One word to describe how you felt the moment you discovered you were pregnant?
Why did you choose adoption?
I chose adoption because I knew that my son needed more than I could give him. I wanted him to have the best life he could, and I knew that I could not provide that for him. Most of all, I wanted him to have a complete family that was ready to raise a child.
What and who played the biggest role in your decision to place your child for adoption?
My son’s birth father not being supportive played the biggest part. I wasn’t ready to be a single mom. I also am not stable enough to raise a child, I have not finished my degree yet and can only get a minimum wage job. I never wanted my child to suffer because of my choices.
What did you think about adoption before you placed? And after you placed?
I have friends who have open adoptions and love them, so I knew a little about adoption. I researched and found so many terrifying stories that almost made me reconsider. It seemed like the negative stories outweighed the positive stories.
Now, I can’t imagine my life without adoption. It has changed my life in major ways. I adore the extended family I have, and both my son and I are surrounded by so much love. Being a birth mom is the hardest yet most beautiful part of my life.
Looking back, what do you wish you had known then that you know today?
I wish I had known that I was in charge of my medical care. I had a terrible doctor who caused some major issues. I didn’t know that I could say no to things, or that I could have things done differently. As for the adoption, I wish that I had known that it was OK to get a little more connected to my son and the pregnancy. That I was strong enough to do this and it wouldn’t actually break me.
If you could dispel any myths about adoption or birth mothers - what would you say?
We don’t give our children up. We hold them in our hearts forever. Being a birth mom means constantly doing what is best for your child, even after placement. You want to make sure that your child is bonding with their parents and encourage that, but at the same time you don’t want them to forget the bond they have with you. You have to decide again and again that your child’s needs are greater than your wants, and help them however you can.
When, if ever, have you felt most discouraged about your decision to place?
When my family didn’t support me. It was a lonely, hard road to get here.
What's been the greatest reward or surprise of being a birth mother?
My relationship with my son’s parents, especially his mother. I always feared jealousy would get in the way of a relationship with her, but it hasn’t. Our bond is indescribable, there are no words in our language today that adequately portray the relationship between birthparents and adoptive parents. We share motherhood and that is a very special thing. I am not filled with the fear and jealousy that I was once so afraid of, I am filled with love and acceptance.
What's your greatest wish for birth mothers today?
To support each other. I have been in some pretty discouraging “conversations” and I wish that those would stop. No one understands what it is like to be a birth mother unless they are one. We need to realize that every experience is so different, and find ways to support each other through this journey.
What excites you about BraveLove?
I am excited about the message that adoption can be a positive thing! My son and his adoption are two of the best things that ever happened to me. It is not that way for everyone, but I am glad that I am able to share my experiences.