Adoption has a stigma behind it; I am not that stigma — Erika's Story

image1.jpeg23 years, 5 months, 14 days, 19 hours, 57 minutes and 59 seconds ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He was perfect but he wasn’t exactly mine. We made the most difficult, unselfish and brave decision of handing him over to his forever family. The heartbreak, pain and agony are very real. The kind of real that hurts your heart for the rest of your life.

My husband and I were 15 when we met and I knew that he was the love of my life. We were from two different worlds and so in love. I ended up pregnant and gave birth at 16. I knew that we weren’t capable of being good parents or even knew how to do so. My gynecologist suggested adoption, and it just so happened that he knew a family who longed for a baby. We received our first letter from them and I could feel their love from those three pages. They told us about their family and their fertility issues and their pain of Erika_husband.jpegwanting what we had.

We had the ability to change lives and help ourselves grow in the process. We were going to give them a gift. I never thought about myself and wasn’t prepared for the aftermath.

When the word adoption comes out, people become judgmental like you’re a bad person, like you’re throwing away your baby. If I can be totally honest right now, this is the first time that this story (my story) has left my mouth. In the hopes of helping people have a better understanding of adoption and what it’s like to be birth parents.

We don’t have an open adoption. We love his family and are extremely grateful for them BUT sometimes it feels like they are scared of us. There was more information letter writing when he was little. Now there is no contact at all.

My husband and I have gone on to get married (16 years), buy a beautiful home and have 4 children. When you have “new” children there is new guilt of “how come I can take care of them but not him”, you always question yourself and often feel like the pain will NEVER go away.

In 2013, he contacted our oldest son through FB and they started establishing a bond with just general conversations. He then contacted me and for me there was so much excitement and awkwardness, “what am I allowed to say?”, “Is he ready to meet me tomorrow?” (lol). We speak via text a couple times a year and I’m trying not to suffocate him or overstep any boundaries. I love all of my children, yes, I said it…he belongs to me. His family is so special to me and they will always be his Mom and Dad but we are his BIRTHPARENTS. There is something miraculous and exquisite about giving birth, making a human and then handing that gift over and sacrificing all of your feelings and emotions.

It’s breathtaking.

Erika_daughter.jpegWe are Foster parents and have been for over 10 years, I am truly blessed that I am able to see adoption from every different direction, so I understand. I suffer from trauma from the Adoption, it’s the hardest, bravest thing I have ever done in my life and I have many regrets every second of every day, but would I do it again knowing all of this? I definitely would. Our son has grown into a handsome young man, he’s going to graduate from college soon and he has accomplished so much. We are so proud of him and we respect his space. 

He may never want to meet us, but I am so hopeful that one day my life will come full circle and my heart will be healed. 

Adoption has a stigma behind it, I am not that stigma. 
Be brave, be strong, have compassion, show kindness and never judge anyone.