New Life Family Services hosted its 17th Annual Birth Mother Dinner on Friday May 12th. The theme for this year’s event was “Growth: The Life-long Journey.”
Guest Speaker, Jen Joas, shared about her personal journey of growth since placing her daughter for adoption 22 years ago through New Life. She challenged the birth moms in attendance to share their own adoption stories in order to bring hope and encouragement to others who are still struggling with the decision they made to place their children for adoption.
New Life Family Services hosted their first Birth Mother Dinner in 2001 as a way to honor and support the loving and courageous adoption decision made by birth mothers.
Director of Adoption at New Life, Jennifer Patrick, shared, “For birth mothers, this event might be the only time they are honored and recognized for being a mother. It takes a lot of strength to make the decision to place for adoption, but also to continue to figure out where it fits in your life. It is often misunderstood, so the power of this event is for these birth mothers to be in a room with other people who truly understand the range of emotions involved in an adoption decision and can relate to their experience.”
For birth mothers, this event might be the only time they are honored and recognized for being a mother.
One birth mom in attendance agreed, “I really like the opportunity this event provides to connect with other birth moms. It reminds me that I’m not alone in my experience when people share similar stories.”
Another birth mom attending for the first time this year was Ronda. Ronda placed her daughter, Jaysie, for adoption 28 years ago. Her daughter was placed into the home of one of New Life Family Services’ waiting families. The adoption was closed and Ronda had no contact with her daughter up until last summer when our post-adoption team got a phone call from Jaysie asking for help finding her birth mother.
Through a series of letters and phone calls, we were able to reunite Jaysie and Ronda. After meeting for the first time in July 2016, they made plans to attend this year’s Birth Mother Dinner for the first time together. On Thursday, Ronda left her home in North Carolina and traveled to MN to join her birth daughter for the event.
Ronda shared, “For many years I felt like I had a scarlet letter on my forehead. I felt bad for the decision I made to place Jaysie for adoption, but when I went to the Birth Mother Dinner I finally felt like I was not alone. There were others there like me who understood.”
When I went to the Birth Mother Dinner I finally felt like I was not alone. There were others there like me who understood.
As for Patrick, who has been in attendance at all 17 of New Life’s Birth Mother Dinners, she continues to be inspired by the courageous act of love of birth mothers. “It’s an amazing thing to watch these mothers put the needs of their child ahead of their own and to have the courage to consider adoption. Their decision comes out of a place of love. Birth moms are some of the most selfless loving women I know and it’s a privilege to honor them in this way.”
New Life Family Services’ Birth Mother Dinner is held every year on the Friday before Mother’s Day. All Birth Mothers, regardless of the agency they placed with, are invited to attend. Mark your calendars for Friday, May 11, 2018.