Friday, January 19, 2007

A story in my life #2

Why post about it and why now?

In my first post on this story, I mentioned a reason why I am posting about this now. M.R. will soon be 18. My adoption story takes place before "open adoptions." I am glad it did. I am not sure that would have been healthy for any of us, but I also do not think I would have been able to say no to that at the time. Well, maybe that is too much for right now. I will save that discussion for a later time. I guess our adoption would be called semi-open. I helped pick the family, but I don't know names and never saw pictures of them. We maintained contact with letters through the adoption agency for several years.

When she turns 18, she can legally access the records. I am a little unclear on how this all works and need to contact the agency for details. I am . . .well I can't find a word that fits, happy isn't right, settled, or at peace or content (?) with the decision I made, but her adulthood brings up. . . anxiety. I really want to meet her, but I feel that I should leave it to her to make the contact. (I am not sure I can really put reasons to this feeling at this point.) What if she doesn't initiate contact, but what if she does? Does she understand the decision I made? Did she have a happy childhood? Can I handle the guilt if she didn't? I just need a place to sort it all out and maybe get a little feedback.

Another reason, I wanted to share adoption from a birthmother's point of view. I have run across so many adoption stories from adoptive parents, but none from birthmothers.

I think maybe I was also hoping to find some other birthmothers for support. With that in mind, I went searching for birthmothers. I found a few blogs. I can't read them. The ones I tried to read were angry and raw. Reading them made me sad, and of course, shattered my illusion that all birthmothers were settled with their decision. Sometimes, I am so naive!

So, here I am to tell my story and sort out my feelings. Thank you all for your support. Your comments on the first post were very touching.


  1. Steph, I think it's a difficult situation for everyone and some people just process it differently than others. One of my guy cousins had a baby boy with one of my female cousin's best friends and they opted to put this baby up for adoption. She has worked through it and accepted the decision as the best but my male cousin has not. He's grown completely UNaccepting of the decision and has a raw spot from it.
    I think you showed tremendous courage and your peace with it, to the degree that you have it, reflects that.
    Best wishes,

  2. hey stephanie
    i'm glad that you are content and settled in your decision. my sister gave twins up for adoption 3 years ago. it was so hard for her. she did have a semi-open adotion, she wouldn't have been able to handle a fully open adoption. she picked the parents and met them. she also kept them for the 3 days they were in the hospital. for the first year she got photos and an update every month and now i think it's every six months. the twins will know they were adopted, but won't know who my sister is until they are 18 and they have the choice to find out who she is or not. it was soo difficult, but she knew without a shadow of a doubt that this was what she was supposed to do and needed to do. it's still sad for her sometimes, but she knows that they are happy and being loved and taken care of better than she could. they just turned 3 in january. one thing that is really nice is that my sister named the babies while she had them in the hospital and the adoptive parents kept both names even though they had said they would keep one and change the other. anyway, all this to say, i can't understand, but i know someone who would. i wonder what it's going to be like when they are about to turn 18. they are only 3 months younger than caelyn. i wonder what my sister's thoughts and emotioons will be like. probably a lot like yours. i hope i get to meet them one day and i wonder since they are so close to caelyn's age if they would ever be friends. it makes me sad sometimes to think i have 2 nieces that i don't know. i really struggled with the adoption. in my mind i was thinking what if we adopted them? but i had just had caelyn, and it just wouldn't have been good.
    well, this has been a really long comment. i'll be praying peace for you in the midst of this time.
    love~kellie (snyder)

  3. I may be all wet, but here's my thinking. You respected the life God gave her. It was not easy to do that. So you showed right there that you valued her. That's an important point in this day and age.
    If I had been given up for adoption, I think I would be wondering about my parents' motive. Was it rejection, selfishness, or were they seeking something better for me than they could provide, because of circumstances?
    I wonder if you have considered writing a letter to your daughter about your feelings, about your reasons for your decisions. I think it would be a gift for her, if she does decide to contact you. If she is having difficulties with what was done, it could help her think it through in her own time. When emotions are running high, that is more difficult to do when the discussion is in person, one on one. FWIW.
    Aunt Nancy

  4. It had to be hard to make the decision you did, but like Aunt Nancy said, you respected her life from the beginning. I know women who were adopted, women who have adopted children and women who have placed children for adoption, so I've seen it from several different perspectives. Those I know who placed children for adoption were seeking the best for their babies, knowing they couldn't provide physically and/or emotionally for them; and they made a very difficult decision that placed their baby's well being above their own feelings. They demonstrated the kind of love that makes a sacrifice for the good of another. They've had good days and hard days, but they know they made the best decision. And I think adoption is totally a part of God's plan because we are, after all, adopted into His family.

  5. Yes open adoptions are much more difficult than what used to occur, my husband has been involved with many adoptions over the years and has mentioned how hard it is to keep ties going that should often be severed.

    But can I say that I reallly admire you for doing such a brave thing? Putting a child up for adoption (and I hope this doesn't sound weird) seems a bit like organ donation. Someone is giving a little part of yourself up so that someone else can have a happier life. I'm glad you've found peace from the decision--big applause :)

  6. I wonder if there is a part of us that struggles with the notion of adoption. Just how powerful is the tie between birth-parent and child? Is it all about damage control and weighing the options? If I keep the child it is going to do a lot more harm than if someone else raises her. How does that measure against a child not knowing their real flesh and blood birth-parents?

    I don't know whether these are the kind of thoughts that are weighing on your mind, Stephanie. Are you hoping for your daughter to get in touch with you and reassure you that everything is alright? Do you feel like you need for her to forgive you? (Obviously, I'm not asking for answers to these questions - just trying to understand.)

    Whatever the case, I hope you keep well. Your reassurances still reveal that this is quite difficult for you, so I hope things are okay.

  7. There are birthmother stories all over the internet. I can think of at least 26 birthparent blogs off the top of my head right now.

  8. Well, maybe I just didn't dig hard enough. . .

  9. ...May I ask what state the adoption and your relinquishment took place in? Because... most states don't allow adoptees to access their records, even at age 18. I'm just hoping you haven't been mislead (fingers crossed for you!)

    Also, not sure if my blog was one that you find difficult to read. No, I'm not glad I chose adoption. But I've learned to live with the regret. But anyway, you are welcome to drop over any time.

    Even if we feel differently about our decisions, I'd love to welcome you to our little blogosphere support group.

    Kim is a great encourager and wealth of info on reunions, too.

  10. NIcole,
    We were in Virginia. I may have mistated my understanding about when she turns 18.I don't think she can access the legal records, but contact the adoption agency, who will contact me. But again, I need to call to be sure.

    No I didn't read your blog. I found a list of several, I checked a couple but then stopped looking.