Guest post by Shamala
My foray as a volunteer into the “sacred” world of adoption started in the year 1996. “Sacred” I say because you do your bit to give a new lease of life to a child who hitherto has been abandoned and pining (literally) to go to a “forever home”.
One day, a young lady in her late twenties elegantly draped in chiffons came to relinquish her adorable 3 year old girl. Widowed at a young age, she was not very welcome in her in-laws’ house. Her brother took her in his care but felt that it will not work out as a long term solution. So, with her consent, he decided to marry her off to a wealthy widower with married daughters. The second husband’s only condition was that she should not get her child into her new home! Torn between maternal love and a secure future, she opted for the latter.
A lovely child, the apple of her mother’s eyes, she was very well behaved and perfectly brought up. All the people at the home doted on her and there was not a moment when she was left alone. But, time and again, she would ask for her mother. The mental trauma of the child eternally waiting for her mother who promised to collect her as soon as possible can well be imagined!!
In a short time, the child was welcomed warmly and legally adopted by a wonderful couple who, we knew, would work magic with her and mould her into a wonderful human being.
Despite this silver lining, I am unsettled by several unanswered questions: I fail to understand the psyche of the second husband who had his own daughters. Was he just not being ‘human’, or was the child not allowed because of a gender bias? Could not the mother have taken up a job and cared for the child as a single parent?
I know I will never have the answers to these and many other questions about what makes a mother abandon her child, but I am happy that many lovely children could get a new lease of life with adopted parents who gave them love and care!