Choosing adoption—a birth mother’s story
It’s hard to know where to start when talking about adoption. For me, the adoption process started early in my pregnancy. I made the choice to place my baby for adoption after making probably 100 different pros-and-cons lists. In the end, I decided that the least selfish and best decision for my baby was to place him so that he can have what I want for him in life that I couldn’t provide.
I remember sitting at my kitchen table looking through countless adoptive-family profiles while rubbing my tummy and talking to my unborn baby about each family. When I stumbled on the family that I ultimately ended up choosing, I just remember feeling this sense of relief the second I contacted them. Meeting the family and making plans for the birth and placement made me feel even more sure about my decision to place. This was the easy stuff.
The difficult part of being pregnant with a baby that you know you are going to place means that you don’t get to let yourself get attached to the baby emotionally on some levels. Instead of planning our life together, I was talking to my tummy and telling him all about life and trying to pass on my words of wisdom while he was still with me and I still had a chance. When I really started to show, I started getting advice from strangers about babies, which was difficult to hear because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to implement any of the advice that was being thrown at me.
I was able to find a support group that I would meet with a few times a month that really helped me out! I had the opportunity to talk to other girls, some were keeping their babies, and some were placing, but all needed the support of other women going through a difficult time while pregnant. Those girls helped me through some tough days by being a shoulder to cry on.
The fear of judgement was strong at first, but towards the end of my pregnancy, I was more confident to tell people about my decision to place because I knew it was the right decision. I count placing my baby boy for adoption as one of my top three best decisions of my life.
I feel that the hardest part of adoption, the part that I always think about when I think about placing, is the actual day of placement. On that day, I felt like my head was swimming. I knew it was the right decision, but I didn’t know if I had the strength to go through it. Signing the papers with my little baby in my arms was an experience that I will never forget. I kept freezing and couldn’t move the pen to sign my name. The whole time I was talking to my baby in my head telling him that everything will be okay and that I love him so much! After finally getting through the paperwork, we met in a room with the adoptive family and spent a little time together while I got to hold the baby. Eventually, it was time to say goodbye and I was asked to place him in the arms of his new mom. I was able to place him in her arms easily because I was excited for her and her new addition to her family, but leaving the room was the hard part for me! I just stood there and tried to will myself to leave the room. After some time, and a lot of tears, I was able to walk out to my car and leave him in the capable hands of his new family.
Since placement day, I have never regretted my decision. The adoptive family was and is very supportive of me and tries to help me out in any way that they can, mostly by sending pictures and setting up times for me to see him!
Just because I don’t regret it doesn’t mean I don’t miss him. Sometimes my heart hurts so bad that I can’t breathe, but those moments pass and I am able to keep moving. While I feel as though I will always have feelings that cause me to break down and cry, I also have many times when I am driving in my car and I think to myself, “I am so glad that he has such a great family raising him! I hope he’s having a great day!”, which makes me smile and helps me remember that everything is going to be okay.
Adoption is packed full of emotions for everyone. No one has instructions for how to navigate adoption. The best thing we can do is share our experiences and support each other! I have really enjoyed adoption conferences and sharing my story with people who need to hear it, whether they be birth parents or adoptive parents. The more I learn about both sides of adoption, the more amazing people I find! I have met adoptive parents and future adoptive parents that work so hard to understand what they should say and do with birth parents, which I have such a high respect for! I have also met many birth parents who are working hard to make sure that they approach adoption with a healthy attitude as well. Everyone in the adoption community is so full of understanding and appreciation for the other side and I love it! I am a proud member of the adoption community!