This guest post is by Makena, a birthmother.
Most the time, we don’t see the opportunities we can have in our lives. Some are so camouflaged that they creep up on us and catch us by surprise.
I have been given many opportunities in my life. But I’ll be honest: When I was growing up I didn’t take advantage of many of them.
I focused on myself, not on others.
Then my dad, who always told me to make every day a great day, passed away, and other people stepped up and served our family in our time of need.
That’s when I realized how much good I could do for others.
Once I started to give back and serve other people, I realized that I loved it.
Whether it was something simple like waving hello or doing a task that other people take for granted, I loved seeing another person’s face light up from a simple act of kindness.
For me, serving others was a way to show how much I loved and cared for them, without expecting anything in return.
My decision to place my son, Mason, for adoption was another way for me to serve and show my love for others, and it’s the one decision I will never regret.
After my father’s passing, I learned that we can never know when our last day is or what lies ahead in the future.
When I found out I was pregnant with Mason, I wanted to give him the best future possible, even if it meant being with another family.
I wanted to be a part of his life, but because I wasn’t in the best situation, I had to put my needs aside so that he could have his met.
Expecting a child on your own is hard. It’s like being handed a platter with every decision you didn’t want to make and then having to make decisions all at once.
I had two options. I could either do what was best for me or I could do what was best for Mason.
I knew that I could love him more than I’ve ever loved anyone before. But I knew that giving him something more also mattered.
I thought that maybe I could parent alone and give him everything I had growing up.
Then I looked at the big picture. I had two loving parents, but he wouldn’t have that.
So I reminded myself of the platter of decisions I had to make, and I told myself that I would give this child the best life he could ever have, even if I wouldn’t be a part of it on a daily basis.
I pondered my decision, cried and prayed over it. Eventually I came to the point where I knew placing him for adoption was the right thing to do.
I took advantage of the opportunity, and made one of the most courageous choices ever.
That was my opportunity to show my love for my child, but it wasn’t the only one.
Having his adoptive parents accept him and be willing to raise him was another opportunity to love—their opportunity.
Getting an email out of the blue from a 16-year-old girl who says she wants you to raise her child isn’t easy.
Not every adoption match is successful, so for them to take a chance on me was a huge decision.
Masons’ adoptive parents and I have been given the opportunity to love each other, and to love him.
We have been given the chance to trust each other so deeply that we can rely on each other no matter what.
It wasn’t luck that brought us together or chance. It was destiny. That may sound a bit cheesy, but it’s the simple truth.
Because my life is so busy today and Mason lives five hours away, I don’t get to see him as much I would like to.
That’s been difficult, but what’s helped me is having two other girls in my life who, like Mason, are adopted.
By allowing me to be part of their lives, their family has given me the opportunity to love them as my own.
Although they don’t replace Mason and I don’t replace their birthmothers, being able to love each other has helped us all heal.
I’m there for them, and they’re there for me whenever I miss Mason.
Some birth mothers don’t learn from their experiences, so they repeat them or get stuck in a place in life that isn’t ideal.
I chose to learn from my father’s passing and opened my mind to a new perspective, so when I became pregnant with Mason I had the choice to either be negative and selfish about it or to make the best of it.
I chose to make the best of it. At the end of the day, it’s all a choice. It’s all about your attitude and your outlook.
For me, open adoption has not only been an opportunity to build new friendships. It has also allowed me to heal, love and serve others.
Makena is a birth mother from Idaho who placed her birth son in 2014. She now mentors expectant mothers who are planning to place their children and works with an adoption organization in her community.
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