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Lessons Learned from being a Birthmom

by Coley Strickland

My journey as a birthmom has taught me many things. Some of these things or “lessons” are things I already knew but have been reaffirmed in my walk as a birthmom while others specifically relate to adoption and I didn’t comprehend until I became a birthmom and an active member of the adoption community.

  • I’ve learned to be more compassionate. I was already a compassionate person but adoption and being a birthmom has taught me to be even more compassionate towards other people.
  • I’ve learned that adoption doesn’t mean your child will have a perfect life or that his/her parents will be perfect parents.
  • I’ve learned that what is right for one person may not be right for another. Adoption was the best answer for me at the time I made my adoption plan, but just because it was the right answer for me, doesn’t necessarily make it the right answer for another woman.
  • I’ve learned that I can never escape from adoption. There are times when I’m having a bad day regarding adoption and I just want to hide in my bed and not hear the word “adoption” it’s often not possible. It’s on television, the Buy Viagra radio, in the newspapers, etc. Adoption is everywhere.
  • I’ve learned that society will always judge me for my choice, whether it is negatively or positively depends on the individual. There will always be people who disagree with my decision and there will always be people who understand (or at least try to understand) my decision.
  • I’ve learned that my thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and opinions about adoption are like a revolving door, always changing and evolving as I grow older, experience, learn, and see more.
  • I’ve learned that birthmothers come of all ages, in all colors, and from all different walks of life. We are each different and unique. There is no mold or stereotypical birthmom. And although we are each different and each story is different, we share an underlying common bond.
  • I’ve learned that having a support network of understanding people is crucial in my survival. They can get me through the darkest days.
  • I’ve learned that no matter how far apart my son and I may be from one another and no matter how frequent or un-frequent we see one another; he will always, always, always be in my heart.

What have you learned since becoming a birthmom?