It seems there are triggers EVERYWHERE I turn lately; in a conversation with a friend, all over my Facebook feeds, on TV, at the grocery store, etc. It seems everytime I turn around, something reminds me that I am a birthmother. Don’t get me wrong, I think about Charlie everyday. I wonder about what he is doing at school, what he had for lunch; the same things I wonder about Noah when he is at school but I’m not always reminded I’m a birthmother.
The triggers – I wonder if is because of the time of year……
Recently while watching TV I saw yet another preview for the Oxygen Channel’s adoption docu-drama, I’m Having Their Baby. I’ve already described some of my thoughts about the show so this isn’t that type of post but more about something that was said in the preview and the thoughts that subsequently triggered in my mind.
In the preview an expectant Mother considering adoption says something about how she does not want her child growing up in a broken home which I can only guess is part of the reason she is considering adoption.
That statement reminded me of myself while I was pregnant and making an adoption plan. I said those same very words. I can remember explaining to people that Noah already had a broken home since his Father and I had split and since Charlie’s Dad and wouldn’t be parenting together, Charlie would have a broken home too and I didn’t want two children in a broken home.
After a year or two of life as a birthmother, I started thinking about that phrase, “broken home.” I placed Charlie for adoption so he wouldn’t be in a broken home but isn’t that exactly how things turned out? Technically, a child belongs with his biological mother and father. That’s just the way things are intended but sometimes a Mother like myself chooses adoption for a number of different reasons or may feel like she has no other choice but to choose adoption thus breaking the child’s natural home. It’s slightly ironic that the very thing I was trying to avoid is the very thing I unintentionally caused.
One of my huge reasons for placing Charlie for adoption was so that he would have a Mother and a Father married, parenting him together in the same home. Charlie’s parents divorced when he was about 6 years old thus causing his second home to be broken.
What does this mean for Charlie? I don’t know yet. Time will only tell. I have met both adults who’s parents divorced when they were children and both adults who were adopted who are healthy, happy adults with no huge issues to speak of from either situation but I’ve also met adults from both circumstances who it did cause issues for. My hope and prayer of course is that Charlie has a healthy and happy life growing up into a confident and strong young man who knows that all of his parents love him and want only the best for him.
Wow! It’s been a long time since I posted. Sorry about that! If anyone is even still out there! ha!
I created this blog to have my own place to vent whenever I felt the need and honestly, I’ve just been super busy and pushing my adoption feelings aside which isn’t healthy but it does mean I haven’t really needed to vent.
Summer is a rough time for Noah, the son I parent and I have more time at home which leads to more time to think. I have been thinking about Charlie a lot lately.
I haven’t seen him yet – it’s been way too long, way longer than I ever imagined but I have heard from his amom. I got text messages out of the blue with some photos not too long ago and in some of those messages she did mention a visit so yay! Hoping that happens and soon!
Last night’s episode of Private Practice (titled Apron Strings) had adoption running all throughout the episode. Although, Private Practice is one of my favorite shows, I almost did not watch it last night because I was afraid it would be too triggering with the holidays so close but I decided to be brave and go ahead and watch it.
There were some parts of the show I didn’t like but there were other parts I did. My favorite part was a letter that was penned by Addison’s mentor who had and relinquished a baby at the age of 15 in 1954. As I listen to the letter be dictated, I could imagine that those words were the words of any birthmother.
“I hope and pray you never felt abandoned by me. But I want you to know there was not one day I did not think of you and feel love for you. Though I did not raise you, in my heart I was always there with you. You didn’t have one mother; you had two.” (excerpt from the letter)
The hardest scene to watch was probably when Henry’s (Addison’s son) birthmom handed over Henry to Addison in the hospital. She quietly whispered “You are going to have an amazing life.” I remember whispering similar words. I watched as she crumbled into the social workers arms outside the hospital room and flash backed to the car ride home from the hospital right after handing over Charlie. Those are memories that are just too painful to think about often but scenes like this one bring them as if it were yesterday.
There are many hot topic issues surrounding adoption and relinquishment and there are many things that need to be changed but there is one I want to focus this post on and that is where signing relinquishment papers takes place.
Three days after giving birth to Charlie and spending time with him in the hospital, I sat crossed legged on the hospital bed in watermelon boxers and a red t-shirt and signed the relinquishment papers on the bedside table. Two lawyers and a social worker were all in my hospital room for the signing.
I don’t think signing should take place in a hospital bed. IF it has to take place in the hospital at all, then it should take place in a conference room. But I really don’t think it should take place in a hospital at all. By signing in a hospital bed or setting, I don’t think relinquishment papers are getting the importance they deserve. Signing that document is important and a big deal – you are terminating your parental rights. You do not sign any other important documents such as divorce papers or papers to purchase a new home from a hospital bed, so why should signing relinquishment papers be treated with less importance?