Most of what I recall from my pregnancy is in retrospect. I have my journals and certain memories that I can use to reflect on the past, but that was nearly five years ago from where I am now. New experiences and encounters have mixed with the old feelings that I had during my pregnancy. Since placing, I’ve immersed myself in learning more and more about adoption, which has surely altered the way I view my decision to place. In all reality, the past isn’t what it was then, that I see it as now.
In the time that I was pregnant, I was fearful, hopeless and broken. I felt that nothing would ever get better, that life would consist of me just getting by until I died. My mindset at the time was all consumed in this perception that I had screwed up, big time, and that nothing could redeem my future. Now, in the present, and being several years distanced from such a hard and painful time in my life, I can see that I’ve adapted and grown stronger because of what I chose to walk through in placing my daughter for adoption. That perspective I once had, that I was a bad person for choosing adoption is totally unrelatable today. Confidently, I now know from experience, with authority, that there is hope for life after placement.
Much has changed in my life since choosing to place my daughter for open-adoption:
- I’ve moved out on my own, and begun to grow in my own independence as an adult.
- I graduated college with honors in 2020.
- I landed a new job, and a totally new career.
- I have traveled to new places, and been afforded an immense amount of time to enjoy many new experiences.
Choosing open adoption afforded me these abilities. When I found out I was pregnant, the distress and dysfunction of my situation caused me to consider going back to college. Had I kept my daughter, I know I could’ve finished school, but maybe not in the way that I was able to; being involved in multiple organizations on campus, building relationships with friends and professors, meanwhile working full time to afford my studies. In my education, I found that I could overcome the fears that I wouldn’t achieve my dreams post adoption. I chose to study English, because writing was the one consistent thing that I could fall back on. The path that I took surely prepared me to become comfortable in sharing my testimony of open-adoption, as well as to understand the importance of telling my story.
Throughout each endeavor I’ve taken, every accomplishment I’ve made, and each new step I choose to make, I always consider my daughter. I often wonder what she will think of my choices, and how one day, she will see what my sacrifice was able to afford both of us. Looking back on placing my daughter for adoption, I often think to myself, You could have handled having a baby and keeping her. I know that is true, but I also know that the deed is done, the papers have been signed, and the courts have ruled her a new family. As bittersweet as this is, I still know that she is with me, as she is always going to be a part of me and in my life as long as she chooses to be.
As I move forward, trying to reason my decision, I try to view my future in this:
One day, when my daughter is old enough to fully understand and grasp her identity as a child who was placed for adoption, she may have a lot of questions for me. And when she’s ready to ask, I’ll be ready to walk her through every step of my decision. I look forward to that day, when I can show her everything that her life helped me to accomplish; every achievement that made being apart from her worthwhile. We will hangout, and get to know each other and notice our similarities. She may see in me things that she sees in herself, and she will have a firm understanding of who she is and where she came from. For all of the time that was lost in-between birth and adulthood, we will make up in relationship with one another.
I look forward to shopping with her, and buying cool shoes together. Maybe she’ll be just like me, with feet too big to find the right shoes in the stores, but I’ll be prepared to teach her all of my shopping secrets.
We can go to the nail salon, and get matching mani-pedis, probably totally glittered out, because she’s a glittery girl just like me.
Some day we’ll look through pictures, and I’ll tell her all about her father, what a loving, special guy he was, and how she looks nearly identical to him.
And my biggest hope, that I hold tightly gripped to my heart, is that one day, my daughter will witness my life, and admire what she sees in it, because she’ll see-
That I didn’t give up.
That I valued her life enough to give her a second chance and a stable life that I couldn’t provide her.
That against all odds, I kept pushing, until I saw my dreams turn to reality.
That one day, we can be the closest of friends, and that I’ll always be here to support her, no matter what decisions she makes in her life.