute heroes.” She began as a mentor to birth mothers but after a year and a half applied for and was hired as the Adoption Advocate for Lamb of God. Her love for birth mothers began decades ago as she adopted two children, now 20 years and 18 years old.
Nicole explains that today, most adoptions are termed “open adoptions” where the children know their birth parents and even grandparents. Birth fathers can also be involved, if they so choose. There is no secrecy or shame involved with this very courageous decision made by birthmothers or with the forever families who adopt. The birth mother may choose the level of openness that feels comfortable for her. She is encouraged and guided to understand her feelings, so that she is prepared and supported during her decision and as the process continues with the adopting family.
Nicole also shares that Lamb of God is one of only 2 out of 400 maternity homes in the U.S. that houses women that are facing an unplanned pregnancy when exclusively choosing adoption as their parenting plan.
If you, or someone you know and love, is in this situation, prayerfully consider the adoption option for that unborn child and for the birthmother and the family who will accept and also love that child.
Below is an excerpt from a poem written anonymously by a birthmother about her baby that sums up what generosity and courageous love a woman must have for a child she places in an open adoption.
Please contact Lamb of God at this number for any questions you may have, if this could be an option for you or someone you love at 760-294-7969. The Crisis Line number is 760-715-6463 for anyone in an emergency situation.
“Their world is so much brighter
So I share my love for you
With lots of happy smiling faces
& they will let me love you too
I will always love you
I want you to know
You are in my heart forever
You are everywhere I go
Now we wait on your arrival
We can’t wait for you to see
How good it feels to share a love
That only through God can be
Our happy smiling faces
Stand together now as one
To love this life inside of me
Our precious little (one).”
(This entry first appeared on the San Diego Walk for Life website.)
Compassion is a wonderful quality in human beings. I would say that it’s an indispensable quality, a virtue even, in a civilized society. When an individual has compassion toward another human being, that can only be a good thing. Conversely, when compassion is warranted but not forthcoming, it often creates a tragic situation.
I came to the conclusion a few years ago that one of the disconnects between the pro-life and the pro-choice movements is misplaced compassion. It is critical that the needs of a woman, and the baby in the mother’s womb, both be considered. It seems, for some in our culture, though, that unless that child is wanted, a baby is quite disposable. In that instance, when an unplanned pregnancy causes challenges for the woman, their compassion engulfs the pregnant woman who is viewed as a victim. But the baby is not considered at all, except as an obstacle that must be swept away as soon as possible so the woman can go back to her ‘normal’ life. That’s misplaced compassion.
Actually, there is plenty of compassion to be heaped upon the mother and the child. The vast majority of the pro-life movement do consider both and are moved with compassion for both. Indeed, there are a myriad of non-profit organizations that exist to accompany the birth mother through pregnancy, delivery, and beyond. And many of those organizations are right here in the San Diego area. I have a list of them. There are more pregnancy resource centers in this area now than abortion facilities. The workers in these centers are the 2020 San Diego Walk for Life theme – Live Serve Embrace Life – in action.
The erroneous belief some people have, that those who are pro-life only care about the baby, is simply not the case. Whether it’s finding a place for the mother-to-be to live, or helping her finish her education/getting training, or finding subsidized childcare so the mom can return to a job, there are pro-life advocates who stand at the ready to assist. They know any help they give to the mom will only positively affect her child and the quality of life for both. Additionally, for the woman who decides she is not able to care for the baby she’s carrying, there are other agencies that can help with placing the child in an adoptive home where a loving, overjoyed couple is waiting for the new member to make their family complete.
Pro-life women and men are about abundant life for moms and kids, (and even for dads, should the father of the baby choose to be engaged in the life of the new little one).
It’s important, I think, that those of us who stand for life make it clear that we love them both, the women who carry the babies and the babies who are counting on their mothers to bring them into a loving world where they are very much wanted and where there will be much rejoicing at their birth.
Misplaced compassion for one over the other in a pregnancy situation is not good for either; it’s not great for our culture, either. And any misunderstanding of the desire to take care of both mother and child must be rectified. #LoveThemBoth #LiveServeEmbraceLife
Lynda is the author of one book (so far!) and has a blog by the same name, Drowning in Lemonade. She lives in San Diego with her husband. The above post was previously published on the San Diego Walk For Life website.
My name is Lynda. I am an author and blogger who volunteers at Lamb of God Maternity Home. I hope to share some thoughts with you here, as well as some of my other entries from my personal blog, Drowning in Lemonade.
My name is Laura, and I am the Program Director at the home. I also respond to all the crisis phone calls that come into our office or on the crisis hotline which is monitored 24/7.