This guest post is by Ashlee Amraen, a birthmother.
“I could never give my kid up for adoption.”
That’s the response I usually get whenever I tell people about my decision to find adoptive parents for my twins.
But, you see, I didn’t give them up. I placed them.
My adoption story began in May 2011. I was 21 at the time and my life was far from stable. I knew I wasn’t in a position to raise them.
Placing my twins for adoption wasn’t a decision I made lightly. I spent months thinking about it and trying to find the perfect adoptive family for my boys until eventually I found them.
I know that not everyone agrees with adoption or my decision.
I’ve had people tell me what a terrible person I am for placing them with another family. In one instance, I was even handed a bible by someone who didn’t agree with it.
Although I tend to think of myself as being an open book, I still find it hard to explain my decision to people and that it involved not one but two children.
Sometimes their reactions are so annoying that rather than just walk away and ignore them, I try to correct them.
“I didn’t give my children up,” I’ll say. “I placed them. And in doing so, I placed their happiness and well-being above my own emotions and selfishness.”
People who haven’t been in a birthmother’s shoes and haven’t gone through the pain of placement don’t realize how ignorant and rude they sound when they use the term “give up.”
It makes it seem like we birthmothers just give up on our unborn children because we don’t want them.
A few years after I placed my twins, I got pregnant again. This time I decided to raise my son.
I was at a point in my life where I felt I could enjoy parenthood. But once again, the questions came pouring in.
“Are you gonna keep this one or give it up?”
“Do you feel bad for having another and keeping this one and giving up your twins?”
“How are you gonna explain to your twins and when?”
Although I tried to enjoy my pregnancy, inside I broke down. I felt so guilty.
My heart was torn because I felt like I was being unfair to the twins
I think people need to get more educated about the decisions that birthmothers make and what it’s like to choose adoption for your baby.
I actually work in a maternity ward and sometimes I feel like I was put there for a reason.
I’ve walked into rooms not knowing that the women there had chosen adoption.
On some occasions, if they look sad I’ll ask them if they are okay and they will look at me with tears in their eyes and tell me that they have chosen adoption for their baby.
That’s when I tell them my story and how, over time, things get better.
“You’ll have good days and bad days,” I tell them. “Your heart will feel so empty but so full at the same time because you know you’’re doing the right thing.”
I also tell them that they’ll always be a Mom. It’s just that God made two mommies for their baby — -a birthmom and an adoptive mom.
I can’t begin to tell you how good it makes them feel to hear those words as a new birthmother.
I’ve had a few birthmothers get up and hug me tightly as they thank me for sharing that part of my life with them. It makes them feel like they’re not alone.
I will never regret my choice to choose adoption for my twins because I’m confident it was the right thing to do. I know they are loved and cared for beyond words.
Today I am 26 and engaged to my fiancé. We’ve been together for six years and are looking forward to the future and raising our son together.
Every birthmother out there needs to know that she is an amazing courageous woman. She should not feel badly or be judged for doing what’s best for her child.
Our job as mothers is to put our children’s wants and needs above our own even if it means placing that child with another family.
And that’s the reason why I and other birthmothers don’t “give up” our children. We place them with families that love them just as much as we do.
Ashlee Amraen is a birthmother living in Duluth, Minnesota. She works in a hospital and is planning to get married in the near future.