Why It Took Nearly 20 Years To Share My Birthmother Story

This guest post is by Gina Crotts, a birthmother and author.

When you feel called to do something and that something feels bigger than anything you could imagine, it takes what I call “Lion Courage” to fulfill the task.

For me, writing A Seemingly Unfillable Heart was very much this way. After suffering a severe concussion, I found peace in meditation.

After each meditation, I would journal, and often wrote: “I am a writer.” I have always wanted to share my adoption story in book form but lacked the courage to do so.

Nineteen years ago, birth mothers were not telling their stories. There was and is so much shame and resistance to speaking our side of the adoption story.


That silencing still surrounds our ancestors and their stories, not only for birth mothers but women as a whole. I wanted to speak out for those who have feared to do so or were never given the opportunity.

Finding my Lion Courage meant silencing the lies I had created as beliefs. Beliefs about myself and my-so-called limitations: I’m not a good writer. No one will want to read my story. Who do I think I am? I can’t be an author. My adoption story doesn’t look like that birth mother’s story.

It also required some in-depth soul searching that I didn’t believe I could survive emotionally and facing the fact that I can no longer “play small” if I want to continue to grow and help others on their journey. 

 By simply jumping in and starting to write one word at a time, I slowly began to believe in myself and my ability. By not telling my story I am only giving in to the shame society wants me to feel for placing my daughter for adoption.

We all have “ugly” or “broken” pieces of ourselves and our stories, which had me asking myself: Is anything ever broken or ugly if we all are?

A Seemingly Unfillable Heart does not differ from many birth mother’s stories—it is a story about courage, grief, love, and growth.

And it seems to have struck a chord. One reader described it as “beautifully written. More than a memoir or an adoption story. This book is a tutorial on grief and progression.” Another one said it “gives you a very real, raw perspective on what birth mothers go through. The way Gina writes makes you feel what she felt.” 


The book is my encounter with one of lives hardest lessons; letting go, surrendering, and accepting what is—that no two adoption stories are the same, that many aspects in our lives are uncontrollable, and it’s okay to grieve.

When you turn the last page, I hope you felt me holding your hand, as I led you through one of the most emotional experiences of my life.

I hope you feel different in a way that encourages you to find your Lion Courage to speak your truth. I hope it brings comfort to anyone who is venturing through life’s difficult trials, whatever it may be.

 As a public speaker and birth mother, Gina has engaged audiences at adoption conferences and birth mother retreats nationwide. Gina currently works as a content writer and blogger for CAIRS Solutions. You can follow Gina on IG: at ginacrottswriter.

Do you have a birthmother or open adoption story to share? Email us any time or find out more about how to share it with our community.