I remember things so clearly from the time following my son’s birth. The loneliness, the aching heart, the overwhelming desire to go back in time. The guilt raided me and I felt unable to grasp any sign of happiness. All I had to turn to was myself, so I did. My case worker that counseled me through my pregnancy advised that I keep a journal. She told me that there would be moments when I would question why I chose adoption. There would be times of shame, sadness, and despair, and I would need to look back into my own thoughts. That journal kept me sane. Here are three tips for keeping a journal during your pregnancy.
1. Write pros and cons for placing.
I knew making an adoption plan was what was supposed to happen. I knew from the minute I found out I was pregnant that I wouldn’t be that child’s mother. It brought so much anguish to love that boy and know I wouldn’t raise him. So I made a list. Then another list. Then another, and so on. I made one for all of the ways it would benefit my son, and myself, to place him.
One for the negative arguments for adoption.
Overall, adoption was better for my son but worse for me. As a mother, how could I choose my benefits over his? This was helpful when I was questioning the adoption after my son was born. It was important to remember why I chose it, it helped ensure I didn’t become bitter.
2. Write pros and cons for parenting.
To ensure that I didn’t feel pressured to choose adoption, my case worker recommended that I write a few lists that had to do with parenting. She refused to help me with any of them, since they needed to come from my heart. Once those relinquishment papers were signed, she wanted to make sure I had genuine resources to comfort myself. I wrote many pros to parenting. The cons to parenting all had to do with his happiness, security, and future. Again, I was reminded how unfair it was of me to want to parent him based solely on my happiness instead of his.
3. Have no filter.
Be raw. Write the tears, write the laughter, write the joy of hearing the heartbeat for the first time. You’ll need to remember these things when it seems there is no good left in the world. When you reread your entries, you’ll be moved back to when it was written. Those emotions will be real, if only for a moment. It was a sweet relief to me to be able to remember how I felt. I remembered being happy about the pregnancy, if only for one moment. It reminded me that I was okay with my son’s life. It reminded me that even though I wasn’t proud of how he came to this earth, I was proud that he was here and was part of me. I was proud that I made the decision to allow another woman to raise him. I was proud that I broke my heart so he could have a better chance.
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