When I was pregnant and planning to place my son for adoption, I had no idea the emotions I was going to face or what life would be like post-placement. I wanted an open adoption and hoped that it would be better than not knowing how he was as the idea of a closed adoption felt like brutally severing a cord attached to my heart. But I honestly had no idea how much my heart would break by placing him into his parents’ arms, how my chest would throb with an emptiness. I thought, with losing my parents, that I had a firmer grasp on loss, but truly nothing can prepare you for going home from the hospital without a child. But I found healing.
The first year was rough. I was moody and grieving and hadn’t yet found an outlet for these feelings. But one thing was constant: texts from my son’s mom daily. Every day, throughout the day, no matter how busy or challenging the day was, I would open my phone to updates, funny stories, cute pictures, and videos of big moments. It became my new normal to share the love of watching this sweet boy grow with his momma. Every few months we would visit with each other, and while I would go there worrying about how he would act around me, the visits were fun and comfortable, with memories we’ll have for a lifetime.
The most important part of where I’m at in my healing process has come from trust and love. It was scary to be vulnerable with these people I met only a couple of months prior to his birth and trust that they would keep their promises and raise him well, but time and again, they have proven to me that we couldn’t have picked better and that they really are the incredible people we bonded with so instantly. I never expected to love them so much or to feel as loved as I do by them.
There will always be a part of me that misses my child, even in maintaining an open adoption. But I am truly amazed at the incredible relationship and family that I have gained in this ever-growing, long and windy journey.
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