Today’s blog post is written from the unique perspective of Alex, an adoptee and a birth mother.
Open Adoption Full Circle: Adoptee to Birth Mother
Open adoption has always been very important to me. It is what made my family a family. From the very beginning my parents were very open with me and told me I was adopted. I have always accepted the fact that I was adopted and have never had any anger towards my birth mom, Ellen. I have always had the utmost respect for her for giving me a fighting chance at life instead of aborting. Her decision to put me up for adoption was the most selfless and loving thing a mother could ever do for her child. To this day Ellen and I have an amazing relationship and every time I see her I want to say thank you. Thank you for giving me the most loving, caring, and supportive adoptive parents.
At 19 I found out I was pregnant. My boyfriend was the first person I told. He was scared, confused, and mad. A million thoughts ran through my head including adoption. I knew that’s what my parents would want me to do but I wanted to do anything possible to keep my baby. Before telling my parents I wanted to know how far along I was. My boyfriend and I went to an abortion clinic to get an ultrasound. The minute I walked in I felt completely out of place. I knew most of the other women there were getting abortions. I already loved him or her so much I couldn’t not give him or her a fighting chance at life like my birth mom did for me. While sitting waiting for my name to be called the room was very quiet and awkward. When the nurse called my name I followed her back to a small room where there was an ultrasound machine. She started to do the scan and while doing so tried to start conversation. She said, “So what are you thinking of doing; aborting or keeping?” I said I wasn’t sure but maybe adoption. She said, “Oh.” It seemed as if to her the only two options were abortion and parenting. It made me mad that she could think this because adoption is very much an option. When she was done with the scan she gave me an ultrasound picture and showed me to the front. As soon as I walked out I grabbed Logan’s hand and rushed him out of the clinic. He asked how far along she said I was so I handed him the ultrasound picture and said about 7 ½ weeks. I hugged him as tight as I could and started to cry. He asked me what was wrong. I told him, “It’s twins.” At that very moment I knew that adoption was the only option. When I thought it was only one baby maybe then I could keep him or her and make do. Not that I couldn’t love two babies enough to try and keep them and make do but twins is twice the cost of everything and I knew I wouldn’t be able to give them everything they needed. I wouldn’t be able to give them the life they deserved.
Telling my parents wasn’t easy but it wasn’t nearly as hard as telling my birth mom (two words), Ellen. I knew that they would be upset but I also knew that they would be there for me. Two weeks after the ultrasound I sat my mom down and told her. She started pacing back and forth and asked me some questions. She asked me what I wanted to do and I told her that I really wanted to keep my babies but I knew that I couldn’t. She said she thought an open adoption was best and that my dad would think so too. A week or so later I finally was ready to tell my birth mom that I was pregnant. Telling her was so hard because I didn’t want her to be disappointed in me for not learning from her having me at 19. She was concerned but also very supportive and asked if I was going to go with open adoption. I said yes.
A few weeks later I was set on open adoption and started to explore my options. My mom thought of the idea of my using the same agency that I was adopted through in Austin, TX. At first I was against the idea because that would mean moving 1,400 miles away all alone. Being pregnant with twins was already scary enough and having to go through it alone would be un-bearable. My mom said she would visit a lot and of course be there for the delivery but I was still against moving away. A few weeks later my boyfriend decided that he would come with me if that’s what I wanted. At that point I was set on using Adoption Advocates and moving 1,400 miles away from home to go through with the open adoption of my twin daughters.
Throughout my pregnancy I started to appreciate my birth mom Ellen more and more. I knew the adoption process she went through but I didn’t know and feel all the emotions that came along with it until I was going through it myself. Most days were pretty good but others were very difficult. Before Logan and I picked Nick and Rachel I didn’t know how I was ever going to be able to look at a book or meet a couple and know them well enough and trust them well enough to give them my daughters. When we met Nick and Rachel I just knew that they were the ones.
Being adopted helped me in so many ways throughout my pregnancy, and still does to this day. After I had the girls and was about to sign my rights away I kept thinking of how Ellen did this 20 years ago with me. I thought of how nervous and at the same time excited my parents must have been. With that one signature she gave me to my parents, which gave them a family. I realized that I was doing the same for Nick and Rachel. After signing, Nick and Rachel came to the room to see me. Rachel hugged me and started to cry and told me, “thank you.” I knew she was thanking me for giving her the family that she had always wanted. To this day being adopted helps me in ways I could have never imagined. As Kate and Grace get older they are at first very shy towards Logan and me when we visit and stick to Nick and Rachel. It hurts a lot when this happens but then I realize I probably did the same thing when I was little and it probably hurt Ellen just as much. Seeing how amazing everything has turned out with my adoption and how amazing of a relationship I have with Ellen gives me hope for the future. My biggest fear is and has always been that Kate and Grace will not understand why I chose adoption. All I can do is think back to how I accepted it and hope that they will too.