When I tell people I placed a child for adoption, the most common response I hear is, “I could never do that.”
It’s always confuses me when people respond in this way. I think if they sat down and really thought about it or were really put in the situation, they probably could. In fact, if someone had told me, before I had placed my child for adoption, how painful placement would be, I would, without a doubt, still make the same choice I made those nine years ago.
Because I made my decision out of love. I didn’t place my daughter because I knew it would be easy, or because I thought life would be better without her; I placed her because I knew she deserved more, and that regardless of the pain I was sure to feel, her happiness meant more to me than any pain I might avoid by not placing her. If my struggle meant her happiness, then I would do anything to guarantee her the life she deserved.
After placing my birth daughter for adoption I went through a period of time where I was afraid to feel. Every single emotion I experienced made me feel like I was breaking some unspoken rule. I knew I couldn’t be sad forever, but I also felt like finding happiness would be a betrayal to the little girl I’d placed into another’s arms.
All I knew is that I didn’t want to give up, and that each day I needed to do something for myself to move forward from the pain I was feeling so deeply. I made a promise to myself that if the day ever came that I met this little girl again, I would be a woman she would be proud of– and sitting and letting the grief overtake me would not allow me to be that woman.
For a long time I thought this meant that I couldn’t be sad. I thought it meant that if I was going to be the woman I wanted to be, I had to put on a brave face and press forward.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I have always been an incredibly emotional person. I don’t just wear my emotions on my sleeve, I spread them out on the table for all to see. So when it came to hiding away the pain I was going through from placing a child for adoption, I found that I had tasked myself with something that was nearly impossible. I eventually realized it was ridiculous to even try. In fact, as the years have passed, I have learned, more than anything, that it was– and is– absolutely, 100% okay to cry.
With each crying session I have, I promise myself that I will find happiness in my tears. With each new story I hear about my sweet birth daughter, and each new picture I might receive, there is bound to come a little bit of pain, but more so, there is so much happiness. It would be incredibly easy to allow myself to succumb to the pains of placing a child for adoption, and to feel the loss that I have felt over the years, but I choose to feel differently. I choose to find the happiness in my story, but I also allow myself to cry.
Not a single day goes by where I don’t think of my birth daughter. Sometimes there will be totally unexpected moments where something…a smell, a song, a color, or a movie…remind me of her. Sometimes those moments come with a smile and an overwhelming feeling of happiness, and sometimes they come with tears, but no matter what, I always make sure that each memory, and each moment, ends with a smile.
I placed my daughter for adoption out of love. I placed her knowing that her life would be filled with never-ending love and happiness. Despite all the pain I go through, her happiness heals that pain 100 times over.
Every chance I get to share my story, it is never told without tears being shed, and it is ALWAYS told with happiness. Some days I sit in my room, and I cry, and sometimes I cry for more than just a day, but at the end of every moment of sadness, my heart is filled with joy. I know without a doubt that my birth daughter is where she is meant to be, and I know that with the pain I have felt, my heart and love for her has only grown stronger.
Pain is inevitable, tears are guaranteed, but I promise, there is happiness. Oh, how there is so much happiness. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be sad, and it’s also, no matter what anyone else has to say, 150% okay to be happy.