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Remembering the Reason

by Brie M.

There are many reasons why an expectant mother makes an adoption plan for her baby. At the top of the list is usually the desire for her baby to have a better life than she is able to provide at that time in her life. In the open adoptions of today, the birthmother looks through many profiles to find just the right couple to provide the best life possible for the baby. The adoptive family is chosen, and the birthmother places the care of her little on in the hands of this family.

Immediately after placement, amidst the millions of emotions they are experiencing, many birthmothers may wonder if they made the right decision. Was adoption really the best decision? How could it have been if it hurts so badly? Time goes on, and this attitude may stick with the birthmom. Then, the updates aren’t on time. As much as we try not to let it happen, our minds start racing. Why didn’t they send a letter or pictures? How could they be so insensitive? Is my baby ok? Often times, it could just be that life has gotten hectic and busy for the adoptive parents delaying their contact but sometimes, life throws us a curveball: the adoptive parents get a divorce, one of the adoptive parents passes away, or the adoptive parents have or adopt another baby. Contact either stops or slows down immensely. Again, we find ourselves questioning the value of adoption. How could someone voluntarily put themselves through so much pain?

As irrational as some of this might seem, it happens. It is very easy to get caught up in everything that goes “wrong” or rather does not go exactly as we planned. It is hard to wake up every morning with a little piece of our hearts missing. Watching as friends and family take their little bundles of joy home or watching little kids play with their parents is like a punch in the stomach. As happy as we are for others there is always that little twinge of jealousy or sadness. There are reminders everywhere of what we are missing out on because we chose to place a child for adoption. Sometimes it feels like adoption has left us with an irreparable sadness.

What would happen though, if when we started having those feelings, we thought back to the initial reason for placing a child for adoption? In the midst of the sadness can you remember what that was? It was so that your child would have the best possible life. Yes, it is painful not to be with our children each day, but for many of us this is what we chose. As birthmothers we put our child’s needs before our own. The minute we become mothers, life is no longer about us; it is about our child. By signing our rights away, we agreed to learn to cope with this pain so that our child could be with the family who could offer him or her everything they deserve. It will always hurt, but it doesn’t have to be a curse. We could choose to try and focus on the good of adoption.

So how then do we learn to focus on the positive aspects of adoption?

  • Make a list of the reasons that you placed your baby for adoption. Paying special attention to what was in your child’s best interest.
  • Try to identify all of the ways your choice has opened up opportunities for your child.
  • Acknowledge the amazing blessing that you gave the adoptive family.
  • Make a list of all of the nice things the adoptive parents have done for you (pictures, letter, cards, nice e-mails etc.).
  • Give back to the adoption community! Share your experiences with others. Support others in the BirthMom Buds forums, consider mentoring women who are pregnant and considering adoption through the pregnant and placing program, or write for the BirthMom Buds Newsletter. Contact your adoption agency and offer to help them with adoption expos, potential adoption parent training, or speaking to other birthmoms in your community.

Adoption is not always easy and there will be days that we dislike adoption and don’t want to think of the positives, but when we try to concentrate on the positive aspects of adoption, we are reminded of the real reason we chose to place, and how blessed we are to have found such amazing parents for our children.