The least selfish act of all

When I was a little kid I asked my Mother for a brother.  She told me that she could no longer bear children, but she had put our name on a list with the doctor so we might adopt a little brother.  I was seven years old before our name came to the top of the list.  Finally, the day came when my parents brought my brother Dave home.  At long last, I had my baby brother!

We never hid from Dave the fact that he was adopted and I don’t think he ever tried to find his birth parents.  He was one of us from the minute he came home; period.  Dave is an architect in Denver.

Stan, Don, and Dave Salyards

Stan, Don, and Dave Salyards

I’ve got a good relationship with him and his family.  Last night we texted each other as his Bronco’s lost, along with my Packers.  Yes; brothers can even suffer together!

It has occurred to me that adoption may be the least selfish act of all.  When a young woman decides to give her child to another couple, she puts the child ahead of herself.  She is not ruled by the emotion of the moment, but by reason.  She knows that the child will undoubtedly be better off with another couple.  Furthermore, the couple adopting the child is usually motivated by a genuine love for the child, and is thrilled to be part of that child’s future.  The birth mother can move on in her life, knowing that she has done the right thing for her baby.

On the other hand, keeping a baby without the necessary maturity and financial independence to raise him/her in a stable home may be the most emotional, selfish act of all.  A child isn’t a possession or a pleasant distraction; children are a huge responsibility.  In the United States single mother families are the demographic group most likely to live in poverty.  Most of time the cycle of poverty repeats itself, with the next generation also giving birth as single mothers.

To mothers who have given up a child in adoption, I want to thank you!  Some mother I’ll never know allowed me to have a brother.  There are countless millions of people who have found joy in raising an adopted child.  The birth mothers of these children are the real heroes in this dynamic.  Thanks for acting in the interests of your child.  Thanks for committing the least selfish act of all; adoption.

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One Response to The least selfish act of all

  1. Laura says:

    Well Said. Unconditional Love. Reminds me of this poem :
    Once there were two women who never knew each other,
    One – you do not remember, the other you call mother.
    Two different lives shaped to make yours,
    One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.
    The first gave you life, and the second taught you to live in it.
    The first gave you a need for love and the second was there to give it.
    One gave you a nationality; the other gave you a name.
    One gave you the seed of talent; the other gave you an aim.
    One gave you emotions; the other calmed your fears.
    One saw your first sweet smile; the other dried your tears.
    One gave you up – that’s all she could do.
    The other prayed for a child and God led her straight to you.
    Now you ask through all your tears the age-old question through the years;
    Heredity or environment – which are you a product of?
    Neither, my darling – neither – just two different kinds of love.

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