This guest post is by Courtney, a birthmother. Read Part One of her story here.
I was already parenting my three-year-old son, Jack, and I knew that while I could give Benjamin what he wanted, I couldn’t give him what he deserved. So I chose a couple named Drea and Jason to be his adoptive parents.
Transitioning Benjamin to their home was a gradual process. At first, they took him every other night. The first night he was gone, I felt utterly empty. I wanted to call Drea and insist she bring my baby back, but I didn’t.
The day before the placement Drea and her sister took the boys and me to the zoo on my birthday and then she and Jason took me to dinner. It was by far the best birthday I’ve ever had, it meant so much to me.
Placement day isn’t one I’ll soon forget. I remember, as I walked into the room to sign those papers that would change my life forever, turning back into the hall. After I signed, I just put my head in my hands and sobbed.
Drea and Jason didn’t say anything. I doubt they knew what to say. I took a few minutes with Benjamin and cried into his soft little head, almost wishing I could run away with him.
But I knew I was doing the best thing for him, giving him a future. Drea’s voice broke as she introduced me as Benjamin’s “very brave mother”. She gave me a necklace with an owl charm, and another charm engraved with the words “I gave him more”. I loved the gesture. Earlier, as part of his placement, I gave Benjamin a stuffed owl to always have with him
A couple of dozen people were there to thank me and show me love. It was such an amazing experience. I’ll never forget it. I left that night with a crazy sense of peace. I knew my baby was going home where he belonged, to people who would love him as much as I did.
About a week after placement, my grief set in. I barely slept or ate. Every day I woke up crying. I felt empty and alone. But through it, Drea was there. I could text her whenever I wanted and we would spend hours on the phone late at night. She didn’t have to have those hours of conversation with me, but I think she knew I needed it.
She carried me through and took the time to comfort me those first few weeks, even though she was a new mother with so much joy and so much to enjoy. She and Jason have been my rock in so many ways, they have kept their word and then some.
Drea sends me pics and videos of every sweet thing he does. To this day we can talk for hours on the phone. We have a friendship that goes beyond birth and adoptive parent, and it means the world to me.
That is absolutely the key to the success of our open adoption, the fact that we never really disagree or get upset with each other. We’re friends and we love each other. Drea loves me as his birth mother, the one who made her a mother.
I love her and Jason deeply as my baby’s parents, the ones who will raise him with all the love and stability I wanted for him. And they give me the privilege of sharing it with me every step of the way.
How amazing is that? I haven’t detached myself from Benjamin. I still feel the loss and grief. I still miss him and love him with every bit of my heart and soul. He’s half my heart, and half of Drea and Jason’s heart.
Because of their love for him and me, I don’t miss out on much. I get to be a part of it all. Our son has so much love from so many, it’s unreal. What a lucky kid.
To those expectant moms out there considering adoption I have one very huge piece of advice. When choosing your baby’s parents, choose people you love. Don’t choose them because “they’ll work” or because you think you should. Choose people you truly and deeply connect with, that you can see yourself loving years from now.
I didn’t think I would ever be able to choose adoptive parents for Benjamin. But when I found Drea and Jason, I knew. We just fit. So don’t be afraid to be picky. Don’t be afraid to love that baby with everything you are, because a child can never have too much love.
And please, don’t be afraid to feel the pain. There are days I cry out loud from it, but even in those gut-wrenching, soul crushing moments I know I made the right choice.
For me, that knowledge and the love I have for Drea and Jason are the reasons this adoption works. And why it will always work. Because we are all committed to just loving the socks off that boy, and doing everything we can for HIS best. Because after all, it’s about love.
Courtney is a 28-year-old single mother, birth mother to an almost one year old little boy, and adoption advocate. She is attending college in hopes of becoming a nurse and has a blog where she shares her story to help others in her position.