I’m Not Selfless. I’m Selfish.
Society needs to end this whole false construct of the “selfless” birthmother. There’s nothing selfless about giving up on your child. There is nothing selfless about rejecting help from others who are trying to keep your family intact, only to turn around and try to “help” your baby out by handing them over to people with more money than you. There’s nothing selfless about denying your baby it’s true mother, the one mother it bonded with in utero, the only mother he/she knows. There’s nothing selfless about removing your baby from it’s entire family, heritage and bloodline, and giving them to strangers. That’s not doing “what’s best” for YOUR baby. Especially if you are like me and didn’t even give yourself a chance to try, I just gave up and assigned her to different parents. How disgusting is that? What in the hell was I thinking? She’s a human, not some object, she’s not a baby doll to be passed to the next family with enough cash that can give her things that I couldn’t at the time. Oh, yes. I was so selfless. </s> When I read the letters I wrote to my daughter prior to her birth, I want to roll my eyes, or scream. Or both. I was so pathetic how I tried to convince myself and her that I was just doing the loving and right thing. Gross.
To top it off, I don’t even have a copy of the adoption contract that I signed. I realized how screwed up that is. It was a private adoption, so I have no agency to go through. To think that I was that far gone mentally, that I wouldn’t even request a copy of the adoption papers where I signed my parental rights away… Well, that just blows my mind. I don’t even know what the contract said. I have no idea what I even signed. So… ugly and shameful.
I try to avoid the comment sections of most places online, but sometimes I get sucked into reading them. Especially regarding adoption. And when I do, I typically get annoyed. My favorite one comes up when an adoptee will have a not-so-sunny outlook on their adoption.
“Well, you should be grateful for your adoptive parents! You sound so ungrateful to the people who saved you!”
First and foremost, adoptees didn’t ask to be adopted. They had no choice in the matter. It’s not anyone’s place to tell them how they should and shouldn’t feel! They owe nothing to anyone, including their biological and adoptive families. Children that are with their biological families aren’t expected to be grateful for being alive, nor do they have to hear how they were “saved” by someone. Besides, not every adoption is a story of a child being “saved” from some awful family or situation. Sometimes, it’s very simple. Money. Some people are so conditioned by our society (including myself), that they allow themselves to give up the rights to being a parent to their child only in hopes of that child having a more financially stable life. That’s it. This was my story. And if I could go back, I would have not allowed this to happen. I would have got help.
It’s even worse to see your child be “thankful and blessed” for the people they were adopted to. It feels like being stabbed in the chest or something. I take that as “Thank you for saving me, I’m so glad I didn’t have to grow up with that other person!”. I don’t want to be thanked by my own child for giving them away. I cringed every time my daughter has thanked me for giving her life. Those words are like nails on a chalkboard.
“Regret is probably one of the most ruthless of emotions. It serves no purpose. It is completely unlike grief in that it feels horrible, but is not necessary for healing. Actually, it’s the opposite of healing. It is hurting with no end. Completely useless until you overcome it.
I have never felt such gut deep anger, sorrow, frustration…This regret is a cold place in my belly. A cold, cold block of ice in the pit of my stomach. It chokes me. There are nights, when the kids are in bed, and the house is quiet, I am suffocated by this regret. I cannot distract it by crying babies, or drown it out by loud music… it lives and grows and festers.
I know that this feeling is no good for me, but I am not strong enough to see the good in the face of the bad.” – Syd Gill (from the post located HERE)
My story may be different, however, this quote resonated with me when I came across it. Regret is a crushing emotion! It’s enough to make you feel insane. Especially when that regret is giving your child to other people to raise. Your flesh and blood, your child. I will never forget the way I felt when she was born. Looking back, I can’t believe I allowed myself to go through with my decision. I remember wanting to care for her, but feeling it would be best if I let her new mom take care of her. Why did I do that? I had no focus on my feelings or how this might impact my daughter eventually. I just thought I was “doing the right thing”. Oh, I was so convinced.
I know that not all situations are bad when it comes to adoption. I know that some adoptees come from horrible lives and they are truly given a chance at living a better life via adoption. I know that some women are assaulted, some too young, and there are some who just don’t want children. In all of these situations, I can see why adoption may be considered. Although, in the end, there should be an option that doesn’t erase a person’s entire history and family, but still gives them the stability and love they need. In my case, I see things differently now. I should have never placed my child due to financial reasons. If at all possible, keep your baby. Don’t find a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Give you and your child a chance to be together. Adoption regret is lifelong, and only seems to grow over time for many people.
These are just a few of my issues with the face of adoption today.