Monday, November 29, 2010

29. Guest Blogger: "Ruth" (Birthmom)

So a birthmom friend of mine that I went to group with me asked if she could be a guest blogger. I don't turn anyone down ever. So I said OF COURSE! I've known "Ruth" since she and I were both pregnant. She placed about a month after me. And I love her to death. We both have a pretty good case of insomnia and we will stay up on Facebook and chat for just hours. It's fantastic. This is her story. I think it's interesting because she talks about her couple adopting another baby. I have yet to enter that stage so it has opened my eyes a little bit more for that time. Enjoy. :)

My name is "Ruth." I am twenty years old and I placed my first child, “Bear”, for adoption in November 2009.

34 weeks
39 weeks

During my pregnancy I had a crazy, but common, notion that adoption would be the end of me. I disquietedly anticipated giving birth, seeing a beautiful baby boy disappear from my life and seeing all my purpose and possible happiness vanish with him. I concocted a miserable mental image of what I’d be like post placement- Apathetic, absent minded, and pretty much like a zombie. (Dramatic, I know.)

Now, I knew adoption was the best option for Bear, but I felt like I was losing everything. Before I even saw Bear I loved him tremendously. I wish I could describe the desire I had to be his mother. I missed him months before the adoption even took place. There were times were I felt like I was going to be pregnant forever. Depending on the day I would either cry because I wanted it to be over or I’d cry because I knew I wasn’t going to be pregnant forever and I didn’t want to let him go. Time has such a perverse sense of humor. Anyway, I wanted Bear to get a good start in life- one with two loving parents, righteous guiding principles, financial stability, and order. At that time in my life I couldn’t offer him any of that. I couldn’t even guarantee that he’d always have food or clean diapers. Contrary to popular belief you don’t just need love. For me that was the hardest part about choosing adoption because I had to admit to myself that I couldn’t provide for my son and others were more qualified to raise him. It was embarrassing, shameful, and heartbreaking, but somehow (I believe it was the grace of God) finding my couple changed all of that.

There is a term we use in the adoption world when describing the moment you find your couple; magical. I was incredibly emotional when I found my couple. I will refer to them as Mr. and Mrs. Justice. I knew right away that they were the ones. It’s an amazing experience to feel that sure and without a doubt that something is right. I wanted to tell them that day that I wanted them to be the father and mother of the child I was carrying, but due to protocol I had to meet them first. Finding them lifted a great burden off my chest. I was calm, I felt peace, and I felt strong.  I still felt a great amount of grief; the adoption process was still excruciatingly arduous, but it was simultaneously made easier.  It was magical.

Mr. & Mrs. Justice <3  

I was best friends with Mr. & Mrs. Justice. It was like we were family. What am I saying? We are family. I didn’t know I could feel connected or love some random magical couple that much so suddenly.  If I hadn’t found them, I never would have placed for adoption. I don’t think anyone else could have measured up. I don’t think I would have been able to trust anyone else with my child.

The adoption came and went with surprising ease. I had my moments, but my hardest days were because I felt guilty that I wasn’t a mess and that I didn’t miss him as much as I thought I would or should. I cried a lot more thinking about other birthmoms in their pain and wondering why I wasn’t experiencing the same thing than about the child I placed. It made me feel awful. I thought I was the only birthmom struggling with that. I thought I was weird. Hopefully I’m not alone. Luckily, I was always able to find comfort by looking at their family photos.      
Their photos reassured me of the reasons I placed for adoption and reminded me that I had a second chance at getting my life back on track which is exactly what I did.

After the adoption I jumped right back into school and I’m currently working on my associates in business and bachelors in economics. I also started dating my missionary from four years ago and best friend of today. We got married in May of 2010 and I can’t even begin to express my joy and excitement over it! It makes me smile to the point where my cheeks hurt. I love it! I know every woman says it, but I have the greatest husband and I couldn’t be any happier.

After Bear was sealed to Mr. & Mrs. Justice, about eight months after the adoption, I was contacted by my case worker. Lady Love, my case worker, asked me if I would be okay with Mr. & Mrs. Justice adopting another baby. She explained that there was another girl in my similar situation and that she had found my couple somehow and wanted to place with them. She let me know that they normally don’t let couples adopt again so early, but because of the situation the girl was in they were willing to permit it. What was my first reaction? “Yes! Give them all the babies they want!” My second reaction was to tell my case worker that Mr.  & Mrs. Justice didn’t need my permission to expand their family, but I appreciated their thoughtfulness.

 Honestly, when I found out they were possibly going to get another child I was ecstatic. I loved them and I wanted them to receive all the children I thought they deserved. I was joking with my mom that I bet they were going to end up having eight kids because they’re one of the only Native families in the adoption records and both babies, Bear and future sibling, have Native blood as well. (Native adoptions are a little different and one of the requirements is that the babies need to be placed with other Native families.) Never once did I feel sad, jealous, or anger; at least, not until Bear’s first birthday.

I was nervous about seeing Bear because I hadn’t seen him in several months of held him since he was two weeks old. I wasn’t quite sure how I’d react. I was, however, really looking forward to meeting the birthmom of Bear’s future little brother- She’s a beautiful girl with a big smile, warm laugh, and charming family. I loved watching her play with Bear and talk to me about how much she loved him and the Justice family. You would have never guessed that she was struggling in any way; wonderful, wonderful spirit.

Mr. & Mrs. Justice made me a gift that we all watched together. It was a touching film covering Bear’s first year of life. I bawled the moment they turned it on, but I part of what was so hard was watching Lady Grace, soon to be birthmom, try not to cry while watching it. I said that I never felt any sadness, jealousy, or anger about the baby news for the Justice’s, but I was overwhelmed with pain for her. I hated watching her hold back her tears. I hated listening to her sniffle. I hated seeing her try to blink quickly to avoid a tear escaping. I had already experienced adoption. I had already experienced all of the trials associated with adoption. I was at a point where I loved Bear, but not as a son. I loved him as a close cousin or something. I didn’t see me in him anymore. He looked just like the Justice’s boy. I was at their house enjoying their son’s birthday party, but Lady Grace was in the middle of her adoption process and still is. The pain and worry I could see in her face was agonizing. I wanted to hold her and cry. I was angry, too. I was angry that she had to experience what I, and all the other birthmoms, have had to endure. I felt guilty for being so happy for Mr. & Mrs. Justice. It was bizarre looking in on adoption from the other side.  It was gut-wrenching. What made matters worse is that nobody said anything to her about it. No words of comfort were provided for her. People hugged me because I was crying, but the movie made me cry because it was beautiful and their family is beautiful. I didn’t want to make things awkward for her so I didn’t bring it up, but for the rest of the day I couldn’t stop thinking about her. Her due date is coming up in a couple months and all I can do is pray for her. I wish I knew how to be there for her. You’d think I’d know having been in her shoes only a year ago, but I don’t. Thinking about her is the hardest thing for me right now. It’s almost like experiencing it all over again.

I will always love and appreciate the Justice’s. I will always love Bear.  I couldn’t be any happier for the Justice’s and the children they’ve been entrusted with. I will never forget watching that movie and seeing the sorrow in Lady Grace’s face. Adoption is bitter sweet- I will never forget its pain or its beauty.  I will always remember the blessings I’ve seen come to pass because of adoption and I will always support it.

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