Being a Birth Mother who works for an adoption agency is an interesting experience. The situation involving why I am working for an agency is unique. I never expected this. But here I am, walking women through the process of making an adoption plan, and at times, bearing witness to their adoption plan execution. Having a plan to place for adoption is one thing. Signing documents that say that you are no longer the legal parent to the child you carried for 9 months is a heavy-hearted experience. I barely remember my own signing. I think once I picked up the pen off the hospital tray, I was overwhelmed with the urge to just get it done as quickly as possible. The gravity of the matter was more than I wanted to bear emotionally. And while, for me, adoption finalization was not nearly that emotionally staggering, there were still grief-stained feelings that went with it.


The Adoption finalization means different things to each member of the triad. I remember my child’s adoptive mom texting me to say that this was the day of finalization. The deed, as they say, was done. Not that it was less done when I left the hospital, but now there is a judge saying what I did is recognized as legal. No take-backsies. I didn’t have a mind to change my mind anyway, but I didn’t like the idea of being reminded that I couldn’t all the same.


Adoption Finalization Causes Reflection On The Decision


I remember having moments soon after the adoption finalization that would take my breath away. I would breathe in, gasp, and think to myself, “Did I really do that?”


When I would think about that, I would also think of her parents. Our relationship became more than I ever anticipated. I have more openness now than any of us agreed to. The connection I have to her adoptive mom is precious. We built this open adoption relationship thing together. Each of us careful to make sure it was a solid foundation to build on. Of course, anything built on the firm foundation of Christ is going to stand anyway. But both parties must be committed to making Jesus the ground by which they build upon to begin with. You can’t have a concrete/sand foundation or the whole thing crumbles.


Even with all that, hearing the words, “The adoption was finalized today” sounded like a door firmly shut and locked tight. Was I no longer allowed in? What does it mean to be a visitor in their lives? Why are we called family, but there are aspects I am not a part of? These are the questions I wrestled with, but this is what I came out of those skirmishes with:
1. I had an outcome in mind with this decision and that was realized
2. I have more than I even wanted to have (focus on gratitude)
3. She has what I intended for her in this placement
4. We all are in the places in life I hoped this adoption would enable
5. Just because things are hard, doesn’t mean they are wrong, necessarily
6. I am grateful for whatever I have in this, I was guaranteed nothing
7. If the whole relationship falls apart tomorrow, she still has what I intended


Adoption Finalization Means Different Things To Anyone Who Has Placed


While I have my own experience being a Birth Mother who has gone through an adoption finalization, I can’t say that the experiences I had are stereotypical by any means. I have now witnessed three women go through their own finalizations. Each one has a different story, a different reason why she placed, and different takes on the outcomes. I have had to help them process their own finalizations while I relive my own each time. It’s a surreal space to be in those moments. But Birth Mother to Birth Mother bonds are strong and necessary.


I can’t tell anyone what their adoption plan, execution, or finalization will be like, But I can tell anyone who endeavors to do this to make sure that they are vocalizing their needs and scrutinizing the ones who are claiming to help them.


For the mothers considering adoption, you have a right to every question answered, even if that means the answer may make you change your mind. It is yours to change.


Will adoption finalization be hard? Yes. Will you have thoughts and feelings about it? Yes. Is it all worth it in the end? I really cannot say. But I can tell you, if you need help working through the emotions of what it will be like, we can help. If you have already placed, and are struggling with the feelings of your own adoption finalization, there are resources to help you feel more grounded in your adoption journey. Adoption finalization is…well…final. But feeling stuck in grief doesn’t have to be the final answer either.