Ever year certain segments of the population look forward to November’s festivities; family reunions, turkey and pumpkin pie, and Black Friday. Then there are those things that make us cringe: gross distortions of the first “Thanksgiving,” the inevitable onslaught of end-of-semester work, and… wait for it… National Adoption Month!

And the joy. The gift. The love. Adoptees and their adoptive parents and adoptive siblings celebrate and honor the special adoption that makesthem into a unique family. Yet how easy it is to leave out the one integral person whose sacrifice made such a family possible. How easy it is to rewrite the role of the nameless, faceless birthmother as one of the giver of gifts. This is how we celebrate. But if you’re a birthmother, how do you celebrate National Adoption Month? Read how adoptee, activist and author Jane Jeong Trenka imagines her birthmother might feel:

What Adoption Means to Me
By Lee Pil-rye

I did not give birth to my child “with my heart.” I gave birth to my child with my body – painful, and tearing.

I did not “give” my child to another mother as a “gift.”

I was desperate and without the means to earn enough money myself. I and my children were victims of domestic violence. There was nowhere for us to go. No one would help us. We were so alone. I had no other choice but to relinquish my children.

But my children did not feel relinquished. They felt abandoned.  I am so, so sorry.

Read the rest of her post here.