Our new series featuring stories from birth parents about the adoption process continues this week. You can also read the first four stories, featuring thoughts from the birth parents separately and birth parent couples. Today, we feature another interview from a birth mother, Deanna. We hope you continue to find these interviews informative and important, as we certainly do. They may just answer some questions you have about the adoption process, whether you are a potential birth or adoptive parent.
Continue to check back as we build this series and add more stories from birth parents. And if you have any questions about the adoption process, you can always contact us.
Birth Parent Interview
Why did you choose adoption?
I chose adoption mainly because I have four other children prior to my last pregnancy. I knew I couldn’t give him the life that I would want to give him financially. I struggle now with my four children and it gets hectic and hard emotionally and mentally. I wanted him to have the best life possible, so I had to put all of my feelings and emotions aside to do what was best for him and what I knew was best in my heart.
What are the benefits of open adoption?
At first, I wasn’t sure if there would be positives about open adoption since it’s up to his adoptive parents to bring him to see me and decide if they are comfortable with that. I had to realize that it’s not my decision anymore. But with the parents that I chose – and they are the most amazing couple that I could have placed him with – I get to see him regularly. The first time they came over to my house and I held him for the first time since I didn’t in the hospital (I was afraid to hold him in the hospital because it was all so emotional). I got to spend time with him and it was amazing. His adoptive parents also send me pictures and have a Facebook account that’s just for me to keep up with his photos. They update it all the time and his mom and I get along great.
What are you able to do now that you wouldn’t be able to do had you decided to parent your child?
Right now I have one-and-a-half year old, a two-year-old, and two other children who are 4 and 9. Bringing a newborn home would have been too emotionally hard for me to handle. I’m 27 right now and I’d really like to go back to school to work toward my goals and dreams of making my life better and theirs. I’m determined to get there! So it’s nice to know that he’s being taken care of so well and that he’s got all the love in the world. I feel like I could not have done all of that by myself, especially since I have two other very young children.
Why was it important for you to be a part of your child’s life? It is hard for you to see your child now? What kinds of emotions do you feel when you see your child?
When they brought him to visit me it was great. I held him and managed to hold my composure. I don’t get nervous with his parents and I don’t have any bad feelings with them or think that they would keep him from me. If I said I was having a hard time and asked them to bring him here so I can visit a little while, I know they would do all they could to make that happen.
I don’t overstep any boundaries and I don’t reach out to them unless I have to. I just want him to know that I am here. Perhaps the most important reason why I want to be part of his life is I want to be able to tell him one day why I made this choice. I know I’m not in the spotlight of his life right now, but I hope that being strong about wanting an open adoption means I’ll have the chance to explain to him why I chose to do this and go through with it. It’s not because I didn’t love him or want him. I wanted him to have a chance at a really good life. They have a college fund started for him already and that’s just tremendous. He’ll have really good chance in life with a very supportive family and hardworking, amazing parents. All those positives are what get me through the day. If I get upset – and I have those moments, it’s normal – I have all of these incredible positives to remember.
What are your feelings about the adoptive family? What is your relationship like with them?
As I said before, I am so happy with the adoptive family and just knew they were the right choice when I saw their pictures. They are more than willing to bring him around and brought him to visit me the first time close to Mother’s Day. They even mentioned bringing him back when we are ready to see him again.
Have your family and friends been supportive?
So far, everyone says it was my choice and that I made the best one I could for him. They have all been very supportive and they always enjoy seeing the pictures of him. My mom really liked that he came to visit and it made everyone feel better when they realized his parents will want to do visits, so that’s been good. Also, his parents are great and supportive of my decision, too. They understand why I made this choice and they see who I am. It’s not something I wanted but it was a choice I had to make.
Can you talk a little about your experience with Adoption & Beyond?
When I got started, I had no idea how an agency worked. I had a couple that I had picked out prior to working with the agency and things weren’t sitting right with me. I was beginning to see some red flags. I knew I wanted it to be open, but the bad feelings I started to have about the other couple led my heart to tell me that I needed to do something else and check with an agency. I called and my adoption coordinator explained everything to me and helped me decide. After I met with her and went over everything, I just knew that Adoption & Beyond was the best option.
I wasn’t going to settle for anything less than an open adoption and in my mind, I had a vision of how things would go. Adoption & Beyond clearly became the best option and were so great explaining all of the legal stuff. Who knows how things would have gone had I not reached out to the agency. I think about that a lot and I just feel like God played a big role in all of this. It all happened really fast, too. At about 8 months along I met with them, picked out the couple, had a house visit to talk over everything, and I just knew that it was all right. Adoption & Beyond gave me so much support, too, all through the process.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
I know that when I went through this I was very scared and nervous. But I just knew what I had to do. Adoption & Beyond was the best choice I could have made. I’m not going to lie – it’s hard every day. But with the help of my adoption coordinator and the agency, it’s been a tremendous experience. Even though it was bittersweet, it was still an experience I’m glad I got to go through. Besides the pain that I felt and being scared (and it being my first adoption experience), I got to give something to people who could not have children. All they wanted was a child and I gave them that. Some days it’s harder to understand, but if it wasn’t for Adoption & Beyond helping me through all of the ups and downs, I wouldn’t have been able to bless to two people. It’s something that really only God could do – he played his role in all of this. Knowing that there is now a family and that they feel complete is such a good ending.