Our Placement Story

Bittersweet images of our adoption placement

Terra Cooper May 15, 2014

Every adoption is different, and so is every placement. Here is our placement story from my point of view as the adoptive mother.

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A mother's love
1. A mother's love

Before I saw our birth mother on the day of placement, I was a mess. I hadn't eaten or slept much the three days before. I didn't know if I could go through with putting her though the pain that this placement would cause. I love her so much and didn't want to cause her any pain.
I realized though that this was her decision, and she had chosen our family to place her baby girl with. When I saw her walk out of her hospital room after signing her papers with her baby in her arms, I knew she would be okay. She just did one of the hardest things a mother could ever do. She was so strong and brave. We hugged. I could feel how much she loved me, and I hope she could feel how much I loved her-- and still do. I knew we both had hard roads ahead, but I knew we would be okay in the end.

Our hearts were breaking
2. Our hearts were breaking

Both of our hearts were breaking. My heart was breaking for my friend-- what heartache and sorrow she would go through, the grief she had over "giving up" being a mother to this perfect little girl. We just looked at each other for what seemed like a long time but was probably less than a minute.

Stronger than me
3. Stronger than me

She was stronger than I was in that moment. I stood there with my arms crossed. I could not take that baby away from her arms. She looked at me, and back down at her baby and back at me, almost as if saying, "Take her." I didn't move. She stepped forward and put her in my arms.

She placed her in my arms
4. She placed her in my arms

When she placed her in my arms I reached out to hug her and we hugged for a while. I told her I loved her. I'm not sure how I was still standing. I was physically and emotionally drained.

Forever bonded
5. Forever bonded

I know that she and I will be forever bonded through our daughter. She chose me to be her daughter's mother. It isn't something I take lightly and never will.

Adoption is bittersweet
6. Adoption is bittersweet

In that moment after our birth parents left and we sat down and looked at our daughter, I could not even comprehend what had just happened. It was completely surreal. I wouldn't completely feel like this little girl's mother for a several weeks after placement. It takes time to heal and to continue to heal. Having an amazing relationship with our birth mother will help in that healing process for both of us.

Finding beauty in the pain
7. Finding beauty in the pain

A while after our birth parents left, I was blessed by my Father above with a sense of calm and love. I was able to hold this perfect baby girl and see the beauty that comes from adoption-- this child that is wanted and hoped for, that is loved and sacrificed for, by all of her parents.

It's just the beginning
9. It's just the beginning

Placement day is only the beginning of so many things. There will be so many trials, hardships, and pain to come, but there will also be love, hope, and many experiences that will make you a stronger, better person.

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Terra Cooper

Terra Cooper is a Staff Storyteller at Adoption.com. She is a mother of three-- two boys and one girl who was adopted. She is also a professional wedding photographer, a self-proclaimed foodie, and a TV/movie addict. Visit her website.

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