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.

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Ways to Cope With Placing Your Child For Adoption

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.

When I think of more ways I am for sure going to post them and if you know of any other ways to cope please leave a comment so that I can add it to my next post.

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