One Mother’s Sacrifice

‘I loved him enough to give him a life’

Flint will talk on Birthmother’s Day about her choice to give up her son when she was 17

By Destiny Booze, Staff Writer, The Fincastle Herald/April 2008

 

Robyn Flint, a realtor from Buchanan, spoke at a birthmother’s convention May 10, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina to celebrate birthmother’s day.

 

Originating in 1990 in Seattle, Washington, Birthmother’s Day is a day to honor and remember the motherhood experience for women who have placed children for adoption. Held the second Saturday in May – the day before Mother’s Day – it is a day to celebrate an otherwise sad day for many birthmothers.

 

Flint was invited to attend the convention by Coley Strickland, founder of birthmombuds.com and convention organizer.

 

Flint’s own experience was the basis of her speech. At age 17, she made the hardest decision of her life and placed her son for a closed adoption.

 

“I was forced to make a choice that no woman was designed to have to make,” Flint said. "It was a choice with no easy explanations, a dilemma with only painful options and no easy way out.”

 

“I loved him enough to give him life,” Flint said as she examined her decisions, “and I had to love him even more to give him a life.”

 

Though young, she understood the multitudes of limitations she had to face in order to raise a child. She wanted to give him more than she had to offer, so she made the ultimate sacrifice to be a great mother – by giving him a different one.

 

Though the adoption was closed, Flint kept tabs on her son the best she could through the adoption agency. She found out his name was Kevin. She found out he was doing well in school and continued into college at Virginia Tech.

 

When the April 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech occurred, she called to make sure he was okay. For Christmas of 2006, she wrote him a letter that his adoptive parents agreed to give him.

 

In July of last year, Flint remembers getting the call from the adoption agency that her son wanted to meet her. “My knees hit the ground and I was sobbing,” she said. She was standing right outside of work. People coming out of the building thought something was horribly wrong and offered to call for an ambulance.

 

It took two months to file all the paperwork through the adoption agency. Then, the next call came. The agency gave Flint her son’s phone number. Nerves and excitement made her feel physically ill.

 

It was time to meet her son.

 

When she finally worked up the courage to dial, the conversation carried on for an hour and a half. Many tears were shed between birthmother and son. “I’ll never forget he thanked me for my decision.” Flint also recalled he told her he loved her.

 

In October, everyone met face to face and have continued to build a relationship ever since. “What’s really cool is finding the similarities. He has my sense of humor,” Flint said with a grin.

 

As for differences, she used to consider herself a UVA fan, but now, she proudly pulls for her son’s school, of course.

 

Seeing Kevin brought about a new round of raw emotion for Flint. “All that stuff from 19 years ago came back. It was an answered prayer. I was overjoyed, but extremely heartbroken. I missed so much.”

 

Meeting Kevin’s adoptive parents was also difficult.  Flint explained it was still hard to cope with sharing her son.  “My son has parents,” she said.  Overall, she made peace with her choices and now feels absolutely elated to get to know her son and gracious to the couple that raised him. 

 

If she had to go back and do it all over again, she would still choose the closed adoption.  “Do I have regrets?  I do for selfish reasons, but for my son I don’t have any regrets because he has made a great life.”

 

Kevin agrees with his mom’s assessment of their past.  “It worked out best the way it was,” he said.  He expressed no regrets about his life.  He would also suggest all adopted kids find their birth parents.  “It’s been a great experience,” he said.

 

Kevin especially enjoyed getting to know his brothers.  “I hated being an only child,” he said.  Now, he’s not.

 

Roanoke Valley Catholic Charities approached Flint about beginning a support group for birthmothers in the area. “My goal is to help just one girl choose adoption over abortion,” she said.

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Published in: on May 9, 2009 at 4:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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