Birthmothers And Adoption: Will I Regret My Choice?
I can’t speak for all birthmothers. I am only one of them. But, I do know several women who have also chosen adoption and I think that I can speak for the vast majority of us when the topic covers how we experience regret.
First of all, I have to say that if a woman chooses adoption for her baby, it is because she STRONGLY feels it is the best thing for her and her baby. She doesn’t want to give away her baby and she isn’t choosing adoption so that she doesn’t have to be responsible for the child. She is making the most selfless choice and disregarding her own heartbreak to make sure her child can receive what she is unable to give.
The choice may seem easy, but it’s not. And grief does find us. It may find us at different stages of our lives, but it does turn up. Some experience it more during the adoption process, some right after, and some much later in life. For some, this grief looks like regret and for others – they will remain firm in their choice and say that regret is never a word that they would use to describe the situation – but that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t have wanted to parent their child if they could.
Adoption is the hardest decision to make, even if you feel in your heart that it is the best decision.
In the last 10 years, I have experienced nearly every emotion possible regarding the adoption. I experienced a major loss. Every birthmother does and emotions are to be expected. All of them. Even regret.
I have been angry. I have been afraid. I have felt forgotten and ashamed. I have felt the stigma of “birthmother” slap me in the face. I have felt the disappointment of family members for making this choice. I have felt sick to my stomach from missing my baby and so much worry about how the adoption is going to affect my child during her life.
But I have never felt regret. Because no matter how many times I look back at that situation – there is not another answer. There is not a better decision. There is no way for me to make that situation ideal for me and my child at that time.
Adoption is permanent. The grief is rough. There is pain. There are so many “what-ifs” before AND after. I am a living testament to you that the pain subsides. The grief turns into strength and love, and healing is more than possible.
Today, I live a life that is full of love for myself and for the family who is raising my child. I have tremendous respect for other birthmothers – and I look up to the ones who push through with tremendous spirit and make their lives into something that they are proud of. The healing process was long for me. I did not consistently seek support and I put myself in vulnerable situations that did not help me on my journey to healing. But I am here now. And my goal is to help other birthmothers see that healing is completely obtainable and beautiful.