Dealing with guilt
Hi all--
We are new adoptive parents to a baby girl, who was born on 3/30 and came to us on 4/2. We have a very open adoption with our daughter's birth mom and have been so grateful for the experience.

My trouble is letting go of the guilt I have over parenting our daughter. I know that J. (birth mother) made the decision to place her baby free and clear of coercion. However when I look at our daughter's face -- she so resembles J.! -- I can't help but remember the grief J. had at surrender. I know that J. feels good about her decision although she is still, of course, often very sad. We have a good relationship thus far with letters, pictures, phone calls and soon-to-be visits and J. has expressed her gratitude to us. What I mean is, this guilt is not coming from J. and in fact she would be upset if she knew we were feeling this way (we talked briefly about it two days after the surrender).

Has anyone else felt this way? Is it something to grow out of? Sometimes I feel we so identify with J. (my husband struggles with these feelings, too) that we are having trouble taking the necessary emotional steps to feel like entitled parents.

Thanks in advance,

I have just subscribed to this thread.. I was not going to post anything because I am a birthmom..

But I want to say that I am incredibly happy that my bson is who he is.. He is part of his family.. He is very family orientated.. He takes good care of his babies..

You learn that stuff by example..

I have been reading a lot of amoms posts lately.. I have not commented because I have nothing to say or add..
But I see the issues you guys go through..

My daughter looks exactlly like her birthmom. I actually wished for this because I thought her bmom was so beautiful. We once rang into my daughter's teacher in Barnes and Noble (me, my daughter, and her bmom) and the teacher who didn't know my daughter was adopted- said "Wow you must be an aunt or something" my daughter piped up "No thats, N, my birthmother."
Our daughter's birthparents had no support in the adoption, their families were not only not supportive, but threatened to cut off contact if they placed our daughter with us. We and our social workers were their only support for almost a year after adoption. Their families came around then and embraced us and the adoption. But it was really hard that first year, juggling the juxtoposing grief for the birthfamily and joy of being parents. It has gotten easier as time goes by. Plus the birthmom and I are tight, and she continually assures me that she has never regretted it for one second. Our daughter turns 13 this year, so we have some history now. I pmed you some stuff about the day we took our daughter home.
Grief for Birth Mom
>Has anyone else felt this way? Is it something to grow out of? >Sometimes I feel we so identify with J. (my husband struggles >with these feelings, too) that we are having trouble taking the >necessary emotional steps to feel like entitled parents.

Our daughter Lily was born April 21st. When I'm not so busy that my heads spinning, I too feel a sense of grief/guilt about, and for, our birth mom "C".

Lily and I went to lunch with "C" today. Watching people come up to me to praise Lily as my daughter and watching me with Lily was hard for her, I could tell. I have come away from every visit with "C" with guilt and grief for her and the choice she made. I attempt to express this too her and hope she can understand.

The one way, the only way, to help myself ease the guilt and grief is to remind myself that this was the best choice for Lily, "C", and the birth father. To remind myself that I am an honorable person and that I have kept my word with "C" and the birthfather in regards to letters visits etc. That I continue to reply to comments about birth mothers with... "I could never have had the strength to make such a decision, "C" is my hero. She inspires me to be the best mom I can be. " This helps ease the guilt and sometimes soothes the grief for "C".

On those late nights when I'm exhausted and grumpy and at my wits end, I stop and think of what "C" gave me. This piece of her heart. I remember my promise to "C" to love, nourish and protect Lily and I take a deep breath and smile and try again, knowing "C" had the confidence in me to take a piece of her heart forever and cherish it.

Try not to feel guilty, your birth mom chose you for this. If you love/protect/cherish your child and honor your promises to the birth parents you have nothing to feel guilty for.
guilt is normal
my dauther's APs felt the same way...not so much the dad as the mom. She remembered what it was like when I signed those papers and we had the Entrustment Ceremony.

All I can tell you is that you just need to work through it. In time it will go away. As you have this open relationship you will begin to receive entitlement from birthmom and that baby of yours is going to continue to rely on YOU for survival and comfort. After awhile you will just naturally settle into a groove and forget about the guilt you had.

I promise! My daughter's APs's been 7 months since her birth and they've gotten past that.

I have been working hard at entitlement so that they could.

Just bear it and remember that YOU are mom. Perhaps it'll get better as birthmom begins to takes forever (I'm not done with it) but she'll have a good day now and then and you'll start to feel better...

PM me if you'd like to talk further.
feelings of guilt
I to felt exactly like you are feeling. It was the hardest part of the adoption. My babies are now 12 months old and I know that we are there parents. I struggled for about 8 months with the guilt and felt like it was interfearing with our bond. I talked to others about it and read a little poem (that I read over and over for a couple of weeks) that basically said " I had nothing to feel guilty about and that they are my children" I did alot of praying to help me deal with the guilt issue.

All I can tell you is that it does get better, and that I know longer struggle daily with those feelings. Actually I really do not think about it anymore unless someone posts about it. We have a semi-open adoption until the children where 1 yr. and then it was to be closed. I am open to changing it if there birthmother wants more contact. She has only seen them once since placement they where 6 months at the time. I know that it is easier on her this way, but I would gladly send pictures and updates when ever she would like.

I hope you can quickly relieve yourself of your guilt for your benefit and the benefit of your child.

mom to 4
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