Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"How to" part 1

So, I haven't added to the list today, but I will tomorrow before I add the rest of the things I want to say. Here are the first 5. Like I said yesterday, these are things that I've dealt with personally, and some I've heard of, and I've used my personal experience to explain how those things might make a birth parent feel.

Ok, on to the list of things NOT to say!

1. I got this A LOT, and I know other’s do too. And I’ll just tell you up front, that if it hadn’t been for people asking me if I had thought about so-and-so to adopt, I might not have picked the family I did. However, just because you know someone who knows someone who wants to adopt doesn’t mean you should tell the birth parent. Just because your best friend’s sister’s husband’s aunt and uncle’s child wants to adopt, doesn’t mean they should tell you about them. Only two people brought up the couple I ended up placing with, and I had already started thinking about them. But I had people tell me there was a lady who I worked with who wanted to adopt, and I was not comfortable placing with someone I would see every day, even though I picked an open adoption. I did not know I would be moving all the way across the country at the time, I did not feel that couple was a good fit. I also had my first OB ask to adopt my child, after he found out it was a boy. He has 4 girls, and I guess his wife had told him that she did not want to try again, so he saw a perfect chance to get his son. I changed doctors shortly after that conversation. I was very scared that he’d drug me and take my son from me, and I just went back to the days when girls were drugged and not able to see their children before signing the papers. And I couldn’t put myself in that situation, especially since the family I asked decided to adopt after all. How horrible would it have been if the doctor had done that? I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself. So, if you know someone who wants to adopt, or know someone who knows someone, just keep it to yourself, chances are, if they are going through an agency, their profile will be shown to someone, and chances are they’ll get picked one day.

2. There was a mother at the school I worked at; she was a single mother of 2 children. She tried to talk me out of the adoption every time I saw her. It got exhausting trying to explain myself to her. Her reasoning for keeping him was that there was assistance, and food stamps and state insurance, and she would tell me these things like I didn’t already know there was assistance. I knew there was assistance, I was on WIC and food stamps, and for a while I had state insurance, until they screwed me over, and canceled it. But I didn’t want to rely on the government for the rest of my life. I didn’t want my child to be a “welfare baby,” it’s not that I thought there was anything wrong with that, I just wanted better for my son. Money wasn’t the only reason I wanted to place my son for adoption.

3. People also said things about how they weren’t that strong, or how they could never do something like that. You really can’t say things like that until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes. And what is right for me might not be right for you. But to say that to someone is not making them feel better about their choice, even if you mean it to. As a mother we want what is best for our children, and if you are a mother, than you know that. But if you aren’t a mother than you haven’t experienced that yet. And until you do, I wouldn’t go around saying how you couldn’t do something. Because if it is in the best interest of your child, you’ll do it. Would you really tell someone who had lost a child to death that you would never do that? Because I’m pretty sure nobody wants to know what it feels like to have a child die. And I’m not saying that adoption and death are related, just that saying things like not knowing if you could do something before being in that position is hurtful. And is insensitive.

4. Just because someone found them self unmarried and pregnant does NOT mean they are a bad person. They just found themselves in a bad place, people make mistakes. So please, don’t pass judgment. The only person who can judge another is God, and last time I checked He was still in Heaven. I know, for me, I was in a very dark place, I don’t know what led to that place, and I don’t know why I felt that way. But I made a mistake, I put myself in a situation that I shouldn’t have. And because of that situation, I wound up pregnant. I decided to have unprotected sex with someone who wasn’t my husband, and I think I’ve paid for that 10 fold. I don’t need you, and neither does any other birth mom, need you to tell us what horrible people we are. We already feel bad enough; and you telling us how horrible we are or what a horrible thing we’ve done is just making us feel even more like failures. And not all birth moms are unmarried, some of them are married, and their circumstances are different than the single birth moms, but that doesn’t make them a horrible person either. I don’t think I need to go into the reasons why a person chooses to put their child up for adoption; this isn’t that kind of post!

5. Something that people liked to tell me was that the pain gets better with time. I don’t want to hear that. And that is not always the case. I mean, yes, as time moved on, it got easier to handle. But it still hurts, and I’m still without my son. This is NOT something that we can sweep under the rug and just get over. We carried a child in our womb for 9 long months. Some of us had harder pregnancies than others, and we were invested in this little life, that won’t go away over night. Just like baby weight, you can’t expect to wake up one morning and get skinny, you have to work at it, and it takes time. Some days are better than others; some days are so unbearable you don’t want to get out of bed. Some days you are uber happy. It’s like a case of emotional bi-polar. Honest. One day I am just so happy and content with my decision, and then other days I feel like I made a mistake, or that I’ll never get better. I wouldn’t call it regret, but its close, and I like to play the “what if” game, which only ends up making me feel worse.



Holly Christine said...

I think this is all very well said!

Sometimes when people try to help, it hurts. I know what you mean, for totally different reasons, but it all sucks the same!

April said...

These are great to know! I've seen many "What not to say to those dealing with infertility" lists, but nothing like this. I'm eager for the next post.

S.I.F. said...

Wonderful list lady! Way to put it all out there!

Adoptive Momma said...

Thank you for sharing so others can learn. I appreciate your openness and so do others who read my blog.

michelle ellis said...

Thank you so very much for sharing!

Tina said...

This list sounds great..

I'm following you are a very strong woman and I admire your strength...