This guest post is by Andrea, a birthmother.
When I was pregnant and considering adoption, I had a lot of family members and friends who didn’t know what to say or do or how to support me.
I try not to hold it against them but it was a difficult time for everyone all around.
I know that it isn’t always easy to “be there” for someone who is considering an adoption placement or has made a plan.
Unless you’ve experienced it yourself, it’s hard to know how to support and comfort a person who’s going through the process.
But as a birth mom, I believe that receiving support from others is critical.
Adoption isn’t an easy topic to discuss and it’s definitely one of the hardest situations that a woman with an unplanned pregnancy can find herself in.
As we’re weighing the pros and cons of our adoption plan, we don’t want to be alone. People are already judging and ridiculing us.
Placing a baby for adoption might not seem like the right decision for others, but you need to remember that it’s our decision and our child.
Here are some ways to support a family member or friend who is considering adoption or has made a placement plan.
1. Cook her dinner sometime
I worked full time when I was pregnant and I lived alone so cooking was not always easy for me after a long day at work.
I had family night at my house once a week and I can definitely say it was nice for someone else to take care of me on that day.
Doing everyday things with what seemed like a basketball attached to me was really hard and I had breakdowns every few days.
You don’t have to do it weekly but occasionally a home cooked meal is awesome!
2. Listen to her when she needs to talk
Our hormones go through the roof during pregnancy.Pregnancy should be a happy time.
But it’s not easy when the hardest decision you’ll ever make is looming over your head and there’s no one to talk to about it.
Even a simple phone call can help. It’s so important for us to know that we have people who support us and will give us an ear.
We have a million thoughts racing through our heads. Sometimes we just need someone to listen to us.
3. Go to her doctors appointments with her
Again, pregnancy should be the happiest time in our life. But when you’re considering whether to place your baby for adoption, it isn’t always a happy situation.
Although our significant others should be accompanying us to our doctors appointments, more likely than not we are going alone.
It’s hard enough skipping out on things like a gender reveal party, maternity pictures and a baby shower.
We just don’t want to feel alone. And it’s even worse when we go to the doctor by ourselves because this should be a joyous time that should be shared with others.
4. Let her know that you’re thinking about her
This ties into the idea about letting an expectant mother or birthmother talk about her experience.
Sometimes, however, it is hard for us to reach out to others.
In my case, I didn’t want to bother my family and friends with my “problems” while I was pregnant because I knew that everyone had issues of their own to worry about.
Even if it’s just a text message, let her know you are with her and that she isn’t alone.
I guarantee you she’ll appreciate that more than anything.
5. Visit her birth child with her
If the adoptive family allows it, go to visits with the birthmother.
We love to show off our children just like any other mother. I show pictures of my baby all of the time.
I love when my family is able to visit my baby with me. She is just too cute not to share!
It’s nice to know that I have support and that people around me care about me and my child.
It just means she has more people who love her. Even more than if I were to parent her myself!
It might be uncomfortable or difficult to emotionally support someone who is making or has made an adoption plan.
But support is so crucial! It’s everything.
With your support, your birth mom friend will feel like she is capable of doing anything.
It makes life after placement just a little less difficult. She will feel more secure in her decision and it will strengthen your relationship as well.
She needs your support more than ever!
Andrea is a hairstylist, student (majoring in criminal justice) and pug mama. Visit her birthmom/lifestyle blog here.
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