If you are just joining us, you’ll want to know the beginning of the story! Click here to read part one of “A Story of a Birth Mom”. You’ll hear about her background, the support she did or didn’t get, and why she decided to place her child up for adoption. Today, in part two of the story, we dive right into her picking a family and how things have turned out for her, the child, and the adoptive family. Below is a continuation of the transcript to our conversation.
Pearcia (Me): That’s amazing. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Can we back up? How did you choose the family to begin with?
Sue - Not Real Name (Birth Mom): I was able to give my qualifications on what type of family I wanted for the child and then I was given 15-20 resumes of parents that fit these qualifications. I narrowed it down to four families and from there was given “Dear Birth Mom” letters.
P: What are those?
S: Since what I was initially given was rather a sterile description of the family, this is the opportunity for the family to help me get to know them a bit. To let me know why they are adopting. Basically, to let me know why I should choose them.
P: Wow, that’s a lot of pressure on a letter.
S: It was oddly easy. Two of the four letters naturally rose to the top for me so it was set up that I would meet both families before choosing one.
P: How do you know which family to choose? Were you looking for something specific?
S: Well, it’s kinda like a first date. Even though you might be looking for something or hoping for something when you meet, you either have chemistry or you don’t. That’s how it was for me anyway. The family I didn’t choose was great! They had everything I was looking for in an adoptive family, but when we met, we didn’t “click”. When I met with the other family, we did. It was that simple.
P: Some of my readers are wondering if there is anything prospective adoptive parents can do to help during this meeting to be chosen, it sounds like there isn’t.
S: Honestly, be yourself. Don’t try too hard. Just be you. You will be you with the child for the rest of your life. So be that person, that is who I was hoping to meet. Just like a first date, if someone is being fake, the other person can tell. Relax and trust the right family and birth mom will find each other.
P: Trust is so simple and so hard all at the same time. So it sounds like, the in-person meeting is where you made your decision?
S: Actually, the “Dear Birth Mom” letters made a huge impact. I think I knew before I met with them, and the meeting just confirmed what I already knew. The fact that I had chemistry with the family sealed it for me. I felt bad not choosing the other family, but I knew the family I chose was the best choice.
P: I love how God brings peace to us in hard decisions! Do you mind talking about after the adoption was finalized too?
S: Not at all.
P: What did you envision for the child’s future?
S: That’s actually a tricky one. Nature versus nurture, right? I spoke with the adoptive family about this, but each family is different and we all grow and change over the years. Early on, before I was even choosing a family, I was nervous about the biological father and what he could have passed down to the child. This was a fear of mine, but nothing I could control. Maybe it was self-preservation, but I was able to separate early on that I wouldn’t have influence on the child, just like the biological father wouldn't. There are some natural characteristics that might get passed on, but the family would nurture him to help him grow.
P: That’s a really mature thought process.
S: I’m not sure it was a cognitive one, but looking back, I somehow knew these things and it helped me process. One of my main things was wanting two parents for the child. I was confident that with a positive and supportive father in his life, he wouldn’t turn out like the biological father. This gave me hope for whatever future he eventually chose for himself.
P: Since it’s an open adoption, I assume you know some of the things he’s chosen and how he’s turned out?
S: He is a sophomore now. I actually visit them regularly and sometimes bring my family. My kids don’t know the connection yet, but they all know each other.
P: That’s beautiful. Sounds like you have a good relationship with the adoptive family.
S: Yes. The family has adopted 3 kids. I’ve been able to meet with their other birth moms at the hospital and talk and share with them.
P: That’s amazing! Okay, a couple more questions that might be a bit hard. You ready?
S: You bet!
P: Since you are still in contact and spend time with the family, some of the readers are curious if you’ve ever wanted to say something when the adoptive parents disciplined or taught the child in front of you.
S: Oh! Well, I’m not the parent. The "adoptive parents" are simply the parents. I’m not “Mommy”. I’m the birth mom. So I don’t know why I would say anything.
P: That sounds very clear. Are your emotions just as clear in the moment?
S: Yes. I’m not the parent. They are. It doesn’t matter if I would do something different with my own kids. I’m there to visit, not influence what the parents have been doing the last 15 years of his life.
P: That’s a great perspective.
S: It’s reality.
P: Well, speaking of reality, do you still feel like you made the right decision?
S: Absolutely. It’s a loss of a child, but it’s different because they are still out there and thriving. It is still a grief process, but I would make the decision again. Having an open adoption helped me with my grief because I can see how great his life is now. No regrets - I’ll have sorrow from time to time - but never regrets. I’m 100% confident I made the right decision and would do it again without question.
P: I’m so glad. Okay, the last question came straight from a reader and it’s rather beautiful, so I’m just going to read it to you: “Do you understand that what you’ve done for your child is possibly the most loving and selfless act you could ever do and that by making such a hard choice you’ve given hope and a chance to someone who may have never had the opportunity without you? It is because of this that the adoptive parents will always love you and hold a place for you in their hearts with gratitude as well as your child. Did you know?”
S: *Sigh* It’s taken a long time to accept this, but I agree with it. I’ve had to get past the shame I was initially given and the guilt I laid on myself related to why I hid it from people as the years passed, but this whole situation is so beautiful and blessed. *Pauses* The reality is that this child was always supposed to be theirs, I was just the vessel.
Dear reader: We ended the conversation with details on the pieces you’ve just read, but that really was the last statement she made about the adoption process. It’s so breathtakingly beautiful, I’d like to just leave it there. May the Lord bless you and your family as you embark on this journey. He has a bright future ahead for everyone involved. Trust him as you wait.