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"Birthmom to Birthmom"

You're probably here looking for support, because you don't know where else to run to, so you're looking into every blog post or experience you can find. 

You're probably analyzing every situation that came to this point of your life and trying to figure out "what went wrong" to where it came down to this.. 

I know because I was there, and I want to tell you my truth and what I have learned. 

I parented my child 1 year before deciding to place, and I backed out of an adoption the first time because my heart wasn't ready. My daughter had needs that we couldn't fulfill financially, but we tried for an entire year before realizing we wouldn't be able to handle it. She needed a lot more things medically than what we can provide.

From one birthmom to another I want you to know a few things....

1. It's your decision. 

No one should ever pressure you into adoption. It's completely your decision. It's the hardest decision you'll ever make but it may very well be the best decision you make. In my experience, it was. My daughter is now thriving and we have a beautiful open adoption with her family. I also want you to know how intimate it is to be able to choose the parents of your baby, should you decide on adoption. Feel free to come up with hard questions and scenarios for potential parents, find out what matters to you in the family you want the baby raised in. Don't rush, don't settle. You'll know when the family is right.

2. Know your worth. 

The process of adoption is an extremely vulnerable time for birth parents. No matter your circumstances, we have one thing in common: putting the child's needs first. And don't sell yourself short, that is a huge thing when it comes to adoption. The most humbling part of my adoption was coming to terms with knowing that I couldn't provide what my child needed. It crushed me, but I DO know that my choice gave her everything she needed and more. Whether it be financial stability, maturity, addictions, family related, it's okay to evaluate if parenting would be a right fit and to know that everyone needs help sometimes. 

3. Explore your options/Find your terms

In adoption, the terms are yours and each adoption is different. You can opt for visits and the child to know you, you can opt in for updates periodically of the child, or you can completely opt out of it all. None of these options are bad, it's another choice for you and the baby. And none of the choices have to be permanent. In our adoption, we are almost like a blended family and that's what was right for us. Don't listen to anyone that tells you that type of adoption can't be done, etc. I promise you, that there is a right family out there for you and your situation. What you put into adoption, you can get the same out in return. Be sure to make your terms clear to your adoption agency and the families once you find the right needs for your situation, and again don't settle. This is the future for you and your baby. 

4. Make memories.

Document, journal, make memories even if you feel like you may not want them later. Take the therapy courses that are offered even if you feel like they aren't beneficial. I can't stress this enough. Therapy saved my life, it helped me process. Creating a memory box and putting it up in my closet until I was ready to see it, helped so much. Don't be afraid to reach out to the agency even if it's just someone to talk to and cry with. You need people that will listen and give you that hug and it's okay to ask for it. Don't feel bad for feeling selfish. I also had these thoughts, but adoption is the most selfless thing you can do. It's not something anyone does for fun. Know that these emotions are okay and that they do pass. 

Last but not least, please be easy on yourself. Don't listen to the words of the world that have nothing but negative things to say about your decision. People will talk, but most of them that do, don't really understand what you are going through. The one thing that they can't take away from you is that you put the needs of your child above your pride, your feelings and everything else. That's the most beautiful and selfless thing you could ever do. 

If you ever feel like you need more support or someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to reach out to the agency. They will make sure you get that support and there are many birth moms out there that would like to support each other.

*The sentiments and policies expressed in this blog represent Cradle of Life Staff and/or Clients and do not necessarily reflect the sentiments or policies of all adoption agencies.