When Vivienne received a phone call from a girl asking if she was her mother, Vivienne knew immediately it couldn’t be a prank.
She asked, “What did I name you?” Her response was, “You named me Sheree.”
When it comes to the subject of adoption, many of us might think about the journey of the child who was adopted, or we love to share in the celebration of the childless couples who receive the child. It feels taboo to talk about the subject of the women who gave up that baby – the birth mother.
One Brisbane woman is making a stand for birth mothers, to educate our community and help birth mothers heal. Vivienne Timmermans, through her own life experiences wants to ensure birth mothers are not forgotten.
Vivienne Timmermans made the decision as a teenager to give up her baby for adoption. It was a decision based on love, but doing the right thing doesn’t always guarantee a life that is not filled with silence and shame.
Her mother encouraged her to never talk about it. Even though days, weeks and then years passed, Vivienne told 96five that she never forgot about her baby girl.
“Every year on mother’s day, I would say quietly to myself, Happy Mother’s Day Vivienne. I wonder what she is giving her Mum today. I wonder what she is doing. I wonder if she is happy.”
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“For the children who are adopted and wonder if your mothers ever think of you; I can guarantee that they do every time it is Easter, Mothers Day, your birthday, our birthday and Christmas. Not to mention the times we bump into a child your age.”
How do birth mothers move on and heal when every special occasion reminds them of one of the greatest sacrifices they have made?
Whether that decision was by choice or otherwise, Vivienne said, “You choose to stand with your head held high, knowing that you have given another women something that she could never have. Something that couples long for. Stand proud, we have given someone the greatest gift you could possibly imagine. A baby to call their own.”
The journey to this discovery can be long and hard but it does help when women share their story and know that they are not alone. Vivienne has written a memoir, ‘You Named Me Sheree’ in the hopes to break the silence.
Vivienne says that it’s now time to give birth mothers a voice, having recently started a support group in South Brisbane, as well as the Facebook group ‘You Gave Me A Voice’.
“If I can help just one woman feel that she deserves to be accepted as a respectable, living human being, then my job is done. If we all stand together and support each other, I know we will grow and prosper into beautiful worthy citizens. Judged not by anybody, especially ourselves.”