8 Years Ago Today. . .

8 Years Ago

As I have sat here the past few weeks leading up to this week I decided instead of writing a letter to my daughter or just another post on how I am feeling about everything since it has been 8 years.  This year I am going to write about the day I signed the papers and left the hospital.  I haven’t written this post yet because out of the whole experience this was and still is the hardest part of the situation.

I find this day as the hardest because it was the day that I had to admit that I couldn’t do it and that she was going to better with the family I chose for her than she would be with me.  I am pretty sure that unless you know who I am personally you don’t know that I hate to admit that I can’t do something.  So for me the hardest part was signing the papers and handing her off to her family.

 While I was pregnant I didn’t think I wanted to even see her and I thought there was no way that I could do what they call a “direct placement”.  All that means is that I hand her off her to her family and then I leave instead of what some people do where they just leave the baby in the bassinet and walk away.

I am not going to go into much detail about the days that let up to the 9th but I am sure in time I will talk about those as well.  I remember like it was yesterday my social working coming into my hospital room on the 9th bright and early and asking me if I was ready to sign the papers.  I told her yes and she went out and grabbed two nurses because there had to be two witnesses and I started signing the papers.  I remember getting to the final papers where I relinquish my rights and thinking to hurry and sign it because if I didn’t I didn’t know if I would be able to.

After I signed the paper the brought in my daughter and I held her for about an hour before the family came into my room to see her and talk to us.  I remember we were all talking and then the mood changed for me.  I am not sure why it changed but I realized that my time was coming to an end and I just started crying.  My worker then knew it was time for the placement to happen so I handed her off her adoptive dad and just cried.  At that point my social worker had them leave the room and I left the hospital about 30 mins or so later.

Even as I type this I am tearing up because my heart is still broken and I know there is no way to fix it.  That being said I don’t regret the choices I made because I know without a doubt that she was meant to be in their family and not meant for me.  The emotions are still raw when it comes to placement day and it is something I never want to go through again.  That is all there is to this post because this post was more for me than anyone else.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Margaret Margaret

Open Adoption, Open Heart

As I am sure most of you know I placed my daughter for adoption when I was 20.  I was contacted about hosting a guest post of a writer who has adopted his 2 children through open adoption.  I jumped at the chance to have a guest post on my blog as well as get the chance to read the book he has written.  I will have the review of the book up sometime next week after I have had the chance to sit down and read it.  Here is the guest post and please leave any comments or questions down below!

My wife and I are infertile. We don’t know why. The doctors and nurses can’t seem to give us any real answers about why we’ve been unable to have kids for our 8 years of trying, but here we are. No little ones carrying on our genes.

Infertility is a funny thing (if you’re willing to look at it that way). It seems to come with some invisible sign that only fertile friends can read. The sign, of course, reads- “Here I am without a baby. Please please please tell me how we can solve our infertile woes.” Cornered at church or at the supermarket, as soon as someone hears that we can’t have kids, it’s, “Well, you know what we did? We went on this all carrot and celery diet. And guess what! By Thursdays that week we were pregnant.”

Even more common is the ever popular, “My brother and his wife couldn’t get pregnant so they did such and such.”

Don’t get me wrong. It’s annoying and all, but after a while we infertile people get to a point where we start to enjoy it. I absolutely love it when I get to say, “I’ve never heard that one before.” I fear some people may think I’m being rude by laughing at my own friends. I don’t mean to be rude. I really don’t. I’m just pointing out that some people are really funny and they don’t seem to see it. Here are a few of my favorites-

Woman should stand on her head after intercourse. Now, that one may actually have some scientific reasoning to it. I don’t know. I aint a doctor. Gravity is real, though, so who knows. That one is actually pretty popular to try, or some variation of it.

Rub ice cubes on your (fill in the blank here). I don’t leave that “fill in the blank” empty because I’m censoring myself. I leave it blank because I’ve heard just about every body part, male or female, in that blank spot. Whatever the body part, I always enjoy that one.

Try intercourse in the back seat of a car. Now, I have actually heard that one from real people, but the fact that I also saw that on The Simpsons when Apu was trying to get his wife pregnant should tell you something if you think it’s a good problem solver.

Have an affair. I haven’t heard that from any of my “friends” because they wouldn’t be my friends anymore if they suggested that, but I’ve heard other people say it was told to them. Idiocy.

Eat more (another fill in the blank). Spaghetti, or vegetables, or Mexican food, or B vitamins, or or or…

Again, I’m not trying to pick on people who give their input. I appreciate when my friends take the time to care- just know that I may be laughing at you behind your back if you tell me the reason I’m not able to get my wife pregnant is because I wear boxers instead of briefs- or the other way around.

Adoption is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and Open Adoption, Open Heart is our adoption story. It’s not simply a matter of filling out papers and waiting for a baby. It’s a process of building relationships- the birth parents are still in our lives. Infertility is still part of us, but it doesn’t define us. We are able to laugh at our problems because we are able to embrace our successes. Hooray for adoption, and hooray for those wonderful birth parents who helped make our dreams come true.

Author Bio

Russell Elkins was born on Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1977. Along with his five siblings, he and his military family moved around a lot, living in eight different houses by the time he left for college at age 17. Although his family movedaway from Fallon, Nevada, just a few months after he moved out, he still considers that little oasis in the desert to be his childhood hometown. He and his family now live in the Boise, Idaho area.
Russell has always been a family man at heart, looking forward to the day when he could be a husband and a father. It took him a little while, but eventually his eyes locked onto a beautiful blonde, and he has never looked away. Russell and Jammie were married in 2004. Years of struggling with infertility left Russell and Jammie with a decision to make and their lives changed dramatically when they decided to adopt.
Russell and Jammie have adopted two beautiful children, Ira and Hazel, and have embraced their role as parents through open adoption. Both are actively engaged in the adoption community by communicating through social media, taking part in discussion panels, and writing songs about adoption. Russell also writes a weekly post for Adoption.com and contributes regularly to Adoption Voices Magazine.
Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Margaret Margaret

My Open Adoption Thoughts

I haven’t written anything about adoption in awhile so  today I am going to talk about open adoption and why a totally open adoption isn’t for me.  If you don’t already know open adoption is defined:

Open adoption is an adoption in which the biological mother or parents and adoptive family know the identity of each other. In open adoption, the parental rights of biological parents are terminated, as they are in “closed adoptions” and the adoptive parents become the legal parents, yet the parties elect to remain in contact. Open adoption has become the norm in most states in the adoption of newborns.

Source: Wikipedia

At this point I would consider the adoption of my daughter to be semi open or even almost closed.  I get a card from them on Christmas and if during the year I want to an update I email them and ask for one and I am 100% okay with that.  I know that some people won’t understand why I am okay with so I am going to try and explain it as best as I can.

For the first year I got letters and pictures pretty regularly and to be honest every time I got pictures and a letter it brought back all of the emotions.  Once the letters and pictures stopped coming as regularly and now have pretty much stopped I have found been able to heal and stop living in the past.

Now that isn’t saying that I don’t think of her because I think of her every day but I feel that I am not stuck in the past.  In order for me to heal and get at the place I where I can now talk about it to anyone with out getting depressed I had to put everything that reminded me of her away.  I found that when I had her things out that I was dwelling on the pain and not living my life.

I am so glad that my adoption is how it is because it has allowed me to live my life and heal from the pain.  Now there are still times that it is hard for me but those times are few and far between anymore.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Margaret Margaret

Adoption-Pure Love

I am sure that most of you know by now that I place my daughter for adoption when I was 20.  She will be 7 in July and it is so hard to believe that it has been 7 years since I have been pregnant.  I never thought I was going to make it through the first year let alone 7 years.

I recently found a blog by Tiffany who recently adopted a little girl.  As I was reading through the story of her adoption I found a part in her post that put into words things I have wanted to say for 7 years but could never find the words.  Here is the quote:

 I deeply resent the people who have said, about birth parents, “I can’t imagine ever giving away my child.”  

The pain involved in the choice to place (not give away) your child for adoption is one most of us cannot imagine.  The reason it is painful is because when we love someone, our instinct is to hold tight and never let go.  This instinct isn’t really the love itself but rather our own heart’s selfish desire to protect itself from the pain of loss.

But birth parents understand that truly loving someone can mean letting go.  It can mean wanting more for your child than you feel you can give.

It is utter selflessness.  It is true courage.  It is pure love.

I read this quote to my grandma the other night and it brought tears to her eyes.  This says everything that I felt when I placed my daughter but have never found the words to express.  There isn’t much I can really say about it because she says everything that is in my heart.   I really recommend that you should go and check out her blog and read the whole story of her adopting their newest little girl.

What do you guys think of her quote?

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Margaret Margaret

Letter To Brita

This post was originally posted last year during National Adoption Month.  I have updated it and I feel that this can still help other birth mom’s out there.

I had another post scheduled for today but after reading some blogs by couples are looking to adopt and watching a music video I knew in my heart that I needed to post this.  As I am writing this I am crying but it is something that I hope will help heal me in time.

It is national adoption month and it has hit me hard.  I have found blogs of great couples looking to adopted and I can’t help but get sad when I read them.  I feel so bad for them and yet it brings my own pain of being a birth mom up again.  It is something I haven’t totally dealt with because it hurts and no one likes to hurt.  I can’t believe my daughter is 6.  Right now it seems like just yesterday and I placed her for adoption.

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Dear Brita,

I can’t believe you are already 6 years old.  I remember like it were yesterday being pregnant with you and you pushing your feet so hard in my side that I would push it back and you would push even harder.  I remember the months of being sick while I was pregnant and finding out who where true friends and who weren’t.  I can remember going into labor and not wanting to be because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet.  I knew once you were born I was going to have to say goodbye and I didn’t know  how I was going to make it through saying goodbye.  I can remember watching you with your parents and know I was making the right choice but that didn’t make it hurt any less.  I can remember handing you to your dad and them walking out with you in their arms.  I remember the pain but I also know that it was the right option for you.  If I could go through it all again I would because I know without a doubt that You are where you are supposed to be.  I hope you grow up happy.  I would say and loved but I know they love you with all their hearts.  I hope you never doubt the love I have for you.  I will always love you no matter what you do.  I placed you because I knew I couldn’t give you what you deserved in life.  You deserve so much more than I could ever give you!  I know you will do great things in life and that is why I placed you.  In closing know that I love you and miss you everyday!!!!

Love,
Margaret

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Margaret Margaret

A Story For An Adoptive Mom

I was contact through the facebook page by a wonderful lady who adopted a child already and they are looking to adopt another child.  I asked her if she would write a post about how they felt about their child’s birth mom.  Here is what she wrote.  You can their website and blog here.
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Something has been percolating in me lately, and it has to do with birth mothers.

As an adoptive parent of an amazing six year old daughter through domestic open adoption, I would love to shout from the rooftops that adoption is beautiful. But, that is not the entire story. And I am not talking about adoption scams, failed adoptions, the cost, or any other roller coaster issue that often comes with open adoption.

The adoption of my daughter in 2005 is the MOST wonderful thing that has ever happened to me, and I am forever grateful to her birth mother for choosing us. Maggie is such a blessing in our lives, and I can’t imagine life without her.

I am writing today about how difficult it must be for most birth mothers to place their children for adoption. I know there are probably some that don’t struggle with it at all. But, I imagine that many, many birth mothers have an incredibly hard time placing their child for adoption. Even when every ounce of their being may believe it is the best thing for the child, I can’t help but think how hard it must be to let go of something you love and is biologically a part of you.

My daughter’s birth mother struggles with her adoption decision. At the time of my daughter’s birth, I did not know how much she was struggling because she kept that private until years later when she revealed that she had asked the nursing staff to bring the baby into her room every time we left the hospital. We had always thought the nursing staff was pushing the baby on her because one nurse in particular did not believe in adoption. We were also so overwhelmed with new baby excitement that we might not have noticed the subtle messages she might have been sending. We certainly didn’t pressure her, but I imagine there were many things in life that were pressuring her to place the baby for adoption (her age, lack of income, resources, and life experience to name a few).

Since our adoption, our birth mother has had two other children whom she is parenting with the help of her boyfriend. I can’t help but think that she feels sad that she is not raising the child she placed with us for adoption.

As adoptive parents, we should dance in the streets with excitement when a baby is placed with us. But, we should also be aware that our blessing may mean our birth mother is experiencing incredible heart ache over her decision.

If we do the math, adoptive parent’s blessing = birth mother’s loss.

I am not saying that adoption is bad or anything even remotely close. Even though our adoption in Louisiana failed, it was clear to our birth mother in that situation that she could not take care of the new baby, and she wanted a better life for him. She remained committed to the adoption plan until the end, and though she was committed to this plan, it was still clearly very painful for her. The baby’s birth father stepped in and changed everything, so now she has a baby that she didn’t think she could raise. I pray that somehow they make it.

Birth mothers have given so many of us the greatest blessings in our lives. It is not something that can be re-paid in anyway other than to do our best to raise the baby and to honor any promises made to a birth mother. Recently, I have read many birth mothers and adoptive parents speak about the adoptive parents cutting off contact or not honoring the adoption plan that was made. I imagine there are extreme circumstance where this might be warranted, but in the other 99% of the cases, adoptive parents should honor the adoption plan (maybe this is easy for me to say because we have a great birth mother).

Birth mothers deserve to be treated with respect and for us to honor our promises made to them. Most birth mothers pick us because they believe we are decent people who will do a great job raising their baby. That doesn’t mean we should only act like decent people until we finalize our adoption. Not honoring the adoption plan is not right to do to the birth mother, and it is definitely not the right thing to do to your child.

One day our children will be old enough to really understand the circumstances of their adoptions. Let’s hope we have not behaved badly in a way that our children will rightfully resent or hate us for betraying their birth mother.

I have the utmost respect for birth mothers. I can only imagine the amazing courage it must take to do what you think is best for your baby despite the heart ache you might experience.

Without my daughter’s birth mother, my life would be so empty and incomplete. I am so grateful that she trusted us enough to raise her daughter and to maintain contact with her.

I look forward to the day when another woman will trust us enough to raise her baby, and will know she can trust us to do the right thing in our relationship with her, and her relationship with the child.

But, I don’t ever want to pretend that it is easy for a birth mother. With our joy comes a birth mother’s pain. And that’s an adoption truth.
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