Friday, June 17, 2011

Ten & now - Adoption Plan & Placement

I believe that there are as many adoption journeys as there are colors in the rainbow. From one share to another, no single line is the same. As the colors blend, a new one is formed, and a new use is found for the color. New names, new uses, new additions, new findings….
Have you ever found yourself going through the stages of grief, and thinking, “I don’t remember this being one of the stages”? Well, I think the stages of grief weren’t set out around adoption.
When you think of someone who is grieving, it is someone who has lost a loved one to death, divorce, or a serious illness that may, or may not have, resulted in death. But that isn’t where it ends, is it? Women know that it doesn’t end there…
In the time before Roe v. Wade women of all ages, who, if were found pregnant out of wedlock, and without a suitable boy to marry, were forced into maternity homes and had their children taken away from them. There were not explained the process of grief, they were simply told, they must forget and move on. There would be no talking about it, there was no mention of a pregnancy, or an adoption. It was simply a last minute stay with a sick aunt who needed help. But those women, those women who had their babies ripped from their arms without option, they didn’t have a grieving process… they didn’t get to grieve; they didn’t get to go through the stages with support.
I am ever so thankful, that my adoption took place in 2006, a time when women have the right to choose, the right to be picky, the right to be involved, and the right to make a decision with options. I was given a list of social services that would give a free crib, free clothes, free diapers, free formula, etc. In the time before Roe v. Wade, there was no list of services handed to the unwed mother, only a feeling of shame that was placed on her, and only her; this pregnancy was her doing and she should be made to know so.
In 2006, I got to log onto the internet and search for a couple who I thought would raise my son the same way I would. I got to call them and speak to them with no one else forcing me into this. I got to browse through profiles as if I was looking for the perfect fitting pair of jeans in a Penny’s catalog.  I got to read all about how they spent their day, look at photos of their family, read about the kids they may, or may not already have.
In the time before Roe v. Wade there was no talking to perspective parents, there was no asking who they were, what do they look like, what kind of jobdoes the father have? There was only a pregnancy, a labor and delivery, and a few short days to say good-bye, if you were lucky. There were no follow up visits, no photos, no yearly updates. These children most likely grew up never knowing they were adopted; or if they were informed, they had no record to go back and find their birth mother.
In 2006, I got to share my Doctor visits, and birthing plan with my son’s parents and even his sister’s (my daughter, and theirs). I got to watch as these two sisters, soon to be welcoming a little brother, would take turns finding the baby’s heart beat at the mid-wife checkups.  We would share afternoons together at the appointments, and sometimes dinner, laughing and comparing notes on the relationship we were building. I remember clear as it was yesterday the one time I said to R, “Im still trying to find a reason not to pick you and H, but I can’t find one.” She smiled and said, “Then stop looking!” And, I did.
In the time before Roe v. Wade there were no one to hold your hand at doctor visits, only the doctors who were usually cold and cruel to the “bad girl” who was not in this home for un-wed mothers. There was no sharing the adoption or birth plan with anyone, not even your family. There was no laughing around a dinner table after appointments, talking about hopes for the future. There was only silence.
In 2006, I said hello, and cried, as I had my son placed on my chest, and yelled for everyone to stop when the nurse tried to cut the umbilical cord. Keaton’s Mommy and Momma were in the room during the entire labor and delivery, and I had no intentions on letting anyone BUT his Mommy cut that cord! His Momma was my birthing coach, holding one hand, while my Mom held my other. His Momma coaching me to breath, while my Mom stood close, telling me I could do it, just a little bit more. Both helping me when my emotions wanted to take over and give up.
…. For in this same room, May 10, 2004, I gave birth to a 10 lb. baby boy, Alexander Thomas… my two sons, who would forever change my life.
In the time before Roe v. Wade, there was no joyful delivery, no time to say hello, no one coaching you in breathing. No one encouraged you, and shared in your joys and sorrow. No one was there to help you through it. You were left to your own; you were left to deal with things on your own.
In 2006, Keaton’s Momma and I sat on the edge of my hospital bed, while he lay sleeping in the bed side crib. And we cried with each other; vowing that we would always make sure Keaton knew how much he was loved. She cried because, she knew how hard this was; I love my son so much, I wanted nothing more than to be able to care for him, but I couldn’t. She knew the selfless love I was enduring was the most painful kind. And I knew, she would always make sure that he knew how much he is loved. We shared tears, hugs, and promises to always stay in touch, always visit when the time allows, and always keep each other posted on any life changing events that might be of interest. We talked about what the first visit might look like, or the first phone call. She promised lots of photos and e-mails. And she never broke her promise!!
In the time before Roe v. Wade there was nothing. A room shared with 4 other un-wed mothers who gave birth about the same time as you. You got four cold lonely days in the hospital, with visits with your baby for feedings, and a discharge at the end. There was no contact with the adoptive parents; there were no letters, or photos, no phone calls, or e-mails. There was nothing.
You see, my family knew about the pregnancy, they knew about the adoption, they knew everything. There was so secret; I was not ashamed to say I had this child inside of me, because the more and more I got to know R&H, the more and more I realized, the protection we used, and any other devices we may have had at our disposal would have been no good. This child, Keaton, growing in my belly, was created by God, for R&H, and it was my blessing, and curse, to give this child to them.
The blessing came in the form of a family; I wanted my son to have siblings, and he would. I wanted my son to have a mother who would love him just as much as I would, he got two! I wanted my son to never need or want for anything, and they were able to provide that for them. I was not able to care for this child that God placed in my womb, but I was blessed to find a family, rather, I was blessed to have God point me in the direction of this family, who could.
The Curse is plain and simple; I had to say, good-bye. I have to grieve. Yes, “have” not “had”. As BirthMothers, I don’t believe we ever end our grieving process; open, closed, semi-open, inner-family – I don’t think we will ever stop grieving for the child who once laid in our womb, but never in our home.

You are LOVED,

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