So today as I was browsing through some blogs I came upon one written by a birth mother friend of mine. She did a Q&A post that I thought was extremely interesting and helpful. I hope she doesn't mind me copying the questions, but be sure I did not copy the answers:) these are my own thoughts and experiences. And this past year I've been going around to different high schools doing adoption presentations for the Utah Adoption Council and I have been asked every single one of these questions by high school students curious to learn more. anyway, i'll get on with it now, my answers to some birth mother questions:)
1.What emotions did you experience when you initially found out about the pregnancy?
Fear. Anger. Sadness. Uncertainty. But mostly Fear. I was so young and so unprepared to raise a child. I knew right away I was going to have to look into all my options and get the support of my family. I think telling my parents was the hardest part. Every time I think about that moment I still feel sick and I start to shake, reminiscent of the way I felt during that petrifying moment. I also remember the exact moment I looked down at that stick and saw that much unwanted plus sign. To be honest, I threw up, and couldn't control my shaking hands and legs. I walked out of the bathroom to look the birth father in the eye and that's when I knew he wasn't ready either. The look on his face read, "CRAP." Long story short, he didn't stick around long because he didn't know how to handle the situation. The emotions that came with that type of abandonment were awful, heartbreaking. I had never felt so alone in my life, a feeling which lasted the whole nine months.
2. Did you plan for single-parenting or marriage?
Neither. Well for the most part. I definitely thought about single parenting several times but never felt right about it and knew I couldn't provide everything two parents could. As for marriage, it wasn't even an option. The birth father and I were not at a place in our relationship where that would have worked out. We didn't have the money, the jobs, or most importantly the love. We weren't in love. And that's key to any marriage.
3. Why did you consider adoption? Did you consider abortion as an option?
Because adoption held the answers to all my fears. I wanted Sophie to be sealed to two parents, and have a family that could give her everything I couldn't. That was the main reason I considered adoption. There was no way I could support a baby seeing as I didn't even have enough money for myself. My family was in no way financially prepared to help raise my daughter either. I would have had to find a place to stay and I would have had to worked full time, never being home with my daughter. With adoption, I was able to pick the perfect family for Sophie. One that was excellent at teaching their children gospel principles, one that was financially stable, and one with younger kids and a stay at home mom. It pains me to say abortion was my first option. AND FOR ONLY ONE REASON. I had been told by my doctors for years that if I was to get pregnant, the risk of dying during labor and delivery would be huge (due to pre-existing medical conditions). So, I had to consider abortion. Was I willing to risk my life for a baby I wasn't going to raise? Yes. Even after months of "You need to value your life and consider abortion ShaNae" from my doctors and OBGYN, I stuck with yes. I couldn't do it. I could never live with myself if I knew I had taken a human life.
4. What were your major concerns when considering adoption?
If I was ever going to see my daughter again. If I was going to find the right family and especially, if I could go through with it. Adoption is hard, there's no sugar coating it. It was the hardest thing I've ever done and probably ever will do. It took months of emotional preparation and counseling which still wasn't enough for the moment I relinquished my rights and placed her in the arms of another. I was scared I'd find a family that looked perfect on the outside but would break all their promises for an open adoption once the papers were signed. I didn't want to be left in the dust, I wanted a family that would be open and honest with me for the rest of our lives; a family I could learn to love and be a part of. Thankfully, I found that with the Mathesons and now, i always miss them just as much as I miss Sophie.
5. Did you have any specifications when searching for your adoptive couple?
DEFINITELY. I wanted them to be LDS. I wanted them to be financially stable (this was so important to me because my family never was, and I didn't want that for my daughter). I wanted them to have at least one other child. And I wanted the mother to be stay at home (something else I never had). Those were the most important stipulations, though I wasn't close minded to families who didn't fit the criteria:) I was really open to just about anything, I knew that my Heavenly Father would guide me to the right family no matter who they were.
6. How long into the pregnancy did you wait before selecting a couple?
I found the Mathesons when I had seven weeks left of my pregnancy. I believe it was April 8th that I announced that they were expecting and Sophie was born June 1st. I started looking for couples though, when I was only two months pregnant.
7. Looking at the way your birth child is being raised, are there any parenting practices you disagree with? Or value differences?
No. And that's because I chose them to be her parents. That means trusting them to do what's right. I support whatever they choose to do as her parents. That's my place as her birth mother. And to be honest, from what I've seen, they're better parents then I could have ever imagined in the beginning.
8. Is there anything you would change about your current placement?
Heck no. I am taken care of, my family's taken care of, and most importantly, Sophie is taken care of. With the placement situation we have, it's a win for everybody, and that's how it should be.
9. How do you feel about the adoptive parents? Is the relationship open/closed? Would you change the current arrangement?
I love them, more than words can describe. They were the answer to my prayers. They are my dear friends and really, they're just like family. The relationship is very open, we base it off trust and honesty. If one of us has a problem with the other, we voice it, diplomatically of course:) and there's never any harm done, only an increase in respect. I wouldn't change anything about the arrangement we have. Well, perhaps I'd make our lives a bit less stressful so Rebecca and I could hang out more haha but other than that, i've been so blessed.
10. How was your family effected by the adoption?
Oh jeez...More than I wanted. It was the hardest thing to watch them feel any kind of pain relating to the adoption. Sophie was my parent's first grandchild, my sibling's first niece. They hurt too. They tried as best they could to be strong for me but sometimes it was hard. The worst part, was watching my mom try to mask her pain. She cried with me on more than one occasion, which I preferred to having her hide it. they were all very supportive and they have all fallen in love with the Mathesons just as much as I have. It has meant the world to me to have them on board with my decision.
11. Do you want to have more children?
HEAVENS YES. I would be devastated to find out I couldn't. But if that does happen, because it does, I would definitely look into adoption. I want to raise a family of my own someday when the timing is right.
12. How would you feel if you were unable to conceive again? Would you consider adopting?
Oops, just answered this. I would be heart broken if I couldn't conceive again. Just like any other adoptive couple. I'm sure it's one of the hardest trials to go through, not being able to have kids, but thank goodness there are other ways to start families. But yes, if that were to happen, I would most definitely consider adoption.
Well, that's the end of my little Q&A. Till next time!