When I was pregnant with the baby I was planning to give up for adoption, I struggled with the idea of her being disconnected from me. What I mean by that is, I didn’t know what to do with all this information about me and how I would be able to share it with her. I wanted her to know who I was and what my (her) family history is. I wanted her to know she had an older sibling, my daughter, Katie, who was 3. Sure, I was planning on having a semi-open adoption, but I had yet to trust that would be a real thing I could count on. How could I stay connected to the baby I needed to give up for adoption if she couldn’t communicate with me?
I think part of what prompted me to start thinking about it was a need to process all the emotions that were coming along with my decision. When I wasn’t showing and the idea of adoption was still a secret, I tried to convince myself I could manage to divorce myself from the feelings of having to separate from the baby. I thought, if I could just steel my thoughts and stay focused on the big picture, I wouldn’t have to feel any grief associated with my decision. This was a faulty notion that ended up becoming unraveled when the hormones were raging and I couldn’t help but think about what it would be like to have to separate from Katie. Three seconds into thinking about that sent a flood of tears and a torrent of emotional anguish. What do you say to someone you love, but are never going to see again?
I Wanted Her To Know Me No Matter What
I never wanted her to wonder who I was. I wanted her to be able to tell someone else, “This is what I know about my Birth Mother.” I wanted her to be able to reflect on things she knew about me and see if she could see a glimmer of me in herself. How could I ensure that?
About three months into my pregnancy, I started journaling to her. I started out small, a few facts about me and her. Things like what I craved during my pregnancy with her. I threw in a few things I’d like her to know, such as that I was a writer, and I went to art school for a little while. I wanted her to know what I looked like, what my favorite colors were, and what her sister Katie was like.
As the days and journal entries went on, I started getting more personal. I started writing things about why I was making the decision and how it had nothing to do with her and everything to do with me wanting what was best for her. I wanted to assure her that she did nothing wrong, that her adoption was not a rejection or a punishment. I loved her, and I always would. I threw in things about her biological father, such as that he was a talented musician and a chef. I told her how we met and what it was like. As I wrote on, I started to imagine which qualities in the list between me and her biological father would she have. Would she have dark hair like mine or lighter hair like his? Would she have my ears or his? I was comforted greatly in knowing she would have all this information for years to come. The more I wrote, the more my heart settled. I didn’t have to be scared she would hate me because she didn’t know anything about me.
There Is No Such Thing As Give Up For Adoption
The one thing you can never say about a woman who makes an adoption plan for her child is that she gave up. There is so much that goes into realizing that adoption is the best decision for everyone and walking out all the emotional steps it takes to be able to see it through. We do not give up for adoption, we decide that another path is necessary. Mothers who love have to make big sacrifices at times. Sometimes the big sacrifices have to be made at the beginning of parenting. Adoption is not a pregnancy option, it is a parenting choice. Only a mother who is not giving up on her child can make a decision like that.
Communication is key. Exploring the option of adoption, walking through the process of making an adoption plan, and then living life as a Birth Mother in an open adoption takes a tremendous amount of communication. How you want your child’s adoption journey to go is up to you. Sharing your life with your child and living life with them in a Birth Mother/Adoptee relationship takes a lot of communication. The key to them having a good experience in adoption is knowing where they came from. That is where you come in. Healthy open adoption relationships happen when communication is ongoing. None of that looks like giving up.