Being a birth mother is tough to be open about with anyone. When it comes to the adoptive parents of our biological children, it’s even harder. There is so much we birth moms want to say, but we don’t for fear of causing offense. Here are things your child’s birth mother wishes you knew, but probably won’t ever say out loud.

I’m scared.

I tiptoe around you. I am powerless when it comes to contact with my birth child. Being completely at your mercy makes me feel vulnerable. I know that at any moment you could tell me “no more,” and I would never see my birth child again. Sometimes it’s hard to be myself around you. I watch everything I say and do around you because I’m so afraid of being cut off.

I hurt.

Placing my birth child is a decision that I will grieve forever. I am never going to get over it. I don’t want you to feel guilty, and most of the time I’m at peace with my decision. But when I placed my child with you, my heart shattered. It will never be the same. I will never feel completely whole again because your child has a piece of my heart with them. But I will plaster on a smile for you and for the world, because I don’t want you to feel bad. It would help me so much if you would put your arms around me and acknowledge my pain, but I will never ask.

I want your respect.

Just because parenting wasn’t the right choice for me when I placed doesn’t mean I’m worth less than you. Please don’t talk down to me. I am the reason you are a parent, and you should be grateful for me. I understand that maybe you have your own insecurities and doubts, and that having a relationship with me might be scary for you. I trusted you enough to parent my baby- please remember that. I just want to be treated like an equal.

I rely on you.

I need the photos and visits that you promised me. Even if I don’t respond right away, I need them. I placed with you under the expectation that you would keep your promises. Every time a visit gets cancelled or I don’t get an update at the interval you promised me, I cry. Those visits, photos, and updates are my lifeline. Please keep your promises.

I am a person, just like you. I have wants and needs and strengths and insecurities. Please see me for who I am, and not just an incubator for your child. I hope you reach out to your child’s birth mother today and tell her that you love her.