I was honored to take senior pictures for my birth son this past weekend. It meant the world to me that I was included by his family. I'm proud of this amazing young man!
Saturday, August 15, 2015
I have been thinking about the birth father a lot lately. I think he has been on my mind so much because our birth son is about to turn 18. Last November, I ca,e to the realization that I needed to forgive him. I needed to allow myself to heal and the only way I could do that was to completely forgive. I wanted to write down what I remember about him.
I met Brian when I was about to turn 18, he was 19. We met the summer of 1995 through a high school friend of mine that he worked with. Brian and I became friends very quickly. We started hanging out every weekend. We were both huge baseball and football fans, just not the same teams. Brian was a Cincinnati Reds and Miami Dolphins fan while I am a die hard New York Yankees and Philadelphia Eagles fan. I always felt comfortable with him. The more time we spent together, the closer we grew. It didn't take long for us to start dating. We dated on and off for two years. When we broke up we always remained best friends. There was a connection there that I had never experienced before.
Brian was born April 13, 1976. He graduated from Charles W. Baker High School in Baldwinsville, NY. His father lived in Chittenango, NY and worked for Coca-Cola and his mother lived in the Village Greens in Baldwinsville and worked in the school bus garage. Brian was a cook when I met him. We worked the NY State Fair two summers together at the West End Bar & Grill.
Brian was supportive of me trying to enlist into the NY Army National Guard. We used to talk every night about our dreams and just our daily lives. When I went to MEPS for my physical and was told I was pregnant I was in shock. My recruiter took me home so I could talk to Brian. We sat together that night in our apartment and he held me while I cried. Brian told me it would all be ok. We both understood we had to make a decision. We talked for a couple of days and weighed our options. At the time we thought we had two options, parent or abort. Together we decided on abortion. We went to Planned Parenthood together. After they did my ultrasound, we were taken to a private room so they could talk to us. They told us that they couldn't help us because I was too far along. I had only known I was pregnant for a week. How could I be too far along. We went home together both in shock.
Brian told me that he would help raise the baby. We both told our parents in our own ways. He was able to go to his mom's house but had to tell his dad on the phone. I don't know how his conversations went, I just know what he told me later. I told my mom on the phone because of her work schedule. My mom was crying when I told her. The first thing my mom said was don't marry him because of the baby. I told her we weren't thinking about marriage. I was 19 and he was 20. On my 20th birthday, Brian told me about his conversations with his parents. They had offered him $300 to move to Florida and to forget about us. He was moving. I was now on my own. The very next day I moved home to my parents. That was when I decided on adoption.
It took me almost 17 years to forgive Brian. He broke my heart. Brian has never seen a picture of our birth son. He knows nothing about him. I have held onto a couple of pictures of Brian for Lucas. I wanted to be able to show him what he looks like, to share memories. The day Lucas was born I promised him that I would always be honest Bout his birth father. That when the time came, I would help him find Brian. I will never bad mouth Brian. I still have a special place in my heart for Brian. He helped create a child who has grown up to be an amazing young man because of the wonderful job his parents have done.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
I want to talk about coercion. The definition of coercion is the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats. This is a topic that is constantly brought up within the adoption community. I have heard that coercion always happens and if you don't believe this then you have been brainwashed. It doesn't always happen though. I wasn't coerced. I was allowed to make my own decision. I have heard complaints on when a hopeful adoptive parent or a birth mother supports an expectant mother on their choice that it is coercion. I have heard that we should always do what is necessary to keep the child with the expectant parent. Why can't we just educate and support the expectant parent(s)? How is it right for anyone to tell an expectant parent what decision is right? Being told that you will regret or that you are making a huge mistake is forcing your views onto the expectant parent(s). Being told that just you wait and you will end up in the same position as the rest of us is a form of coercion. I went 16 years without being a part of the adoption community. My adoption community during that time consisted of our triad. I have started sharing my story not in order to convince an expectant mother to place her child but to show her what a successful open adoption can look like.
I have noticed trends among some members of the adoption triad. I started my journey out only knowing the members of my triad. I have seen comparison and competition within the adoption community. We all need to remember that our journeys are all very unique. This weekend I went to my 20th high school reunion and caught up with some of my old friends. I was able to share my story and had some wonderful feedback. I found out that one of my classmates that I grew up with since I was five years old recently adopted a baby girl through an open adoption. It warmed my heart that we could connect and share. I could feel the love she had for the birth mother who made her a mom. I offered support to my friend and to the birth mom. I want to help others along with their journey by giving them tools and even some hope. As a birth mom I know that I can't speak on behalf of all birth moms. I can only speak on behalf of my journey. I have read blogs that say all birth moms feel shame and regret. That the only way you can be happy giving your child up for adoption is because you are brainwashed and drink the adoption kool-aid. I'm not brainwashed. I love my open adoption because of the opportunities it offered my birth son and myself. I chose to place him out of unconditional love. He deserved more than what I could offer at that time in my life. He deserved everything life had to offer. He has been given everything because of the amazing parents that I placed him with. I have never felt shame or regret. I have always been proud of my choice. I am proud to be a birth mother. I am proud of the woman I became because of my journey. Do not group all birth mothers, adoptees or adoptive parents together. Everyone is very different. We all were raised in different environments. I know not everyone has had the same journey as I have. Everyone has a right to how they feel. They have the right to use the terms that fit their journey. We have the right to be happy or angry about our placement. We don't have the right to gang up on each other and force our views on the other side. We need to love each other through out our journeys. We need to listen and support each other, no matter what side of the triad we are from.
This is not a political statement. This was my choice.
18 years ago I found myself in an unplanned pregnancy. My boyfriend and I at the time decided abortion was the best choice for us. We went to Planned Parenthood to have the abortion done. After they did my ultrasound I was told they couldn't help us. We went home together and sat in silence. He held me as I cried. I was lost. We had only told my brother about my pregnancy. We sat and talked about what we were going to do. At first he wanted us to parent, I was unsure. I knew in my heart that we would never last. I loved this man with all my heart but I knew he wasn't the one for me. On my birthday he announced that he was leaving us. We were no longer his problem. That helped me make the hardest decision of my life. I hold no hard feelings for him. I still love him because he helped create the most amazing young man. On September 1st, I moved home to live with my parents and we discussed adoption. I wanted to know this boy I was carrying inside me. 18 years ago, I chose open adoption. I have been blessed with an amazing extended family who have raised my birth son to be an amazing young man. I believe in giving all the facts and choices. I don't believe that any of the choices are easier than the others. Every option has its pros and cons. Do your research. Put in the time and the effort.