This guest post is by Crystal Byrd, a birthmother.
I am a birthmom to a beautiful 5 year old girl named Emma. I was 20 years old when I decided to do an open adoption with my little girl.
I was lucky and blessed to find her adoptive parents early in my pregnancy. I found them when I was 13, 14 weeks pregnant and they were with me throughout my whole pregnancy.
A question a lot of people ask me is how did I know Ben and Nicole were the ones? I knew as soon as I looked at the pictures in their online parent profile. People who go through the adoption placement process say when you see, you will know. That was absolutely true for me.
I had Googled “Adoptive LDS Couple Profiles” and it took me to a website with a bunch of profiles for families wanting to adopt a baby. As I mentioned, when I saw their pictures I was instantly drawn to them.
I emailed them and said I was pregnant and was considering open adoption for my baby. I asked if they were available to meet. Ben emailed back first because Nicole was a teacher and working, so we set up a time and date to meet.
At the time I lived in Houston and they lived in Dallas. After I met them I knew they were the ones for my baby. It is hard to explain how I knew, but it is almost like God whispered “Them!” to me.
Fast forward to my birth: They were there the whole time. We were all new to this. We really had no idea how this was supposed to go. Looking back, I now know that one thing I would have done before the birth was set up boundaries.
I had a really hard time letting go at first. I wanted pictures all day everyday and Nicole sent them. But really getting those photos was making it impossible for me to move on.
We had a discussion about limiting the number of photos and they did not want me posting photos of Emma on social media without their permission.
Back then it was hard for me to understand, but now I do. Emma was their baby and I had to respect that. I could post pictures with their permission and pictures I took with her during visits.
Another thing I found hard was thinking of Emma as “my” baby. The words “my” and “mine” were really sensitive. I was acting like she was still mine when she was not.
I understood that God used me as a way to bring Emma to her forever family. Emma was always supposed to be with them. Knowing that, I needed to discuss with Nicole and Ben how open the adoption would be and find out what they were comfortable with regarding what to call the relationship and me in a way that we were both happy with.
That was not an easy process for either side and it took time for both of us to heal. As a birth mom, you feel like your heart is breaking while the adoptive mother may feel guilty for adopting the baby and for the birthmom’s feelings.
I want to end by saying everything heals in time. It is okay to feel those uncomfortable emotions. It’s all part of the process. Now that we are 5 years into our relationship I have never been more sure of the choice I made for Emma.
She is living a life I could never dream of giving her—in a loving family with both a mom and a dad and brothers and sisters. She is where she is supposed to be.
So if you are considering an open adoption for your baby look at my story and know it is possible for a successful adoption placement. With time, love, faith, and prayer in God, everybody will be happy in the end.
Crystal Byrd is a 27-year-old birth mom from Georgia.
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