Placing a baby for adoption is a bittersweet experience. It is not just a singular event, it changes your life forever. One does not simply place a baby for adoption and forget all about it. Choosing adoption means grief, joy, love and loss. Choosing adoption means choosing life.
Placing my baby for adoption was the hardest thing I have ever done. While I was pregnant, I experienced a lot of judgement. I was young and single, so many people assumed that I was without moral, saying that I had thrown my life away. When I chose adoption, some people called me irresponsible, or didn’t believe that I loved my baby. That was hard for me.
However, for every negative comment I received, I got at least five that were positive. Most people understood that I was doing my best with a difficult situation. I had friends, family, and even strangers reach out and support me through my pregnancy. Some of the people I had been the most afraid of being judged by were the ones who were the most supportive of me and my decision.
Delivering my baby knowing that I wouldn’t be taking her home with me was exhausting, physically and emotionally. I cried from the pain of labor and the pain of my heart. Just when I was ready to give up, my sweet baby finally entered the world. The nurse handed her to me, and I knew that no matter how hard it had been, and no matter how hard it would be, the cliché is true–it was worth it. I loved my baby more than I ever thought possible.
When the time came to place my newborn baby into her adoptive parent’s arms, my heart shattered. This baby who I loved so fiercely wasn’t mine anymore. I couldn’t hold her or soothe her when she cried. I wouldn’t be there for her first steps, and I wouldn’t be the one she called mama. It made me think I would never recover.
Two years later and I can say I have found a new normal. I will never fully ‘get over’ the loss of placing my baby for adoption. The pain is the cost of loving her. But it doesn’t hurt every day. I am blessed to have a very open adoption, so I receive regular photos and updates from her adoptive parents. I visit my birth daughter often, and we share a special bond that I wouldn’t trade for anything. She is thriving with her beautiful family, living the childhood I hoped and dreamed she would have.
My adoption journey hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it. I have become stronger, more empathetic, and more loving. For every tear I have shed for my loss, I have smiled and laughed with joy for my open adoption. Watching my birth daughter grow up being loved by her adoptive family heals my heart and brings joy to my soul. Carrying this little person and helping to build a forever family has been an honor.