I will never forget that day. I remember waking up with contractions in the middle of the night. If my memory serves me correctly, I was sleeping on the couch, because I was so uncomfortable. I was so anxious, I didn’t know what to expect since you weren’t going to be coming home with me. I woke my partner up once I knew it was definitely time, and he helped me time my contractions. It all happened so fast. I remember feeling so conflicted about that moment, because on one hand I was relieved to not have to be pregnant any longer (me and pregnancy were never a good mix, I basically turn into megabitch who can’t tolerate most things and typically didn’t feel the greatest physically either, it happened with all of 3 of my pregnancies); however, most importantly, it meant you would no longer be physically connected to me. I was about to lose you. You would be gone. That was a lot to process while I was in labor with you.
At the time, my partner didn’t have a license. He was so nervous about driving (hence why he didn’t have a license), but he was able to get me to the hospital safely. I think we called your parents-to-be before we left, that part is kind of hazy, but I do recall them being in the room. My labor with you was actually quite fast. Too fast, I was about ready to push by the time the midwife got there. The whole situation was awkward.
After you came out is where it starts to blur. I’m guessing my mind couldn’t handle what was happening. It was so odd having other people who weren’t my family or hospital staff in the room as I went through what is supposed to be such a sacred experience. The whole experience felt rushed, or like I was observing it from the outside. I remember feeling like I didn’t even have a right to hold you, although all I wanted to do is cradle you in my arms and never let go. You were going to be someone else’s baby, I started withdrawing myself. When you cried, I wanted to be the one to care for you, but I was so defeated, I pretended like I was trying to allow your new parents to bond with you, instead of me. I would let them pick you up instead, I made sure to stay medicated to numb my emotions. When the social worker came in to offer me assistance, I rejected it. I was not worthy. I already made my choice. I wouldn’t allow myself to let my emotions have control of this situation. I had to make myself stone. I had to be unfeeling, despite my hormones going out of control. I was a MESS.
The first time I walked outside after your birth, it was like something had shifted. I remember feeling so alien, like life would never be the same again. It was such a powerful feeling. Looking back, I now know why. At the time, I had NO clue about adoption trauma and it’s effects. But something did change that day, and life was never the same again.
The day we were released was a dark day for me. I remember riding in the back seat with you for our short ride to my home, just watching you sleep. When I had to get out, that was one of the harshest realities that I ever had to face. I took photos of you, said my goodbyes and closed the door. You, my baby, drove off with another family because of one life-altering choice I made. I replay these moments in my mind constantly. They never go away.
Today, I write this 2 days before your 16th birthday. I just want you to know that you matter to me, despite your lack of interest in me. I can’t make you feel any certain way, but if you ever have any doubts, please know that I love you. Always have, always will, no matter how far, how much time passes, etc… You will always be a part of me, and hopefully one day you’ll be able to accept me in your life. If not, at least I tried. I didn’t try to parent you, so I failed you in that way. I can’t take it back. But I’m here today to tell you that I fully regret not raising you. I’m sorry for choosing to give you away. I have to say that, because that’s what I did. I’m not going to use fluffy adoption language any longer. I gave up on one of my children, and you didn’t deserve that. You deserved to be in your original family, who you were born to, we weren’t dangerous or bad. We are good people, and we are enough. Money isn’t everything. I only wish I could have seen that long ago.
I know that you are glad to be part of your adoptive family, but I’m speaking from my perspective, so I see it from a different angle. Please know that I am not trying to offend you with anything I say, I try to phrase things in a thoughtful and polite manner, but at the same time, I will always be honest and straightforward.
I know that I did this. This is my fault. I made my bed.
I know that you don’t love me the way that I love you, and that’s okay.
I know that you’ll always call me by my first name, and that’s okay.
I know that I will always be on the sidelines of your life, and that’s okay.
I know that I did this. This is my fault. I made my bed. And now I lie in it.
Happy almost Birthday, beautiful.