Like most women, I dreamed of being a mother when I was a little girl. I have had nothing but remarkable, loving, brave mothers in my life since the day I was born. My birth mother, adoptive mother, and my daughter’s adoptive mother are truly great women in my life. I had the opportunity to ask those three important women some questions about adoption, particularly their experiences with adoption and how they relate to me. Part I is from my birth mother.
1. How has adoption touched your life?
Adoption has played a huge part in my life. I placed my firstborn child for adoption when I was 19 and was reunited with her almost 20 years later. I can attest to the blessings that come from making this most important decision. I can also understand the fears that young mothers go through when facing an unexpected pregnancy and the afterward feelings of loss and guilt. I understand what it feels like to pass over each birthday and be weighed down with such pain in your heart from missing your child. But, I also know how to get through it. I believe God placed me in this situation for many reasons. I have been able to talk to other young mothers about adoption and help them through their decision. I also have been able to talk to young girls about the importance of preventing the situation to begin with and what the outcome may be. Lastly, I have been able to talk with those who were placed for adoption, and I let them hear my side and understand how much love there is when a birth mother places a child for adoption. Adoption has also definitely brought me closer to God. Without his love and peace, I would not have been so strong.
2. What was your reaction when you found out you were pregnant?
I was scared but had a feeling that everything would be okay. I loved my baby’s father very much and thought we would be able to handle everything. I did not realize that I was the only one who felt that way. It was too much pressure for him, and with us both being in college and having no family support, there was no possible way to raise a child by myself. It was a very scary time when I realized that I would have to look at other options.
3. What led you to choose adoption?
I went and talked with someone … about my options, and to me, there was NO other option but adoption. This baby was very loved and deserved a good home that I could not provide at that time.
4. How did you heal and move on after placement?
I returned right away to college and busied myself with as much as possible. The social worker who handled my adoption kept me up-to-date with everything. I don’t think it was until about a year later that I really faced my feelings of loss. It was my faith and a wonderful Christian man in my life that helped me move forward. It took me a while to understand that I had a long wonderful life ahead of me and the feelings of loss would get better, although my baby would always hold a special, irreplaceable place in my heart.
5. Do you share that you are a birth mom with people? If so, what kinds of reactions do you get? How do you deal with their reactions?
I did not at first. It took me a while to get over the feeling that I was a horrible person for “abandoning my child.” I received so many reactions such as “How did you do that? I could never do that”. But after I moved through the healing process, I realized how untrue that was, and I turned to feeling more proud of the decision I made. People who really knew me and cared about me understood my decision. All I needed to know is that in my heart I did the right thing and that’s all that mattered. I knew this was a child of God’s, and I was to care for it the best way that I could, and for me, that meant adoption.
6. Since you had a closed adoption, did you ever think that you would see/ reunite with your child again? When you did, how did you feel?
No! I did not ever believe that I would. My husband always believed that one day it would happen, but I did not see that being possible. I only prayed constantly that she was living a wonderful life. I would pray that God would somehow let me know that she was okay and happy.
When I did have the opportunity to meet her, I was overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed with the huge blessing that God had granted me to actually meet my daughter after almost 21 years. That day is still like a dream to me. I don’t get to see her often, but when I do, she doesn’t even realize how I will just quietly stare at her in amazement. Now, to see her as such an amazing beautiful mom herself just completes me. I did not raise her to be the woman that she is; her adoptive family did that. I did not give her life; God gave her that. But I did make the choice for her to be raised in the best environment possible filled with love and security. I will never regret that decision.
7. What message would you like to tell others about your view of adoption or being a birth mother?
Adoption can be a very scary choice. It’s a scary thing just dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. You need to make contact with the right people and surround yourself with people who are going to support you through the pregnancy and after. I have truly been blessed with being able to find and meet my daughter and learn about how wonderful her adoptive family is and how much she was loved. However, even if I never got the opportunity to meet her, I know in my heart that the little girl I placed for adoption was a gift from God and was going to be a blessing to someone else.
After reading what my birth mother wrote, I feel even more connected to her. Why, you ask? Because, we both placed our babies for the exact same reasons. A choice we both made. A choice we both live with every day. A choice not regretted.
I dreamed of meeting my birth mother for as long as I can remember. Just to see what she looked like would have been enough. But life has a funny way of working out. Not only did I see her, but I was able to hug her and tell her “Thank you.” I could never doubt that she loved me after I placed my own daughter. How could I?
I placed my daughter because I loved her. Adoption is all about love.
I am eternally grateful for my birth mother and the many sacrifices she has made for me. I am beyond blessed to be able to pick up the phone and call her just to tell her I was thinking about her or to tell her how much I love her. We are both birth mothers. We understand adoption might not be for everyone, but it can be a great blessing to so many others.
Look forward to Part II: My Adoptive Mother and adoption coming next.