Ever since I became a birth mother, I have experienced a range of emotions I wouldn’t have thought possible. From the highest highs to the lowest lows, adoption has been overwhelming. My experiences will be seared in my memory forever. Here are a few of my memories.
- Meeting My Daughter
When I delivered little R, she wasn’t my birth daughter yet. Until I signed the adoption papers, she was just my daughter. When they placed her on my chest right after delivery, I learned what a mother’s love feels like. I didn’t know I could love anyone so deeply and unconditionally. That red, wrinkly, screaming baby girl had my heart, and she always will.
- Relinquishing My Rights
Two days after I delivered, I signed papers that terminated my parental rights. The wording was cruel, legal, and without emotion. How could I sign a piece of paper saying that I no longer had any interest in the custody of my child? I placed because I had all the interest in the world. My heart was torn out with the stroke of a pen.
When I placed little R into the arms of her new mother, I was experienced incomprehensible emotions. On one hand, I was overjoyed for this beautiful family that I helped to create. Her new parents were so happy, they had wished for so long to be parents. On the other hand, I hurt for me. Their gain was my loss, and feeling all those emotions at once was completely overwhelming.
Things were hard for a long time after I delivered and placed my birth daughter. Some days I still don’t know how I manage the grief. But there are bright, shining moments in my adoption journey that make everything worth it. Last Christmas I was able to visit little R and her family. She is old enough now to remember me, and we have formed a beautiful friendship. She ran to me, asking to be held. We played together all evening with the paper dolls I made her. We shared cheesecake and snuggled and laughed. I saw how much she was loved by her parents and older brother. I know she is where she was meant to be, and I am so blessed to be a part of their family.
Adoption has shattered me in the most exquisite way. The deep pain coupled with immense joy is quite often more than I can process. But it’s worth it. I wouldn’t change the joy–or the grief. It has made me who I am today, and I will forever be grateful for this experience.