I remember my fears as an expectant parent and voicing those fears with my parents and friends. None of them really knew how to answer my questions. They did their best to calm my nerves and encouraged me to make the best possible decision that I felt at peace with.
One of my biggest fears before I placed my baby for adoption was:
What if I see my baby and I just can’t let her go?
I had this thought often. What if I just can’t do it? What if after delivery I hold her and I can’t let her go? I said this to a friend during my pregnancy and her reply stuck with me.
-Then don’t let her go. When you are in the delivery room and you’re holding that little butterfly of yours and something inside of you says don’t do this. Then don’t.
This brought me comfort. Even though I had technically chosen adoption, picked a family and let them know when she was due, I still had the option of parenting or placing. I still had the choice up until the very second I signed my rights away. I had a choice.
When I held my little butterfly for the first time, yes, I wanted her to stay curled up in my arms forever. Did I ache and think to myself ‘I can’t let her go?’ Of course I did and writing about it now brings me to tears. She was so precious and so beautiful. I was in awe and I felt my first proud moment as a parent. However, I knew I was making the right choice for her. The strong confirmation that I felt in those first few hours of holding her, have made it possible for me to defend my decision. I’ll never forget how I felt. I wasn’t torn inside like I had imagined. I felt incredible peace.
One of my biggest fears now as a birth mother:
Will my baby know how much I love her?
This question haunts me from time to time… still. Will she ever understand my decision to place her for adoption? Will she ever know how much I think about her on a daily basis? Will she know I felt so strongly that I was making the best decision for her, at that time? Will she?
This is actually one of the reasons I choose to start Birth Mother Baskets. In a closed adoption (semi-open really, but it felt very closed at the time) I wanted a way for my little butterfly to look back and know I had been thinking about her all those years. I wanted to be able to meet her one day and say look, I started this organization as a way to stay connected to you. Thank goodness for open placements now, where it’s so easy for birth moms to send a letter, a gift or whatever to stay connected. I didn’t have that luxury at the time I started BMB.
My answer to this question... I don’t know that she will ever fully understand and I’m ok with that. I can’t control what she will feel. I can’t control the trials that she will have. I can’t worry about the things I can’t control. So, I conquer the things I can… like running BMB, writing in a journal that is just for her (hopefully, one day I will be able to share this journal with her) and supporting other birth parents like me with similar fears and concerns. Also, pray and hope that she too will not feel torn inside, but will feel that incredible peace just like I did the first day I held her.