In honor of November being National Adoption Awareness Month, Portrait of an Adoption is hosting the third annual acclaimed series, 30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days. Designed to give a voice to the many different perspectives of adoption, this series will feature guest posts by people with widely varying experiences.
I Won’t Go A Day Without Thinking About My Youngest Son
My name is Sarah. I am 25 years old with a five-year-old son and a baby who was born in September. The baby is with his adoptive family. My five-year-old and I reside in California. Divine intervention led me to the beautiful couple I found for my son.
The birth and placement went so unbelievably perfectly, I know someone had a guiding hand throughout it all. I'd like to think it was my own birth mother and a child of the adoptive parents, both who are no longer with us. With all the grief and strife the adoptive parents and I have had in our lives, it was an overwhelming relief to have something go as smoothly and beautifully as our time in the hospital and the subsequent placement.
My son's adoptive mom hopped on a plane the morning of the birth of our son. I didn't know if she would be able to make it, but was delighted she got there in time with only about two hours to spare. Having her hand to squeeze and nurturing presence helped me through the delivery, which was rather easy. I understand that some women would not feel comfortable having the adoptive parents there during their forty-eight hours in the hospital, but having the couple and their other child with me was comforting, and I in no way felt pressured to "go through" with the adoption. All I felt was love and very strong shoulders to cry on.
The baby that came to us was and is beyond words or expectations. My pregnancy was rather difficult, but he made it all worthwhile. The baby came into this world with so much love showered upon him by so many people. The love I saw written all over the couple's face was further reinforcement that my son would be in the most capable hands. I have never been a religious person, but I am spiritual, and I believe we were fated to find each other for an amazing adoption journey that has only just begun.
Our worlds collided at the perfect moment in time. Had I searched for an eternity, I would have never found a better match for my precious baby. We are now forever bonded because of this child that was born for a reason. Not in any way a mistake.
Caring and bonding with my son for those forty-eight hours was what I absolutely needed to help heal from our impending separation. For that moment in time, he was mine and we were just mother and son. The day following his birth, I decided to spend the night alone with him. It was so nice to have him sleep on my chest, our hearts beating together. I'll never forget his warmth and soft skin. I know he recognized my voice from when he was inside my belly and he felt so right in my arms.
When birth mothers say placing their child for adoption is the most difficult decision of our lives, we really mean that. The pain I felt when my baby left the state with the adoptive parents was unimaginable. My heart felt as though it were being ripped out of my chest. I had no regrets, but he is my son, and it hurts so much that I could not provide for this perfect ray of sunshine.
Relinquishing my parental rights was a time where I had to force myself to feel numb while signing. If I thought about it for long, I would have fallen apart. I never doubted my decision or thought I might change my mind, but it was an incredibly hard thing to do, to give my child to two other people, as wonderful as they were. The finality of it and the adoption agency reminding me that once I sign my rights away, there is no turning back. That hit me hard, even though I knew that beforehand. The impact of those words and the meaning behind them was a hard pill to swallow.
After I signed my rights away, my son and I went into the placement room to meet his new parents. They were crying, and I couldn't shed a tear, for my survival instincts kicked in. I could only feel a wave of numbness wash over me. It seems now like a dream to me. The day they left the state was more gut wrenching than placement day.
Someday I will have to answer to him and I hope he can understand why I made this choice and that it was not made lightly. Will he see that? Will he resent me, especially when I kept his brother? I won't know yet. Only time will tell. Until then, I will make sure to be in his life and remind him how much his brother and I care about him. He will forever be in our hearts and minds. I won't go a day without thinking about my youngest son. The son that is not with me, but with another couple who can give him the world. That brings me great comfort.
The plan is to see each other twice a year, along with Skype, pictures, and frequent updates. This too, gives me great comfort to remain close to my son, even if we are many miles apart. My love for my son knows no boundaries. We will forever be connected and I hope he feels close to me throughout the years. I never mean to replace the mother who is raising him. I believe there is room for more than one mother in his heart.
Sarah is a new birth mother living in California with her five-year old son. She enjoys reading, writing, music, and movies.
Get your award-winning copy of Carrie's book Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear.