Originally I wasn’t going to post this for a couple weeks, but I feel like I need to put a post up, and this one is ready to go.
So, I haven’t really talked too much about this before (other than my Adoption Misconceptions post), but I feel like I should be talking about it more than I do. It’s a big part of who I am, and it’s not something that’s ever going to go away or change.
I am a birth mom.
I will not give details about my child or their adoptive family until I obtain permission form them and potentially the agency, but I can still answer these questions from The Real Birth Moms Project for you.
Part One – How old were you when you placed?
What were some of the reasons you placed your child for adoption?
I was 21 when I placed my daughter for adoption.
I knew that the birthfather and I weren’t ready to raise a child, in any way, We would’ve loved her with everything we had, but we wanted more for her than we could’ve provided.
Part Two – What stood out about the family you chose?
I don’t know that any one thing really stood out about the family I chose for my child. I just felt connected to them from the start. Almost 11 months after placement, I started really trying to figure out what it was. I finally came to the conclusion that it was how they chose to open their letter with “Deaf Friend,” rather than the “Dear Birthmother/Expectant Parent(s)”. Their letter just felt more sincere, genuine, personal.
Part Three – What are things that others have done or said to make your healing easier?
- They told me I’d made such a selfless decision**
- They get excited about my getting new pictures of my child
- They tell me it’s normal to go through periods where I miss them so much I cry
- They let me ramble on about things I’ve probably mentioned before
- Most of them acknowledge the fact that I’m still a mom in ways
- My child’s adoptive parents made a card for me for my first Birth Mother’s Day after they were born
Part Four – What are things that others have done or said to make your healing harder?
- Ignore the fact that my adoption ever happened
- Say that seeing my child is a terrible thing
- Tell me (indirectly) that I essentially made a wrong decision
- Making me feel like I can’t let my family find out because “placing a child for adoption is something to be ashamed of and keep hidden”
Part Five – What is something you wish others knew about birthmoms?
We’re not all drug-addicted teens. Some of us are girls, or women, who wound up in the situation unintentionally. We have plans for our lives that haven’t necessarily been put in place yet, so we did the best we could for our child by placing them for adoption.
Part Six – What helps you live your life in your new normal?
- Knowing that I’ve given my child a better life than I could’ve provided
- Getting updates from their adoptive parents
- Having a good relationship with their parents
- Still having contact with their birthfather
- Being able to talk to people about and write about, my experience with adoption
Part Seven – Is your adoption closed, semi-open, or open?
My adoption is a cross between semi-open and open. We’re honestly still trying to figure out what we’re doing on that front.
Part Eight – What is your biggest fear in adoption?
Before meeting their parents, I was afraid that they would be raised not knowing who I am or that my decision was made out of love. But after meeting them, I knew that those fears wouldn’t come true. They wanted to have a relationship, and knowing that makes me feel reassured that my cild won’t grow up clueless about me, or to resent me for my decision.
Part Nine – What is something about yourself that you love?
I’m on the Board of Directors for the amazing mental health nonprofit organization Stigma Fighters. I’m the Publication Director for our anthologies.
** I have opinions about this, but I will do another post about it in the future.