Birth Mothers have carried a stigma on their shoulders for many years. Things are changing with the open adoptions becoming the norm, but sadly, there are still many stigmas attached to us, especially the small number of us that have chosen to place twice. I’ll go through one birth mother’s story, Jeanie.
People are very quick to judge and think that these mothers are using adoption as a form of birth control, but that is so far from the truth of why they choose to place a second time. I had the pleasure of interviewing a wonderful birth mother, Jeanie. She has placed two children with the same family. I wanted to ask these questions because I know they can help in improving how these strong ladies are viewed.
I am honored to share Jeanie’s story and I thank her for being honest and willing to share a hard part of her story.
When you found out that you were facing an unplanned pregnancy again, were you automatically certain that you’d be placing?
Actually, adoption didn’t even cross my mind. I was a little excited to finally have my very own baby. I had been with the birth father for three years without a serious commitment. I was excited to settle down and start our family . . . ha, what a joke. He’s the one that I needed to choose adoption. I wouldn’t talk about it. I would talk about names for our baby, but he never wanted to talk about it. I finally decided, after a lot of prayer and soul-searching, that adoption was what I needed to do.
Did you immediately plan on placing with your first adoptive family?
They were the deciding factor that I would place. I didn’t want to place with anyone else. So I emailed them that I was thinking of placing but wasn’t sure yet. But if I did, would they be ready to adopt again. They said they would support me no matter what, but yes they had been praying for a way to adopt again. She told me that my email gave her chills because they had just been to the LDS temple to pray about it. So that’s when I knew adoption was the right choice again.
Were you prepared to feel the same feelings that you did the first time you placed?
I was. I knew exactly how I wanted things to go in the hospital. At the same time, it also brought me a lot of anxiety about knowing what was coming. I remember being in the hospital and I had just put my gown on and I looked at the birth father and mouthed, “I can’t do this again! I’m scared!” He told me that I was strong and I could do it. Part of me was talking about labor, but I was more talking about what was coming next.
Did the fact that you knew what you were doing help you prepare for the emotions?
The placement was emotional in different ways at that time. I didn’t feel dread when the family walked into the room. I got to see my first baby! And I got to introduce him to his new sister! We all sat around the hospital room for a long time, chatting, taking pictures. My siblings played with the oldest daughter of the family. I have a picture of them playing with the controls of my hospital bed. It was just like a family reunion. I knew when I left them and they said “see you later,” they meant it. I was able to walk myself out of the hospital instead of being a horribly depressed lump in a wheelchair.
How hard was it to contact your couple to ask them to parent again?
It would have been tough had our first adoption stayed the way the agency wanted it. I would have received my last letter from them the year before. But since they decided to bend the rules and find a way to get me their personal info, all I had to do was email them. God knew what he was doing when he gave them that prompting.
Do you think it caused strife in your relationship or did it bring you closer?
It brought us so much closer. The adoptive dad always had his hesitations about open adoption, but I think placing with them a second time really made him realize I was not a threat and that I did love them. As soon as I told them I wanted to place with them, they said they wanted to start having visited. That helped us grow closer and we really started feeling like family.
What is the one thing you hope your birth children know about your decision to place both of them?
That it was always about them. I wanted them both so badly, I wrestled with God spiritually to not let adoption be the right choice. That even if they end up hating me for choosing adoption, I will never regret it. I know without a doubt it was the choice I was supposed to make. I was meant to help them get to their family. And above all that I love them and I am so proud of them!
Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Do you want more choices with your adoption plan? Do you want to regain more control in your life? Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98. We can help you put together an adoption plan that best meets your needs.