Adoption is hard on everyone in the triad, plain and simple. Each party has their own set of struggles and their own methods for healing. As a birth mother, I went through many different processes to overcome adoption hardships. They usually fell into one of three categories: physical, mental, and emotional. Each moment, big or small, helped me to heal and feel peace about my decision to place.
Of course, going through childbirth requires a lot of bodily mending, whether you’re placing or parenting. The moment I’m about to tell you about is probably going to be TMI, but it was a big one for me. As some background information, a woman is ready to push when she is 10-centimeters dilated, and my son’s head was 19 inches around. You do the math. So I was pretty messed up . . . down there. One of the best physical healing moments was the first time I made a bowel movement after my son was born. It took a week and a half. I hadn’t been able to walk, sit, or even lay down without pain until after that beautiful evening. I cried I felt so much better.
I actually chose to invite my son’s mother to be in the labor and delivery room with me. That was one of the most prominent healing moments of all for me. Seeing her face at the other end of the bed as she witnessed her son coming into the world and taking his first breathe solidified my decision even more. The look of rapture and awe in her eyes convinced me that I could will myself to go through it. All of it. I could give birth to this big-headed child, and I could place him with his family, and know I was doing the right thing.
The other most prominent, and most important moment of mental healing, was when I told his parents I’d chosen their family. I had been praying for months that I would make the right decision, and never seemed to get an answer. Eventually, I went with what I wanted for my son. I bought a baby outfit for them and wrote a letter congratulating them on their soon-to-arrive baby boy. As they read aloud, “Congratulations! It’s a boy!” with tears in their eyes, they looked up at me, and it hit me like a ton of bricks; I’d done it. I knew without a doubt that I had chosen the right . . . no, the perfect and only family, meant just for him. That moment still helps me today and will forever be one of the most defining moment of my life.
If I’m honest, I still go through emotional healing all the time. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be completely “over” the emotional hardships placing my son caused me. Something as simple as hearing my son say my name helps me to heal. Hearing about something new he learned or a goal he achieved helps me to heal.
The one that really stands out to me was one of the first times my son and my daughter met. My daughter was only a couple months old, and my son was over for a sleepover. There was one point in the day when my daughter was just chilling in her bouncer watching my son play on the floor. Every once in a while, he would go over to her, and give her a kiss, then go back to playing. It helped reaffirm to me that he was being raised in the right home, one that taught him to be loving and warm towards others. It also made me feel that even though I was not his parent, I was still his mother, and I could still feel those instances of pride in what I created.
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