This guest post is by Elizabeth, a birthmother.
Two years ago, when I was 13, I found out I was pregnant. I knew that at my age I would not have been able to give my baby the care she needed, whatever she wanted, and everything she deserved. I wanted her to have a forever family.
I wanted her to have a father that loved her more than anything. Something that without placing her, I wouldn’t have been able to give her myself. I felt like open adoption was the best decision for everyone involved.
I’d seen and heard stories of adoptees trying to find their birth-moms and I understood how hard that would have been. I wanted to watch my baby grow, develop and to have a relationship with her.
Within a week after telling my mom that I was pregnant, she had told a close friend about the situation and that we were considering open adoption. My mom’s friend, who I give all the credit in the world for finding a forever family for my daughter, “C”’ showed us a blog of hopeful adoptive parents.
Once the page loaded, I knew that totally adorable, totally in love couple, Chelsy and Brent, were meant to be “C”s mommy and daddy.
We decided on weekly visits until Chelsy and Brent’s big move to another state, which lasted for three months and, after that, weekly letters in the mail with 10+ pictures and, after six months, when they came back for the blessing and sealing, bi-weekly letters for the next six months.
I wanted as much contact as possible in the beginning because I knew it would be super hard for me to let go. The openness was perfect for me and I know Chelsy and Brent were happy with it as well.
Today, the key to our relationship is communication. Even if it’s uncomfortable to talk about certain things it’s so important. We had a discussion before “C” was born about how would I know if it would work for me. How would I know that Chelsy and Brent wouldn’t end the open adoption without my consent.
It was really awkward at first for me, but it was good because I know that they wouldn’t. The communication in this type of relationship is so important because, for me, I didn’t want one single thing to be awkward. This relationship is an important one.
My advice to other expectant mothers who are considering adoption is to soak it in, don’t hide your emotions, and be honest with the adoptive parents. In the hospital I had four days with my baby girl and everything about those four special days was magical.
I took so many pictures and videos and those are what save me today. If you hide your emotions you wont spiritually grow from this experience. You need to feel every emotion.
For me, this helped a lot. I cried so much that I didn’t have any more tears left. And that’s normal!!
This is the greatest accomplishment I have done, ever. It’s a beautiful experience, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it for anything in the world! To be honest with the adoptive parents is very important. Tell them your honest emotions even if it’s hard. It will pay off.
Open adoption has taught me so much.
Today, I’m stronger than any other 15-year-old girl I know. I have been through more than most women do in a lifetime. I am strong. I can keep my head up, even when most kids in my middle school are trying to bring me down. I have learned that I can do hard things.
Elizabeth is a birthmom to a beautiful little girl and lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves open adoption and photography and shares her story on her blog.