Written by Samantha, Guest Blogger and Birthmom
These days, I’m liable to tell just about anyone I meet about my son and our adoption plan. I talk about it with friends, write articles about it on social media, and once even told the woman fingerprinting me for a job clearance. During my pregnancy though, aside from a few friends, doctors, and work management, I kept it to myself. Thinking back on it now, it makes me incredibly sad that I worked so hard to keep it so hushed.
While adoption has come a long way from the days of baby Moses in a basket and small Catholic orphanages, there is still a large stigma of shame and guilt attached to it. Being a young woman in a crisis pregnancy is damning. There’s coming to terms with the fact that you even allowed yourself to get pregnant (I will always have an ill-will toward antibiotics) and then admitting to yourself that you are not the best person to care for this life that you’ve created. While pregnancy hormones already suck, you have an extra batch of emotions when it comes to figuring out how you are going to make the best of this situation. To say the least, you are fragile.
With all that being said, people love to have an opinion on things that don’t involve them, including myself, although I’m trying to do better. When it comes to adoption, while most people know someone within the triad, there is still a large general level of ignorance on the subject and negativity that isn’t helpful. Like the social worker at the local hospital who knew very little on the subject and provided me with a phone number or two of ‘people she thinks handled an adoption once.’ The nurse who climbed onto my hospital bed when I was pregnant and sick to put in her two cents on the subject. The counselor who wasn’t used to progressive open adoptions and got offended when I asked her to use positive adoption language rather than phrases like ‘gave up’. The lawyer who assisted me in signing over my rights who was cold and unsure of my rights within my state. My friend’s mother who said she didn’t understand how I could do that to my baby because she got married and parented at my age.
So, please forgive me if you’re finding out about my son’s adoption after the fact. While I was pregnant, it was easier to hide in my shell of shame and guilt and wait for ‘life to return to normal.’ (Fun fact: it doesn’t.) Even the small slew of opinions and negativity I dealt with made it harder for me to make the needed decision, so why invite more of an audience?
After Liam was born though, my pride and love over-powered those negative feelings and thank goodness for that. He is such a beautiful little wonder, and because of open adoption, I’ve gotten to see him grow in a happy, healthy environment. While I’m far from perfect, I like to think I’m a lot stronger when it comes to ignorance and negative opinions these days because I want the world to be educated on the power of adoption. I still have a long way to go until I can fully grasp the beauty within myself, but for now, finding some peace and happiness within one of the largest chapters of my life is a nice start.