A Birthmother’s Adoption Journey

A Birthmother’s Adoption Journey

A Birthmother’s Adoption Journey: “Adoption was the best choice I had ever made; it gave me purpose.”

This week’s blog is very special. We had the honor of interviewing a courageous birth mom who has made the most selfless and toughest decision of her life by choosing to give her son a meaningful life through the gift of adoption. Sam bravely shares her adoption story, her thoughts and feelings while navigating the adoption process and offers empowering advice for future birthmother’s and families considering adoption. Adoption has positively impacted her life and she hopes to inspire adoption awareness and become an outlet for adoption resources and support.

Tell me about yourself. 

I am currently in school studying social work, while working as a document specialist for a corporate outsourcing company. I volunteer at a haunted house in October. I’ve always had an interest in music and theater. I really love children and want to spend my life making sure they are put in the best possible situation for a healthy future.

What were you feeling when you found out you were pregnant?

I was 21 years old and in college when I found out I was pregnant. I was completely terrified. My mother had passed away not too long before, and I thought my being sick was grief, or a stomach virus. I took a test after work one night and not even 30 seconds after; it came up with a positive result. When I told my boyfriend, we initially discussed abortion as an option, but after finding out I was already 18 weeks along, that wasn’t an option in the slightest for us. We discussed parenting, but with both of us continuing our education and pursuing careers, we felt that we didn’t have the time or money to put our child in the best possible position in life.

Describe your adoption journey.

We decided to pursue adoption after realizing that it wasn’t the right time to add to our family, but rather to add to someone else’s. It was scary, and admittedly there were times we talked about reconsidering, but Liam’s future meant so much to us. We both knew we wanted a family that was comfortable with an open adoption, who shared similar values, a sense of humor, and a parenting style that I one day hope to have myself. It was really important for us to find people that were hard-working, valued education, and were established in life.

I started by looking around on the internet while deciding on whether or not to pursue adoption, but hadn’t looked seriously. After we found out the baby’s gender, a boy, things got a little more real, and I sat down at my computer one day and went to search for answers. Being like most people in my generation, I decided to browse my Facebook newsfeed first, and in my newsfeed was the adoption page of a local couple who had recently finalized the adoption of their first son. I messaged them in hopes of finding out the agency that they used or if they knew of any resources in the area, and ended up talking to the wife, Heather, for hours that night and in the days to follow. Darren and Heather met with my boyfriend and I about a month after Heather and I first started talking. That day after lunch, I invited her to come to my next appointment with me, where I was having a growth ultrasound. We talked every day on Facebook messenger and she accompanied me to ultrasounds, and at some point we transitioned to texting. We were supposed to have lunch again and meet their older son the weekend that Liam was born.

Sam

Describe your family support system.

Most members of my family were supportive, and were concerned for my happiness regarding the outcome of the situation. My aunt stepped up and talked to me about all angles of choosing adoption and went to some doctor’s appointments with me. A few cousins that I shared with offered support and conversation. Not everyone was supportive, but there was enough support to make me feel confident in my decision.

 

Describe your hospital stay and the delivery of your son.

Throughout my pregnancy, I had issues with being sick and having high blood pressure. It was monitored, but not considered an issue. At 34 weeks, I became completely swollen and miserable, with a headache and my blood pressure rising. I had a hospital stay overnight on a Tuesday, where they discovered my protein levels were ridiculously high and I was becoming pre-eclamptic. My doctor wanted me to go on leave from work and on bedrest, and I put in my leave from work that Friday. Late that night, I had a ridiculously bad headache and went to the hospital in the early morning hours to get checked out, expecting to go home that day. Instead, it was decided that I would go to a different hospital that had high risk OBGYNs and a NICU. A little after noon that Saturday, I was in an emergency c-section and my son was born. Liam was whisked away to the NICU, and because of the medications I was on, I had to stay in bed for 24 hours and could not see him for more than ten minutes in the day after he was born. His parents came up to the hospital to see us, and being the wonderfully respectful people they are, only saw him for ten minutes as well. As soon as I was able to get out of bed the next day, I made my boyfriend take me in a wheelchair down to the NICU so I could see that tiny little boy. I stayed in the hospital for three days and when I wasn’t being forced to rest, I visited him as much as I could. When I was released from the hospital, he remained in the NICU until the end of the week and was then transferred to pediatrics for another week. I visited about every other day. It was a great gift to all when he went home on Mother’s Day.

Ever since Liam was born, I have had a great relationship with his parents. Heather and I send text messages and pictures daily. We are friends on Facebook. We live rather close and have had a few visits already. I consider the whole family to be good friends.

How has adoption impacted your life?

This adoption journey has absolutely changed my life. I feel that before this all happened I was ridiculously lost and having my son and experiencing what I did has given me purpose. I now know what I want out of life and what matters to me. When it comes to adoption in general, I have learned that many people are not aware of what happens in an adoption. As I have tried to open up about the process to people around me, many have asked questions like “What does an open adoption mean?” and “Are you gonna get him back later?” While both are legitimate questions, I still find myself shocked at the lack of knowledge in adoptions. For this reason, I hope to spread adoption awareness and connect people to the necessary resources.

 

Do you have any advice for future birthmothers and families considering adoption?

Birthmothers: Be up front about your expectations. While you might be scared to speak your mind early on in fear of not finding a family, it is better you know the truth of a situation and reduce the amount of surprise later. Find online chats or support groups. Talk to other people about their experiences, and know that you aren’t alone. Know someone has had the same questions or fears as you. Please remember through it all to respect the adoptive family’s journey in hopes that they will respect yours.

Adoptive Families: Again, be up front about your expectations. The most important thing you can do is be honest with a birth family about your plans for raising a child and the amount of contact that you feel comfortable with. While you’re in a scary position of putting yourself out there, with a bit of faith and trust, I hear the payoff is worth it! Don’t be afraid to become friends with a birth family. Most don’t mean you harm.

And to everyone considering adoption, get acquainted with others in the adoption world! Since making my adoption plan, I have talked to so many incredible people and feel I know so much more and am so much more comfortable in my decision because having support and understanding takes away the stigma. If anyone would ever like to approach me with questions or concerns, or even just to chat, I would love to be of any help that I could!

Sam is an inspiring young woman and “first mom,” who was determined to put Liam’s life above her own. We commend Sam for her bravery, her decision to choose adoption and for sharing her adoption story with us. If you are considering adoption and would like to learn more, feel free to visit our company website at www.youradoptiongateway.com or email us at youradoptiongateway@gmail.com.

I am a wife, mother of two, and love anything and everything adoption. I am an avid adoption supporter and love to help others complete their family through adoption. If you love adoption too, Like and follow our blog! <3

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