An Open Letter To All Birthmoms, Past and Present

An Open Letter To All Birthmoms, Past and Present

An Open Letter To All Birthmoms, Past and Present

An Open Letter To All Birthmoms, Past & Present

This letter is to you, whether you’re six months pregnant or six years post-placement. Here are some tips I’d like to share with you. Who am I, this person who feels like imparting knowledge to whomever casts a gaze upon this page? I’m a birthmom, a first mom, almost nine months post-placement with the sweetest boy I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. No matter where you are at in the process, here are five absolute truths in it all.

1. You probably aren’t the first person to ask a particular question.

When you’re starting out the placement process, you’ll start to ask questions, such as “What should I be looking for in a family?” “How much contact should I expect if we consider it an open adoption?” “Am I allowed to name my child?” All of these, and many more, are valid questions. And guess what? You are allowed to ask those questions and you should. Choosing a family to parent your child is a very special experience and no matter the reason for placing, you are still entitled to questioning and exploring certain options.

Post-placement, your questions will range in a multitude of areas. Some will be personal, such as: “How much or how little contact is okay?” “Will my child resent this decision when they are older?” Other questions are things that you would ask the child’s parents, such as: “Can I share pictures of the child with friends?” “Am I able to send letters on holidays or birthday presents?” While all of these are examples, they are very normal, logical things that if you feel you should ask, then do it.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to be open and honest within this relationship, for the sake of the child, his adopted family, and even your own peace of mind. Also, while you can look up a million articles on adoption, for most of these questions there is not a single right answer. It all depends on the pieces of the puzzle involved, their lifestyle, and level of comfort.

Samantha, Guest Blogger

2. You are entitled to your feelings, namely grief.

I cannot put into words exactly how you will feel about placing your child. Before my son was born, I often wondered if I could go through with it or if I could even bond with him. There was this mixture of anxiety, wishing for the pregnancy to end but also wanting him to stay in there forever so that I could keep him close. I didn’t have to endure that for long though, because I ended up in an emergency c-section at 34 weeks, feeling like both the baby and the time we had left had been yanked out from me. I took as much time as I could with him in the hospital, torn between wanting him to go home with his family and spend forever in NICU limbo snuggling. After his two weeks in the hospital, the reality of depression and grief set in and since then has come in waves. The best way that I can explain my feelings is that they are always seemingly conflicting with each other. I’ll be happy to receive pictures of him but sad that I’m not the one taking them. I’ll feel pride in seeing the way his parents look at him, but jealous of their joy. It has been the most fulfilling and soul-crushing prophecy, but I don’t have regret. The hardest of the emotions is grief, because from what I hear, it never quite goes away. At some point, you just have to accept that this is your new normal. The most important thing about your feelings though is that you are entitled to feel however you do, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. This is your process and you take it in your stride.

3. Join the birthparent community.

Whether you are just thinking about placing or years into your journey, you should join in with the birthparent community. Find a support group, a blog chat, an agency to speak at, etc. It’s important to find your voice in all this and find others who have experienced something similar to you. I felt so much more comfortable in my decision by finding a support group on Facebook to share my thoughts and fears with.  In a process that can feel so lonely, it’s nice to know you aren’t actually alone.

4. Change is inevitable in this process. Be open to it.

The process of adoption is an ever-growing wonder. As time goes on, everyone involved in the triad will change to a certain degree. After first having your baby, you may want more contact with his adoptive family in the form of pictures or updates or less if you feel that will help you heal. The adoptive family may want to bond with you more at first or wish to bond more over time after they feel secure as parents. Your child will change and grow in countless ways. It’s important to be flexible with changes so as to smoothly transition through it all. I’ve found in my relationship with my son’s parents that if something isn’t working, it’s better to approach them in an open conversation than to let any negative feelings build, and they do the same with me. By having an honest, trust-filled relationship, we all can build a positive life for his sake. Change is scary, but more often than not, it has a beautiful outcome

5. Know that this experience does not define you.

This is something I’ve toyed with from the very beginning. While placing a child is going to forever change you, it does not have to be the thing that defines you. Right after I placed, when somebody asked me about myself, I thought that that was all there was to me. I was a birthmom. But there is so much more to me. I’m a friend, a student, a partner, a counselor, a mentor, a haunt actor, etc. There are so many parts to me that this one event does not equal the sum of my parts. And my definition will continually change until the grave.

If you are considering adoption feel free to visit Your Adoption Gateway to learn more about the process or meet hopeful adoptive families and if you would like to learn more about the author of this article, Samantha can be contacted at her email: stalkire@westliberty.edu.

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

1 Comment

  1. Amy Brooks 2 years ago

    Samantha! Thank you so much for sharing! I agree – your voice and story need to be heard – keep telling it! May the Lord bless you with an awesome relationship with your baby, the family you chose for him! Sending you a big hug, lots of prayers that all your dreams come true, and so much gratitude for choosing life! <3 Amy – a mommy because of adoption!

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