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?
I placed my daughter for adoption in July of 2005. I attend a support group for unwed mothers that the agency I was going to had. Not everyone in the group was placing for adoption but I learned so much from the girls that have placed and listening to what worked and didn’t work for them. I figured that I would share some of the things that worked for me and things that may work for other birth parents.
Before I get into them I was researching some things on adoption and I found this article. While I reading through article I found this paragraph and I really liked what it said. I am going to post it here because I think it speaks volumes about how birth parents are looked at by people who don’t understand are choices. Here is the paragraph:
Most people at some time in their lives experience grief when they are separated from a loved one. However, in adoption, there are no standard grieving processes or approved rituals to help birthparents cope. When a well-liked co-worker accepts a new job in a new city, there is often a going away party. When a loved one dies, there may be a religious service, a wake, a funeral, and visits to the survivors’ home by friends and relatives. But birthparents’ grief is distinct from most other types of grief, because it is not always socially acceptable to talk about what happened.
Now on to the ways I coped and ways that others have coped with the greif.
- Journal-I wrote out why I placed her in a journal that I then gave to the adoptive mom to give to my daughter when they thought she was ready to read it.
- Talk to other birth moms-It helped me tons to be able to talk to other girls who had been though it and could tell me that it would get better with time. I never thought the first year would end but each year it gets easier at least it has for me.
- Take one day at at time-There are time where You are going to have to take it minute by minute but know that time will heal the pain. At first the pain is so raw that it is all you can think about but it does get easier I promise.
- Build a support system-I helps to have people who know the whole story and whither or not they agree with your choice they will still stand behind you and listen to you talk. There will be times that just talking to someone and having them not try to answer but just listen helps so much. It makes such a difference to just get the thoughts out of you head and have someone not feel the need to try and make it better but just listen.
- Allow yourself to feel the emotions-I know in the beginning I wanted to run from the emotions I was feeling and not feel anything but by doing that you are going to be making it harder in the long run. Allow yourself to feel and grieve.
- Keep Scrapbooks and/or pictures around-If you were to walk into my room right now the only pictures I have up are the ones of her when she is older. In the beginning looking at the pictures made me feel better but after the first year and even know it is so hard for me to look at the pictures of her while we were in the hospital because I want the baby. I heard from one of the girls in the support group that her child became two different people in her head even though she knew they were the same. She like me wanted the baby and not the child that she is now.
- If you need help ask-Don’t be too afraid to talk to a counselor if you are having a hard time deal with all of the emotions. I saw one quite awhile after I placed my daughter and that helped me so much.
Here is another post that Melissa wrote for my blog. This was originally posted on 9/10/2010. It was entitled Love Letters To Yourself. There is much I can say about this post or about her today. I am going to write a post about her and I would love to be able to include any memories that you have of her. I love you Melissa!
Love Letters To Yourself
In a previous guest post I briefly mentioned writing love notes to yourself, something I like to do. I find that writing myself love notes is a wonderful way to keep myself motivated and feeling good about myself. Love notes do not have to be long, just a few short words on a post-it-note are just as valuable as writing a long letter to myself.
There are times though, when only a long letter will do. Not just a long letter, but something like how people used to write letters long ago. Letters containing pressed flowers, smelling of perfume or having lovely pictures. Even writing them with a fancy pen that is only reserved for my special letters. It is all about making myself feel good and taking care of myself. I like to save these letters. Pulling them out when I need to hear special, loving words.
I believe that no one knows better what I need to hear to build me up than myself. These letters do that when, for whatever reason, my family cannot fill that need for me.
You never want the letter writing to yourself to become a chore, something you feel like you have to do, so don’t do it very often. It is about loving yourself, showing yourself compassion, not one more thing in the long list of things that you must do. Don’t get bogged down in using proper grammar, or punctuation, or making it perfect. It is about love, not about perfection.
Make the time that you take to write these letters to yourself special. If you find that you cannot get time alone during the day to do this, try it after the rest of your family goes to bed. Play some soft music, light a few candles, take some time and clear your mind before you get started. Think about the wonderful things you want to say. If you cannot do all that, you can still make that time special by putting some pressed flowers in your letter, decorating the envelope, even putting inspirational pictures from magazines and photographs in it. You could crush some fragrant herbs and put them in, or include your own drawings (even if they are only stick figures). Write some quotes on little slips of paper and stick those in as well.
Start your letters off with terms of endearment, like “Dear” and then put as much love and compassion into the letter to yourself as you can. Write it to someone you love dearly. As difficult as it might be, do your best to not write it in the first person. An example of this is:
You are a wonderful person. I love how strong and self confident you are. You are a beautiful, inside and out. I value you. I admire the compassion you showed to those hurting people today. (and just keep going)
In your letters to yourself you could write about your good qualities, something you did that you are proud of, and things that bring you love and joy. Write about a walk you took, or a special time you spent with another person. You could write about something loving another person did or said to you. Use your imagination, write only about the things that build you up.
You can write your letter all at one time, or take a whole month to write it, adding bits and pieces here and there. Do it the way that works best for you.
On your hard days, on those days when you are hurting and your self worth has taken a blow, pull out your love letters to remind yourself what a wonderful person you are. Read them all, or read only one, whatever it takes to heal your hurting heart.
If you decide to try writing a love letter to yourself, I would enjoy hearing about it. Only as much as you feel comfortable sharing.
Written by Melissa Mashburn of Sugar Filled Emotions
This week I picked topic number 3.) “It was as if an invisible thread hooked her to her boy. The thread could go taut or slack but it could never come undone, it could never reach the end of its spool because there was no end; it bound them forever.” What does unconditional love mean to you?
I picked this one because it is easy for me to write about. I placed my daughter for adoption when I was 20 so I think I definitely have a view on what unconditional love is. Unconditional love is doing something for someone else even if it is going to hurt you. I think most parents have this for their children. Even when children mess up and do something wrong. They may be mad and disappointed but in the end they still love you. I say most parents because I don’t believe that my own mother loves me unconditionally but that is another post.
Anyway back to the subject at hand. I love my daughter so much that I was willing to let her go and go to her family. It hurts but to this day I still love her. I can’t wait for when she is older and wanted to get to know me. It will feel so good to know that she can see that I made the best choice for her. I love her unconditional and nothing she could do would change that.