The experience of becoming a birthmother is so unique and I hope that sharing my experience will bring you hope and perspective, should this be the path you choose.
I was 19 when I found out I was pregnant. I felt like my entire life was crashing down around me. I felt shame, anxiety, worry, and so many more emotions all at once. This was never a part of the plan. The birthfather was unsupportive and chose not to be a part of my pregnancy. My family was extremely disappointed in me. I was alone and honestly thought that I had made my bed and now had to lay in it. I planned to be a single mom. I was going to school at the time. It had been a goal of mine to graduate from my university in four years. Being a mom, and a single mom at that, was going to make that very difficult. I had to give up on that dream and take on the responsibility that was coming. It was extremely scary. It wasn’t until I was almost 8 months pregnant that someone suggested I look into my options.
At that point I didn’t know I had options, since I had decided against abortion. I was very against adoption, given what I knew about it at the time (which I came to find out was very little). I could never give my child away to someone and hope that she was going to be okay. She was my flesh and blood and I would not have been able to live with myself. But even with that in mind, I still decided to look into it. I found an agency’s website and started looking into open adoption. It sounded too good to be true at first. I wasn’t sure how exactly it would work, but I decided to look into it further. By this time, I was 36 weeks. I thought it was too late, but the agency walked me through the entire process. I looked through profiles and one family stood out to me. I chose to meet with them and I instantly fell in love with them. They were perfect.
I could not have found better parents for her. Our relationship is natural. Our bond is strong and based on mutual love and respect. They are so committed to the relationship that we share and make it a constant priority that my birth daughter know who I am and that I be a part of her life. I have never doubted that I’ve made the right decision. I did not make this decision for myself, but in hopes that my daughter would have the most wonderful life, filled with opportunities I could not alone provide. She deserves the best, and she got that. I am a part of a beautiful thing. I graduated in May 2014 (meeting my 4-year goal) and she is my inspiration. I have achieved these things because of open adoption. Fast forward six years and I am still getting updates on how she is growing and thriving, while achieving my own dreams. I have the best of both worlds and I have come so far because of the decision I made to place her.
The birthparent experience is unlike any other experience I have gone through. It is beautiful, but at the same time very painful. There is no denying that making the decision to place your child in an open adoption is one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make. It can be scary and that is okay. Birthparents are just as scared as everyone else involved. It is a new experience that has to be taken day by day. In my own personal experience I feel the ups and downs often, and it is ok to feel those deep emotions. There are good days and there are bad days, but ultimately it is the most beautiful and rewarding thing I have ever been a part of. I love my birth daughter and I love her adoptive parents with all my heart.
So if there is any advice or words of wisdom I can offer it is this.
Be mindful of your emotions surrounding the entire experience. Do not try to ignore them. Talk to someone about them. It is all around emotional and acknowledging those emotions is the best way to make it work.
Be honest with yourself and with others. The adoptive family and myself have been honest with each other from day one and it makes the relationship so much easier and better.
Lastly, I would say when looking for a match: when you know you know. There is a right match for everyone out there and maybe it will not be your first try that you find that match. Do not ever settle for something that does not feel right. However, when you find that perfect match you will know and it will be natural and well… just perfect!
By: Ali D.