Friday, November 19, 2010

19. Negative and Positive (Birthmom Edition)

I wanted to put together a post of what birthmom's have been asked/told either prior to birth or post placement. The negative or postive things that were said when they told people that they were placing or had placed their baby for adoption.

When I was pregnant, I worked in the mornings and it sort of is just one type of culture that is the majority in the morning. It is the culture of, "When you get pregnant, you are the one who raises the baby or your mom raises the baby." It was tough for me when I'd go into work and they would all come up and rub my belly and tell me they were so excited for me.

I worked one night, one of the random nights they scheduled me and I told a girl that I was placing my baby for adoption. Another girl was there and she's pretty much related to everyone that works in the day. And I told her, "Don't tell your sisters or your cousins." Of course, she didn't respect what I asked her not to do.

The next day and months after that, I was bombarded with questions such as, "Why would you give your baby away?"
My answer: Either silence because I knew I'd punch somebody in the face or they would face the wrath of a hormonal pregnant woman. Or I'd try to answer them  in the way they could understand it. But they couldn't because in their culture that's not what they're accustomed to.

I was told all the time that I was a bad mom by them because I wouldn't parent my baby. That my baby was meant to be with me. They told me that my baby didn't need a dad and that I could be.
My answer: As much as I would love to be two people. I just can't be.

One lady did say that she would have my baby if I didn't want it. (I remember a friend also said that the day after I had Olivia, I believe on one of her pictures, she said, "Can I have her?" I know she didn't mean it as a rude thing.)
Answer to both things: It wasn't that I never wanted her. I just had always felt that Olivia deserved a lot more than what I could give her. So no, you can't have her.

They told me if I wasn't making enough money then I could get money from the state and get foodstamps and such things.
My answer: I know many wonderful, single parents. I know some of them struggle with financial stresses. I didn't want to be one of those parents. Some people don't care about the money. But I cared. But that wasn't the only thing I cared about.

I had one of my really good friends at work. I know she didn't mean to do any harm to her comment. But I think I actually went home and cried. I'm sure being hormonal and pregnant I was complaining about something. And I said something about having to place my baby for adoption. She said to me, "Don't complain about it. You're the one that got yourself in the situation. I shouldn't feel sorry for you."
My answer: You're right. I have no legitimate excuse for that one.

I had a guy at work one day say to me, "So, you're daughter is a mistake right? Because you're placing her for adoption."
My answer: I punched him in the face. Baha. No. Not really. I wish I did. I just said to him, "No. Just because I'm not ready to be a parent doesn't mean she was a mistake."

Don't get me wrong. I've also had some very positive feedback from people about placing for adoption. I've had friends that say that it was amazing thing and that it takes a really strong person to do it.

I'm going through my old messages from like the day of placement. I don't know if Nic ever got this message but his sister in law sent it to me and I thought it was really sweet of her. I never wrote her back. But I really appreciated it.

It's amazing how one so small can have such a great impact on so many people :) You have made one of the hardest choices ever and it was completely unselfish. That shows a lot for your character how you cared for what was best for little Olivia, no matter how hard it was. :D

I remember coming back into work a week or so after having Olivia. I was showing pictures to everyone and a guy that I work with comes over and says, "She's cute. Too bad you had to give her up."
My answer: Yeah, too bad huh? Because I didn't have a choice in all of that.

Desire is the root of selfishness; clear your heart of desire and be selfless. selflessness is the key to inner peace.
Christofer Drew Ingle

I will get asked from old friends in high school if it was hard. Of course, it was. I cried every single day hoping that the answer I would get is to be a single mom. But that answer never came. I know that was the answer of my desires but never the answer of my prayers. I knew that my prayers were answered when Dustinn and Val entered the picture. And I knew right then, that's where she needed to be. I knew that I felt confident and at peace before I had her but that's before I knew her and I got to hold Olivia and love her. That's the moment it got hard for me. I wanted so much for the peace and the confidence to come back. I don't know where my strength came from to sign those papers that day. But I did. There was a picture taken that my  mom took while I was signing. Warm tears were rolling down my face where I had previously been cried. I had the pen in my right hand and Olivia in my lap and my left arm wrapped around her. I looked at her face and I said a prayer. The most heartfelt and agonizing prayer that I will have the strength to do a signature. Even the most crappiest one of my life. That I will have the strength to do it for her even if someone was fighting against me not to do it. It happened, I made it through a difficult time. Adoption was hard but it was worth it. That's all I can say.

When I work in the day, I still get asked DAILY how my baby is doing. If I have seen her recently. If I have a new picture of her. They still don't understand why I could do that. They really believe I just gave up. And I abandoned my baby. But I know I didn't. My little girl is my life and I knew I didn't just leave her in a trash can because I couldn't hack motherhood. I tried to be the best mother I could be. I know most of everyone who is a mother is insecure because they don't know if they are being the best mom. I know I'm still insecure wondering if I made the right the decision as a mother. But I know personally for me, I made the right decision for Olivia. And that's all that matters.

Andee's Story:

She wrote this in June 2009.

I received a comment on my Adoption Story the other day that really upset me.
It upset me because I couldn't possibly understand how ANYONE could have such negative feelings towards something that seems so obviously AMAZING.
This person criticized and completely downplayed the two most incredibly important, amazing and passionate things in my life. She ripped on the two things I hold so dear and close to my heart....
My religion.
I have my comments set to be moderated for any post older than three days.
I do that ONLY so that I can see that I received a comment on older posts.
this lady thought that meant that I have it set so that I can decide which comments to post.
I have NEVER rejected a comment....until now.
She asked me that I have the "courage" to post it.
It has nothing to to with my having courage, but everything to do with the fact that I am not in a million years going to support the things she was saying..especially when she is bashing two of the most incredibly important things I hold so close to my heart.
Now on to some of the things she said. I am making this post because I want to explain to those of you that cannot see what a miracle these things are, how amazing they are. I am responding to this comment simply because I need everyone to know why exactly I have such strong feelings towards these two things.

Hear me out.

Before I start I would like to thank this reader for reading my blog, and also for stating their opinion. It does help me to know how to further educate others that read my blog about the miracle of adoption. I helps me remind myself that some do not understand the true miracle it is.
I would also like to point out that this has been the second person that has accused me of lying about the way I feel about adoption. The second person in a DAY. The first one simply said that I (and other birth moms that I relate to) were only saying what Adoptive Parents wanted to hear and not how we really felt.
This comment that was left, told me that first off, she was not being personal towards me..which I have taken VERY personally due to the fact that she is bashing the things that are personal to me and Second, well, I will copy and past the exact words:

"I don't want to hurt your feelings or to burst your bubble. I think you need to keep telling yourself how great this was to save your sanity."

If I did not love adoption. If I did not completely and 100% support it, if I had had a horrible experience, WHY in the WORLD would I create a BLOG and do everything that I POSSIBLY could to share with the world how amazing it is? Why would I go around promoting it, if I didn't feel strongly that the decision I made what sooright? Why would I??
My religion has been such a great help and support to me through this incredibly difficult thing. I honestly and truly know that it is BECAUSE of my religion that I have been able to deal with it the way I have. I strongly believe that it is because of my religion that I am healing the way I am.
I know that there are many birth mothers out there that do not handle it well and have an incredibly difficult time with coping throughout there entire life. I want to tell you right now that yes, this experience has changed my life, but I am able to heal from it.
It's because of my religion.
The spirit has comforted me through my most difficult times.
Prayer has helped me.
I'm not in denial about the way I feel.
I honestly and truly can tell you with 1000% confidence, that I am doing GREAT.

here is another copy/paste from the comment:

"Then there is the very real problem of the illusion of open adoption. Andrea and Dustin and move away, change their phone number and shut you out at any time. They can join a religious cult, like my son's family did and raise her any way you like, no matter what they promise now or what you believe they will do. I hope this doesn't happen to you, but it certainly can and does happen."

I failed to mention beforehand that this lady is a middle-aged birth mom.
Let me say right now that I am sorry you regret your decision. Really I am. That must be hard.
I know with 1000% certainty that Dustin and Andrea are not going to shut me out of their life, or join a religious cult...
(unless the cult you are referring to is the LDS that case they had already joined when I picked them. IN FACT, I was looking for someone that was a member of this 'cult', because as you know, I am also a member.)
If they WERE to move away or change their number, we wouldn't lose contact. I don't know how else to explain on this blog that Dustin, Andrea and I are VERY close. A lot closer than most realize.
But even if that was the case,
even if they were to move away, shut me out of their lives, and never speak to me again,
Although I would be hurt, I still wouldn't regret my decision.
I KNOW it was the right decison.
Now, Let's talk about my church.
Here is another Copy/Paste:

"My cousin, who is LDS, became pregnant out of wedlock. She was strongly guilt-tripped and coerced into relinquishment. What is interesting to me is that the church was willing to pay for all of her expenses while she was willing to relinquish, but withdrew all support when she decided, with the help of her parents, to parent her son. That was heinous. Her son is now grown, well educated (BYU grad), happy and doing fine. I read many adoption forums and blogs and find the LDS to be one of the least supportive of those women who want to parent outside of marriage."

Let me Clarify something.
The LDS church does NOT coerce or guilt trip you into doing anything.
If you are referring to her FAMILY guilt tripping or coercing her into relinquishment, that's not the church. That is her family.
The CHURCH did not withdraw support when she decided to parent. The only thing they would have done was stop paying for the insurance and doesn't that make sense? The Adoptive couple was technically paying the insurance. Why would they pay for it if they weren't getting a child in the end? Plus, every agency does this, whether they are through the LDS church or not.
The Church Supports adoption.
That doesn't mean they force you to place for adoption.
I was NOT coerced into doing anything.
I made the decision completely on my own.
I went to LDS family services the day after I told my parents I was pregnant and they did not try to force me to do one thing or the other. They were just simply there to talk about my options. They would have supported either decision, because when it all comes down to is, this was my child and my decision to make.
But they aren't going to pay for your insurance if you don't place..that doesn't make ANY sense.
The LDS church has a Proclamation called
The Family -- A proclamation to the world.
Let me show you what that is. It really is so great and means a lot to me.

"We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God's eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society."

Here is a talk also given by the first presidency:
“We … express our support of unwed parents who place their children for adoption in stable homes with a mother and a father. We also express our support of the married mothers and fathers who adopt these children.
“Children are entitled to the blessing of being reared in a stable family environment where father and mother honor marital vows. Having a secure, nurturing, and consistent relationship with both a father and a mother is essential to a child’s well-being. When choosing adoption, unwed parents grant their children this most important blessing. Adoption is an unselfish, loving decision that blesses the child, birth parents, and adoptive parents in this life and throughout the eternities. We commend all those who strengthen children and families by promoting adoption.”(this doesn't mean they are forcing us to, it simply means they support and recommend it.)
--First Presidency statement, Oct. 4, 2006

To finish I would just like to say,
I do not feel coerced. I did not surrender my child. I lovingly and very willingly placed her in the arms of another. I do not suffer from unspeakable loss. I never will, i did not 'lose' anything. I am still a mother. I am still in love with my child. I gained family with Andrea and Dustin through the miracle of adoption. while i may suffer heartbreak and other feelings of grief and loss it is because of the biology and i am grateful for these feelings because they mean that i do love her so very much. There is a hole in my heart because a piece of me will always be with Avery, i don't want that piece back. i am happy to have that hole, it is hers and hers alone. I am well aware of adoptees feeling abandonment, i feel that that is probably a very real and a natural reaction to being adopted. I hope that she will not feel abandonment, and if she does i hope she will be able to seek out the help she needs to understand.
I believe that because of the open adoption and the relationship that i have had with her parents (even if it is severed in the future) will provide explanations and answers and knowledge and comfort to her as she explores who she and where she came from that theadoptees from the closed system will never have. I know her parents will teach and help her understand why I placed her for adoption, which will help her understand.
We believe in forever families and that we will live out the eternities together. We believe this is possible by powerful ordinances ordained by God himself. One of these is the sealing covenant performed inside the sacred walls of the temple. The sealing covenant allows family members to be sealed to each other. but in order to be sealed, first the man and wife must be sealed to each other and then the children are sealed to them. The sealing bonds are a means of protection, blessings and spiritual 'security'. I could never be sealed to Avery as a single mother. and most likely i could not ever be sealed to her even if i later married and was sealed to my husband later down the road. There are details concerning these specifics that i don't want to go into. But chances are super slim it could ever happen. I want Avery to be blessed by the sealing covenant. By placing her with her parents she is able to be sealed to them and receive those blessings forever. I am sealed to my parents. I am forever blessed and protected by this. I believe that my child deserves no less, so out of love i have placed her in the arms of another for all the reasons i have previously discussed but most importantly for this reason and this reason alone. Her being sealed is a gift i could not give her in any other way than this act of ultimate love and sacrifice.
That being said, Please don't belittle my beliefs and my happiness in my adoption story and where i am at in my life's journey. they are my experiences and i am grateful for them. Please don't belittle my sanity. Please don't belittle my religion, my religious beliefs or my practices, because they are something that i cherish. I am happy and blessed and at peace. And for that i am forever grateful.

Andee made a post a while back of what not to say to a birthmom. I know a lot of people had a hard time with it. 

Don't say things like: "Why didn't/don't you just give me the baby? Obviously you don't want 'it'"
There is little that someone could say to me that would offend me more than this statement. The funniest part about this, is that the first girl that said this to me was 18 years old and still senior in high school at the time. I was so angry with her that I let her know how much she offended me and was quite blunt. Usually I don't tellsomeone when I've been offended by them... She hasnt' talked to me since.

Don't say "Well I had my child out of wedlock and parented as a single parent...and they turned out just fine."in other words you might as well say, "I can't belive you placed your child for adoption in a home with BOTH parents. That was seriously the wrong decision and I have less respect for you because of it." If you do not agree with my decision to place, either ASK QUESTIONS about why I placed...nicely...instead of being downright rude, or keep your opinions to yourself. If you ask me questions, I will be more than happy to honestly answer. I want more than anything to educate those people that are not aware of the miracle of adoption on THE MIRACLE OF ADOPTION.

Anyone that knows the truth about adoption, can't have negative feelings towards it. I don't see how that is possible. However, there is opposition in all things so I guess you never know.

Don't say: "I can't believe you gave your baby away"First off, I didn't 'give Avery away' I placed her for adoption. There is a difference. A huge difference. and Second, giving something away means giving it to someone that you (most likely) don't know and never wanting anything to do with it again. That's not the case. I knew Dustin and Andrea well before I placed Avery into their arms, to be adopted by them, so that she could have a family to be sealed to and two parents in the same home that love each other. AND I definitely want A LOT to do with Avery. That is why this is an open adoption. I love her more than anything and I always ALWAYS want to know how she is doing.

If you are married, pregnant and parenting this baby, do NOT complain to a birthmother OR an infertile couple, about your pregnancy.Don't complain about how long you have to wait or how uncomfortable you are because I can GUARANTEE that when you DO complain to these people, you are causing much grief emotionally on their end. When I was pregnant, I complained about how long it was taking because I knew I wasn't getting anything in the end except more pain and heartache. I want more than anything to be able to create my own child and carry him/her for nine months and THEN parent him/her after he/she is born. It's hard to explain, but it's very hard to hear an expectant mother complain to me about how miserable she is. I just want to strangle her when she does and I'm sure infertile mothers feels the same way. I just want to say to her "At least this is YOUR child and you're not going to be dealing with incredible emotional pain after she is born."

Don't say "There are people out there who have it worse than you"Frankly, this shouldn't be said about ANY trial a person is going through regardless of what it is. Saying that does NOT make the pain any easier. Saying that to someone is completely belittling their trial and that is SO wrong to do. I'm sure the person going through it doesn't think they have it worse than everyone else in this world, I know I don't. But it still hurts. Belittling it does not make them feel any better in fact for me, it makes me feel worse.

Don't treat someone placing their child for adoption as 'not that big of a deal'I heard a story the other day. A good friend of mine had just BARELY placed and she was showing her coworkers pictures of her. One of them walked up to her and said "Cute baby, too bad you gave her away." and then walked away. WOW. That's SOO insensitive. Apparantly this person has NO idea what she had just gone through.

I asked some birthmom friends of mine to help me out with this post. :)

I talked with Desha and we talked about how when we tell people that we placed for adoption. And they ask where our baby is and we tell them and then we say, but it's an open adoption. Everyone just says, "Sorry." We're not sorry!!!!! We love it. We love knowing where our baby is. We love knowing what he or she looks like. We love having a relationship with our son/daughter's parents. There is nothing to be sad about it. It's a win/win situation.

ShaNae's story:

Going through an adoption story of my own taught me something: People either get it or they don't.  It was interesting for me to hear several different reactions from friends, family, co-workers, etc. once they learned I would be placing my child for adoption.  Some were good, some bad.  Either way, I listened and learned.  While I was still pregnant, I had comments such as, "Why are you getting rid of your baby? Don't you want to keep it?", or "Do you think you can do that?  Wouldn't you rather marry the birth father and try to make it work?".  Among these responses came many more and I quickly learned that I had to do what I wanted for my BABY, not me or anyone else.  Even now, when it's been five and a half months since the adoption, different people find out every day that I had a child whom I placed with another family.  It's something I am not ashamed of, but I will not lie to you and say it isn't hard when people react negatively to my decision.  ESPECIALLY, when I get the response, "Why would you take the easy way out?  It's your child ShaNae."  That's when I want to open my mouth and scream, saying, "You have NO IDEA what I've been through and how hard it was for me.  If that was easy, then I don't even want to imagine what's hard."  But you know what, I don't react like that, and probably never will.  I take it all in stride and realize that some people just don't understand, and that's OK.  Now, I don't want to make it sound like NOBODY reacts well, or NOBODY understands, cause I have met several who have been VERY considerate and appreciative of my decision.  I've received comments like, "Wow, that's so noble and brave." or "That was the best decision you could have made. Thank you."  One particular event that will always be dear to my heart was the day I saw my birth father's mother for the first time since she found out she was a grandma (this was 3 months after I placed).  My birth father and I hadn't spoken since placement but we ran into each other at a mutual friend's wedding.  There he pulled me aside and let me know that his mother had found out about our daughter and that she'd like to see me.  So, I left with him to his house expecting to be yelled at and questioned.  However, when we walked into their home, my birth father called his mom from the kitchen.  She came around the corner, saw me standing there, and completely broke down into tears.  I cried with her.  We hugged for several minutes, during which my birth father's younger sister had come up from the basement to join us.  We all hugged and cried for a while then she took my hand and led me to their living room where we ALL sat for at least four hours just talking.  I told her EVERYTHING.  She told me how much she loved and admired me and how she would have given anything to be there for me.  I will never forget the look on her face when she saw me walk through her door...there have been very few moments in my life where I've felt so loved.

That being said, with every adoption story there is good and bad, but that's the same for anything right?  I wouldn't trade all the negative remarks for positive ones any day because they each taught me something.

Amanda's Story

Amanda has also  made a guide of what to say.
Part 1.
Part 2.
Part 3.

I kept my adoption plan secret from the majority of people in my life, including the pregnancy, but some how people found out(people online, that I didn't see daily, not people I saw daily, I was pretty open about it there), and one thing that made me so mad was people telling other people, especially someone I did not personally tell. It was just so upsetting, it made me feel betrayed, and hurt. That wasn't their thing to tell people, and I don't know how they even found out, I was very careful not to post pictures of my stomach, or write status updates about it, and I had not started blogging yet. And it upset me because it was something I would NEVER do to anyone. Getting pregnant and making an adoption plan is a huge deal, and not something you want random people finding out. (this is obviously negative, sorry)

Something that people thought was a positive was thank you for choosing life, it annoyed me, I couldn't stand that. It didn't bother me so much when random people I didn't know would say that, because they didn't know me personally, but when my friends or people I knew would say it, it would upset me because it was as if they thought I was capable of choice abortion. And I just couldn't do that, abortion wasn't even an option.

Something positive....people would say how great it was because then I can move on and do things with my life, and they're right, but I never once thought about that when making my adoption plan. It was all about my son and what was best for him. It wasn't until the end of the pregnancy that I started to think about what I wanted to do after placement. And it made me realize that I wanted to make myself a better person, and move on with my life so my son would be proud of me and my decision to place.

After I got married, my husband told me that he had heard from his friend that people were saying I was going to try to get my son back now that I was in a stable relationship. This was about a year after placement, and it was legally impossible at this point. It made me so mad that people would a) be talking about my adoption behind my back, b) be so ignorant and c) even think that I would be capable of uprooting a child from the only home he's known. I got so mad that I wanted to confront them, but I didn't. People don't realize that adoption isn't temporary, and that when you do what's best for your child, you really mean it, and you really wouldn't want to do anything to hurt them, and trying to take your child back after they've been in a home and care of someone else isn't good for them, and the only reason you should even consider it is if they're being abused or mistreated, which was not the case with my son. 

Bree's Story:

At first I was terrified to say did I become that "nasty" teenage girl I would judge in the grocery store. While Pregnant the reactions were mixed. Parents-devistated Freinds-shocked then excited and supportive. Boyfriend- I am pretty sure he intended the pregnancy and was subsequently glad. I learned later that he is a sociopath and I was mainly just an object to be controlled. A child guaranteed years of me to him.
My mom once told me when I was about six months pregnant that she thought I was disgusting. Nine years later, I still get choked up over that. I wanted so badly to explain to her every little detail that got me in this mess. I decided not to talk, she wasn't worth it. Why can't that mom in the check out line glaring at me understand that even though my transgressions are actually visible, her daughter is doing the same things. I felt like strangers were casting stones with their eyes and smirks and I usually just smiled back. I knew there were skeletons in their closets.
At the Hospital, I had all the nurses to myself since my son was born on Christmas day. They took turns hugging me, loving me and telling me how brave I was and what a wonderful thing I was doing. That lifted me up.
The birthfather hissed behind closed hospital doors of how He couldn't believe I was "trashing" the infant in my arms. He couldn't believe I didn't love him "enough" to keep him. I was selfish, a whore and he'd parent the child himself then.
You can imagine how I felt. Was he right? I prayed so very very hard that night on a cold bathroom floor that I would be strong enough and be selfless enough to deliver this baby to the right home. My son was ALL that mattered. I placed him in the arms of his adoptive couple on Dec 27th 2001. Days earlier than I planned since the birthfather ensued legal action.
I don't give a damn what people think of my story. I know what I think and I know it was special, a miracle and he saved my life by saving his.

Dallas's Story:

People just always kind of knew I was planning on placing my baby for adoption. I don't know how, but I didn't really have to come straight out and tell everyone, especially at school. 
Word travels fast when you're the only pregnant girl at a high school, so I guess the news that I was placing travelled with it. Which didn't bother me any, because it was kind of awkward to tell people. I guess I just felt bad about it- I knew the truth about adoption, but there are many misconceptions and people tend to think it is such a negative thing. (I hope that my story has helped clear up some of those though!) 
I guess most recently I have had to deal with telling people more because I started college where no one knew me, or what had happened. I started school the day my baby turned one month old, so it was pretty fresh in my mind. We had to introduce ourselves and say 7 things about us. My things included one big one- that I had a month old son. Thats when the girls started asking questions.. like "how can you be away from him all day?" or, "don't you feel bad leaving him so young?" and at that point I wondered if I should have told them. But I realized they would eventually find out because I was spending the next 9 months with the same 20 girls, so I was very open with my story. 
I shortly explained that I had actually placed him for adoption, and the questions stopped. I think they just didn't know what to say, because they didn't know me very well yet. But now we talk very freely about it, and I allow them to ask any questions they want. One girl recently asked "WHY." Just straight up, "Dallas, why did you do it." I could tell she was probably judging me a little bit for it, because adoption isn't something common here in Canada. I was a little offended because of the tone in her voice, but I looked right in her eyes, and firmly stated that it was the best thing for my son and I knew he was meant for the family he is with. I think it softened her outlook on it, and we have discussed it more now. 
Honestly, people never really said much to me about my decision. I'm sure they talked to each other behind my backs, but never to my face and I am thankful for that. I felt as though I didn't owe an explanation or apology to anyone. It was a personal decision based on the overall well-being of my baby, and there were so many reasons for it that I couldn't say in a single way "why." It definitely helped that throughout my pregnancy everyone was positive. But I felt so good about it, that I probably wouldn't have cared if anyone had been negative towards my decision. There are a few things that really bothered me about what people said. 
Some thought I was being selfish and placing my son for adoption just because I didn't want to have a child. Well hey, not true at all. This may be biased, but to me adoption is the most self-less thing any parent can do for their child. I went through hell and back to give my son the life he deserved.. I cried countless tears over the loss I felt simply for his eternal gain. If I was concerned about my own feelings, I would have kept him so I wouldn't have to feel those pains. It would have been so much easier at the time. Another thing that upsets any birthmom is when people say adopted children never fit in with their adoptive families. I disagree. I believe anyone will be molded and shaped to their surroundings, and to me, my son's 'family' is the one he was raised in, not the one he was biologically from. 
One man messaged me on facebook and told me how awful adoption is and that I was "ruining my child's life" because he would never feel loved as a part of something, but I knew that was not at all true so I just brushed it off. Decent people don't intensionally set out to be offensive to birthparents, but the majority of people just don't understand what adoption is really like now, so they say things without thinking. They just have the wrong impression of it. Movies don't really do justice for the system, and we get this negative outlook on something that is really so beautiful. It is my hope to educate as many people as I can about the positivities of adoption so birthmothers like myself won't be hurt by uneducated comments, and change the way the world views it. But in the end, what other people think and say doesn't matter. Words can hurt, but there's nothing greater than the joy you get when you know you did the right thing for your child. 

Emily's Story:
Staying positive makes a difference!
When people find out I'm a birthmom I usually get comments like "Oh, you're so brave and amazing and whatnot", but now that I've been dating a bit and not right out telling every man I meet, that I had a baby. When I do tell them I still worry about what's going to be thought about me, even just today I was talking to a boy I've been dating who knew I was a birthmom and I was talking about a support group I sometimes go to, and tried to explain to him the importance of having support from friends who know what it's like to place, (not give up) a baby for adoption. And after I thought he understood it, he says to me " Emily, hypothetically speaking if I got you pregnant, don't give up the baby. Cause I don't think I could handle it." and to him I replied "The only way were going to have a baby is if were married, and not in a hypothetical way." I know he wasn't trying to be mean or negative about placing my mikah for adoption. But when things get said like, "I don't think I could handle it". Well sometimes I don't think I can handle it, this is why I have an amazing support group and people who will always understand even when some can't. And people who can help me stay positive when others say the wrong thing. lol.
People will always say the wrong thing, but it's good to know that people won't always remember what you said or how you said it but they will always remember how you made them feel, at least then I know the wrong thing wasn't being said I know their heart is in the right place!

You can find her adoption story here.
I got pregnant at 16, had my daughter when I was 17.  I was a senior in High School.  My peers seemed pretty supportive of my decision, probably because at that age they couldn’t imagine being a parent.  I had a few teachers, one in particular, who were very supportive.  They were very happy that I was choosing adoption, as they thought not only would it be the best situation for my child, but also for me.  They all wanted to see me succeed, graduate, go to college, live my life etc.  But, some of the teachers were very bothered by my decision.  One teacher in particular actually said to me, “You’re giving your baby up for adoption?  Why didn’t you just get an abortion.” That really upset me, and I have very vivid memories from that day.  There is a huge difference between abortion and adoption.  I valued that little baby’s life and wanted the best for her, which is why I chose adoption and not abortion.  
My family was all very supportive of the adoption; my Mom would always tell me that I had to live my life first before I could be a good parent and that I wasn’t ready to be a parent yet.  I understood what she was trying to say, but it always seemed to come out wrong.  I felt like she was always telling me, you can’t do it, you can’t be a parent, you won’t be a good parent.  I knew I couldn’t be the parent I wanted to be at 17, but I know I would have done everything in my power to provide that little girl with a good life if I did choose to parent at age 17.  The comments my mom made to me during my pregnancy and even post adoption, still have an impact on our relationship.  My Mom is my best friend, we talk about everything….everything except my daughter.  She knows now to even speak her name in front of me; if she does I just get filled with this unexplainable rage, and I know it goes back to some of the hurtful things she said, even if she didn’t mean them to be hurtful.  
Post adoption – almost everyone who is in my life knows about my daughter.  My fiancé’s family knows about her, but they don’t say much.  I don’t think they know what to say.  It is obvious to me that they don’t look down on me for my choice, or have negative thoughts about it.  I think they just don’t feel a need to discuss it with me.  Over the years as I’ve told co workers, new friends etc they are always shocked at first.  Then the next question is always, do you still get to see her.  My former bosses were amazed at my story and told me on numerous occasions that they admire the choice that I made, and that they knew I would be a great parent when the time was right.  Hearing things like that made me happy, and feel reassured that I wasn’t some heartless monster who just threw my baby into some other people’s arms.  I’ve had many acquaintances say negative things.  People I don’t consider friends, but perhaps ran in the same circle as me.  I’ve been told that I should go to hell for my choice, that I was the one who chose to be in an intimate relationship, so I should have to deal with the consequences.  I’ve been told that my daughter will hate me for my choice and that she will be all screwed up since she wasn’t wanted, that I should have to be responsible for my actions and I should have stepped up to the plate and taken care of my daughter.  At the time, those things hurt a lot.  I fell into a very deep depression after my adoption, and for a long time afterwards every time someone would pass judgment on me and make these hurtful comments, I would fall right back into that depression.  But after 7 ½ years I’ve learned to pretty much ignore what other people think whether it’s positive or negative.  I know in my heart that I made the right choice.  I know that I made this choice for HER and not for me.  It was not the right decision for me, but it was the right choice for her; and I don’t care what people say, once you are pregnant you are a Mother; and Mother’s put their child’s needs before their own. 
Earlier on in my adoption journey I was often offended my people’s questions or comments, many of them weren’t meant to be offensive.  I’ve had people ask me “Didn’t you love her”  “Don’t you miss her”  etc., and I wanted to scream of course I love her, that is why I made this decision for her!  I’ve had people tell me that I shouldn’t keep in contact with her or her parents because it will just confuse her more, but I’ve realized that often these comments are coming from people who, for lack of a better word, are just ignorant.  They don’t mean to be offensive, they are just uninformed and don’t understand.  I honestly don’t think there is anything that anyone could say to me that would truly hurt me right now, unless it came from my daughter or her parents.  The people in my life who truly know me, and care about me have no negative thoughts about me or my choices.  And those who don’t know me well, well their opinions don’t really matter to me. 

This is Stefanie now.
I wanted to finish this up by leaving with this. I found this last year on Que and Brittany's blog. And it was from this website. I did NOT write this. I changed the names on here just so it's a little more personal and applicable to my story.

5 Things You Should Never Say To A Birth Mom.

I. "I could never place my baby for adoption."

This one used to make me cringe each time I heard it. I felt like I had failed at motherhood and the person making the comment has succeeded. That I must have been heartless to be able to do such an act. I felt inferior, like I need to prove something to them.

I have since learned I am not inferior, and I do not have to prove my mothering abilities to anyone. I believe now that comment has more to do with the person making it, than myself. Never has a woman secure in her role as a mother said that to me. Only the doubting, struggling-to-get-by mothers who feel that they must make such a declaration.

[Que and Brittany's birth mom also said that while some people do say this phrase to her and mean it as a compliment, it doesn't come across that way. It's best not to say this at all.]

II. "What a wonderful gift you have given to a childless couple."

Try to see this one from the birth mother's point of view. Now, I love my daughter's adoptive parents, but by no means did I place my first born child as a 'gift' to a childless couple. I am not that nice, not that giving. When I clutched my nine month pregnant belly with tears in my eyes, I did not recite the phrase, "Just think how I am giving a special gift to people I do not know".

When it comes down to the day when you hold your child for the first time, all thoughts of anyone else but your child and yourself fade away. There has to a higher reason for placement.

I gave Olivia's parents as a gift to my daughter. That was my plan. That was my intention. Now, as an added benefit, I see her parents lives enriched by Olivia's existence. Together, we celebrate the gift of knowing our daughter, Olivia.

III. "You can have other children."

This speaker means well, I am sure, but this comment can strike the very heart of a birth mother. Other children? You can never replace another child with another! To try and do so is to dishonor the child you have placed for adoption and the child you use to fill the void.

Let us remember our children. Let us celebrate them. We hold a special place in our hearts where their names will be etched forever.

No matter how many babies you carry out of the hospital with you, you never will forget the one you did not.

IV. A lady once said to me, "That sure is 'nice' of her parents to let you see Olivia."

My quick reply was, "That sure was nice of me to give them my baby!"

Needless to say she said nothing more. I try to educate people by telling them my story, even on days I do not feel like doing so. Some, I have learned, are not able to be very teachable on the subject.

Her attitude was that I should be grateful, as a dog is grateful to get scraps from the dinner table. I will not put myself in such a position. I refuse to be the silent shadow in the corner with my eyes downcast.

Aside from the fact my daughter's parents would never treat me in such a fashion, I am grateful to God. The open adoption I have with my daughter is like a gift from Him-a gift that I get to open each time I see her smiling face.

V. The fifth response a Birth mother does not want to hear is an awkward silence.

We want to talk about our children. We want to remember them. We know when you are avoiding it, and it hurts.

I love it when others ask me how Olivia is doing and to ask to see the pictures from my recent visit. I enjoy swapping my labor and delivery tales with other mothers. By the way, I was in labor for fifteen hours with my Olivia! Ouch!

It is okay to talk about the children we placed. We placed them for adoption. We did not place them out of our thoughts and hearts.

[ I also want to add. We don't like being told it worked out for the better. Or it turned out for the best. Awesome. So you're trying to tell me that what was best that my baby is better off in another home? That I had always been incapable of raising my baby? Thank you.]

Also remember, a lot more people remember the negative instead of the positive.
But who knows, if you're trying to be negative it might have an opposite affect on us.

I have always been pushed by the negative. The apparent failure of a play sends me back to my typewriter that very night, before the reviews are out. I am more compelled to get back to work than if I had a success.
 Tennessee Williams

If you're an adoptive parent and you're interested in helping me with tomorrow's post. It's just like this one! It's about when you told people either while you were considering to adopt or had adopted what was their reaction? Positive or negative? What did they say? How did you feel about it and how did you react? How the positve stuff may have helped you or how the negative things that were said that people think they are being positive but you took it negatively. Is there anything that people say that offend you but they aren't trying to be offensive, but it offends you as an adoptive parent? I will probably need it by tonight so I can post it Saturday morning before work. Sorry it's last minute! And if you'd like your name on my blog, it doesn't have to be. It can be totally anonymous.
Either send me a message on Facebook or e-mail me at

Thank you to all my birthmom friends that helped with this post. This post couldn't have been made without your help!!! You're fantastic! You're all incredible women!


  1. This is a great post Stefanie!! Thanks for sharing, I'm going to link to it from my blog, all these girls are wonderful and amazing!!

  2. LOVE it. Mind if i use a few points from it in a post of my own? These girls are amazing:)

  3. Wow. That was one of the most powerful posts I've read in months! I hope you don't mind if I link back to your post. I seriously wish you could feel my awe, respect, and admiration for your defending adoption and that crazy "cult" (which I happen to love as well). :)