Thursday, October 20, 2011


Time for another Open Adoption Roundtable!

This round's prompt?:Write about open adoption and being scared.

As a Birthmom, I think fear is a base for almost every emotion in the process. Fear was a catalyst for me to want to consider adoption, it was a prominenet piece of my emotions for a long time during and afterward as well. So I think I will break this up into lists of fears during those 3 times (before, during, after). Here goes:

Before: I had a fear of my child ending up in a bad place because of the limited resources I had. My greatest fear was that he would take on some of the traits his birth dad was demonstrating during my pregnancy. I wanted him to have a father who would teach him to respect women and understand their value, not use them and throw them aside depending on how he felt that day. I also knew that I was unprepared to deal with any of the pressure of being a mom. I was still dealing with adolescent worries and had no idea how to be mature about any of those parenting decisions. I also had a fear of adoption, because I mistakenly believed that it would mean I would never get the chance to know my child.

During: Once I was able to accept the fears I had and move past my pride, my fear was that I would choose wrong. I would somehow choose a family that my son would forever feel disconnected from. Or worse, a family that would lie to him or keep me from him. I was also afraid of how placement would effect me, in a way I was already grieving, and if it was that bad while he was still with me then I knew the aftermath would be unthinkable. I was also afraid of how others would judge me (typical teenage fears I suppose).

After: For a while I lived in constant fear that I would be disconnected from Dawson and his family. I feared his parents and their power over my emotions (if they took away contact I just knew I would have a break down). I felt powerless and like a pawn sometimes, not because they ever treated me like one, but mostly because I created dramatic scenarios in my head (which would never have come true). If I am being honest, I also feared my own reactions to them and to Dawson. I did not write to them very often (even though they wrote every month of that first year just as promised). I was too overwhelmed, and I was so scared of even thinking about it, I hid behind my shell of grief and sadness. J and I had a visit with them just after Dawson turned 1, and for me it was like the sun had come out for the first time that year. I thought it would be so hard to see him with them, see him bonded with another woman and family. It wasnt hard at all, it was so easy and so beautiful.

Now I have far less fear. Most of the fears I have now are to do with Dawson and his family thinking badly of me. I know they care about me and I love them all dearly, so I dont feel like I need to fear that they will dissapear from my life. We respect eachother and know our boundaries. It's a beautiful feeling to have that peaceful relationship with them. I still have moments of fear of the future. I am a little scared that one day I will have to answer hard questions from Dawson. I am scared of how he and my daughter will see eachother, and that they will have misconceptions about my choices for each of them. I also know that I will be there to talk to Cookie about it, and Dawson will have D and G to talk to. None of us are going to be going into these situations blind. Just knowing that makes all of this alot less scary.


Monika said...

I just have to say I love the way you write. You have so much insight into yourself, your behavior and your emotions, and you share it all so beautifully and succinctly. Thank you!

Sharon said...

Red, it's interesting for met to read that you felt like a pawn or were fearful of being powerless. When we got called by our SW informing us of our selection and planned meeting with our BM. I was overcome with fear and mostly I was fearful of meeting her, I felt like we were the pawns and she would have all the power and we'd be at her mercy. When I addressed this with our SW she laughed and told me that in the adoption triad that is ALWAYS the way it is. BM's are terrified of the AP's and the AP's are always terrified of the BM's. But when we met our BM every fear I ever had melted away into insignificance.
I don't believe your AP's will ever think badly of you just as I know how much I love and respect our BM.

My name is Andy. said...

thank you so much for sharing your story!

Bumber's Bumblings said...

Thank you for sharing! I have to agree that as an A-mom, I felt like a pawn at times! It's so interesting that there is so much fear on both sides!