Friday, January 22, 2010

Blankets 4 Birthmothers

I hope you will check out Jessalynn's program
. She's collecting blankets to be distributed to birthmothers "after they have placed so they do not go home empty handed."

"...after they have placed so they do not go home empty handed." Every time I read that I feel sick to my stomach. But that's the bottom-line reality of placing a child for adoption. All birthmothers go home empty handed.

I've lost count of how many blankets we've been given for our two kids - some new, some family hand-me-downs, some from teachers, co-workers, neighbors... a friend of a friend of a friend. I'm kind of a blanket freak, so I love them all. I've got them stashed in the bedrooms, the family room, the playroom, the car, the stroller, the gardening basket, the kitchen... like I said, I'm kind of a blanket freak.

But the two that mean the most to me are put away in our kids' treasure boxes. The first is a big, soft, pale pink blanket that our daughter's birthmother gave us when we met. It was hers when she was a baby, given to her parents by an adoption social worker. Neither she nor her parents have ever met her first mother, so that blanket represents her connection to her beginning. She wanted our daughter to have it for the same reason, and that's how we've always talked about that blanket.

The other is a smaller, patchwork quilted blanket that our son used during his first few days in the special care nursery. All of the nursery blankets are handmade by volunteers, and most are white or pastel. One early morning I walked in for our son's 3 am feeding and found him wrapped in this vibrant, colorful, really WOW! of a blanket. The nurse overheard me murmuring to him how handsome he looked in the blanket, and from that moment on, they always put that blanket on him. When the hospital staff gave it to us at discharge I cried (of course) because I knew that they knew how much it meant to me.

A little thing? Yes, really, it is. And he and I could have been very happy the rest of our lives without that blanket. It's not about the blanket. It's about near-strangers recognizing the importance of that simple connection to his first days and honoring it... it makes me tearful even now. I can certainly do with fewer blankets in my life if it will make a difference to someone else.

So, I hope you'll check out Jessalynn's blog. You may have to browse around a little bit to find her link to Blankets 4 Birthmothers, but it's definitely worthwhile. You can email Jessalynn at

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+

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