The Things I Love

As much as there are things I despise about being a birthmother, there are many things I love about adoption.  There is a strong sentiment with many birthmothers that adoption has shattered their hopes, dreams and families.  This may be true and at times I’ve felt like this myself, but when it comes down to it, there was a reason this is what I chose – while fully understanding there are many first mothers out there who did not choose this at all.

The thing I love the most about adoption is it gave me a choice.  When one finds themselves pregnant, there are only 3 choices.  And to have one less, to me, would have really only been one choice – to parent.  I would have loved to have parented my IKL.  I really would have.  I would have saved myself (and possibly her) many questions that can never be answered and heartache.  But my reality, while I was pregnant with her, was that I could not parent.  So many people think this just means I didn’t have the money to parent.  This is not the only reason.  If the only thing holding me back from parenting was a lack of funds then I would not have chose adoption for my daughter.  Emotionally, physically, and financially I could not parent.  I suffer from an anxiety disorder (that has shown significant improvement over the years) and at that time of my life I could barely leave the house without going to crazy town.  So what I love about adoption is that the option was there.

I had the ability to plan the best life I could for my child.  No one can pick your parents for you, but I had the opportunity to pick my daughter’s for her.  This task put a tremendous amount of responsibility on my shoulders.  I was determining the outcome of her life.  Pick the wrong people and I could potentially mess up her whole life.  And that is exactly what I was trying to avoid by parenting her.  My husband and I looked painstakingly through adoptive family profiles.  There were a few things that had to be true of the potential parents.  They had to be of the Christian faith (denomination was not important), they had to have had other children before her and Mom had to be willing to take a couple of months (or more) off of work after her birth.  The agency was able to narrow down profiles for us based on that.  My reasoning behind the requirement of other children before her was partly paranoia.  While I know it sounds silly, I was a first time parent once and I would frequently joke I didn’t want anyone “learning” how to be parents with my child. Definitely one of the things I loved about my adoption experience was how many choices I was privileged to make for the little one inside of me.  Compare that to women who had given birth 30 years before me and chose adoption. They didn’t have much say so at all.

While the experiences of birthparents, adoptees and adoptive parents can widely vary, just like adoption, these are the things I loved the most about my adoption experience.  I continue to struggle everyday of my life with doubt and regret, and probably always will, but that goes with the territory. I planned a life for my child, a life I could not give at the time. Without adoption I would not have had that opportunity.  I cannot say that my daughter’s life is better than it would have been with me any more than I could say it is worse.  No one will ever know because I am not her mother.  I can say it is different than it would have been with me and, at the time, I believed it was the best choice for her, my parented children and myself. She will always be thought of daily and loved by a family she does not even know.

I’ll leave you with the lyrics of the song I sent with her when I placed.  It is my song to her and encompasses everything I ever hoped and wished for her in this life.

I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

Dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance..
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone)

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