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What It Feels Like Not Receiving Updates/Pictures of Our Child - The Birthmother Experience

not receiving photos of our child

We held up our end of the deal, but you aren’t holding up yours.

Maybe you are busy, maybe you forgot about us, or maybe it isn’t a priority.

But we haven’t forgotten.

We don’t want to bother you so we don’t ask.

Or we have asked so many times without getting anything that we have just given up.

We feel like a means to an end. A vessel so you could get what you always wanted.

Makes us second guess if we made the right decision. If we picked the right family.

We are forced to wonder if our child is being take care of. If he/she is ok. If they know about us.

And so we wait. Hoping for an email or an update or anything at all.

While you are living life, we wait.

I think what is so heartbreaking is that there are SO many birthmothers with stories like these. For every 1 birthmother getting her updates and pictures as promised, there 5 others who aren’t. Here are just a few birthmothers who bravely shared what it feels like to not get updates and pictures of their child.

“My daughter’s adoptive parents stopped sending pictures and updates almost 4 years ago. They sent some pictures this past Christmas and I know absolutely nothing about my daughter. It really hurt me for a long time. I started having feelings of resentment and that I didn’t make the right choice as far as the family goes. I know they love her and she has a great life, BUT IT IS LIKE LOSING HER FOR A SECOND TIME. I’ve come to a point where it’s almost “out of sight out of mind” now. I hate saying that because she’s a part of me and I wish I could be more to her. I don’t even know if she knows my name, who I am, or if she is adopted. It is a terrible feeling.”

-Ali C.

“My daughter went to an amazing couple and they sent pictures and updates allllll the time. But then it slowed. Then it stopped altogether. After about 2 years I called her adoptive mom and asked her why. She was terrified to tell me that they had divorced. I was crushed my daughter was still fatherless after all I did for her UNTIL I realized how much my daughter meant to Sarah (her adoptive mom) as she headed out on her own with a 3 year old. I don’t pester because life can really get the best of us sometimes, but I really hope communication will pick up again. I love them both and I love hearing about their life together.”

-Darcee C.

“I had my daughter at 16 and didn’t really reach out until I was 20 years old because I didn’t know what to do or how to do it. I was still a child and learning about life. In my 20’s I realized that I have a daughter and I wanted to know about her. I never knew how the adoption process worked because everything was pretty much done for me at 16. Now that I know, I only ask for an update once a year in June and that’s on her birthday. Even then it takes her parents 2-3 months to get me an update. This year I have not gotten anything yet, still waiting. It’s August. It makes me sad because I don’t ask for much and I don’t want to feel like I’m bothering them. I cry. I keep saying to myself that they are busy or something must have come up. They are good people and I still believe that, but it’s cruel. After reaching out so many times, it breaks my heart because I only ask for 1 picture once a year. Of course I want more. Of course I want them to send me a letter and tell me how she is and all about her. I have been checking my email constantly since June 25 and nothing. I deserve to know my daughter or at least how she is doing.”

-Jess A.

So maybe those pictures and updates don’t mean much to you, maybe they are an inconvenience, but they mean the world to us. You are breaking a promise to the woman who trusted you. Let that sink in. If you can’t follow through with what a birthmother is asking for in terms of post placement updates and contact, then maybe it isn’t the right situation for you. And there is no shame in recognizing that and waiting for a situation that better suits you. She deserves your honesty and she deserves to receive what she is asking for. In today’s world it takes less than 1 minute to send a picture via email or upload a photo on the Shutterfly app on your phone. It is one minute out of your day, 5 minutes out of your year, to show your birthmother that you care about her and you are committed to holding up your end of the deal.

We held up our end of the deal, so please hold up yours.