If you were not able to read my previous post about my adoption story, then let me give you a brief overview. I was adopted as a baby and have a great relationship with my birth mom. She got married when I was only 3 and she and her husband have 6 children together. My next half-biological sibling is 5 years younger than me. My birth mom has always been involved in my life and has always accepted me into hers. I grew up knowing my biological siblings and have watched them grow up too.
“Why did your birth mom place you for adoption but kept all her other kids?”
“Do you feel like she doesn’t love you as much as she loves her other kids?”
Growing up I have never had that feeling. My birth mom has always made it a point to let me know that she does love me as much as her other children. She was just not able to care for me the way she would want to and the way that she can now care for her other children. When I look at the bigger picture I know that is 100% the case. My birth mom was 16, living on her own in a different state, not married, unemployed and really just surviving.
I love my life and I am thankful for the life that God gave me. People still ask me when they see that I am with her or going to her house and it doesn’t phase me at all. I know the answer to those questions. I tell people as much as I can, but someone who hasn’t been adopted doesn’t fully understand what it really feels like. I get it.
How can one understand what it feels like to be placed for adoption and grow up knowing that she “kept” her other children and not me? It’s very hard to wrap your head around. As for me, it has never been a question that I specifically need answered because of the love she has shown for me and the love of my parents. I cannot answer that question for other kids who have been placed for adoption, and I would never want to put words into their mouths. After speaking to people that I know who have been in similar situations, they all say that their parents are the best people ever and they are happy with the decision of being adopted by them. It obviously depends on the person and the situation, but all-in-all, I believe that Crisis Pregnancy Outreach (CPO) does an amazing job of finding really good people to adopt the children and we all know that.
I decided to ask my birth mom a hard question relating to this…
“Do you ever feel the guilt of giving up one of your children for adoption and keeping your other children?”
Here is her answer…
“No. I was in a different place mentally. Maturity and stability were not where I was, if that makes sense. Always knowing you and being allowed to be involved in your life from the beginning helped relieve guilt. I was married when I had all my other children, and with him and his family I had people that were able to help. If it had been a closed adoption, I believe I would have felt more guilt and sadness, always wondering about you.”
A welcomed family connection
After reading her response, I believe it kind of gives you some insight as to what the birth moms have felt. She used the word “allowed” which I think is kind of hard to think about because it can have a negative side to it. I think a better word is “welcomed”. My birth mom had the opportunity to not be in my life as much as she was, but she made the decision to be in my life and my parents were more than happy to let her. She also said the same thing about the fact that when she had her other children she was married and had the help she needed, whereas when she was pregnant and had me she didn’t have that.
I wouldn’t have the same thoughts if it was a closed adoption. Always wondering who she was or where I came from. I feel like my opinions and answers to the questions would not be the same. Not so much feeling guilt, but feeling like she really didn’t want me. CPO does an amazing job with open adoptions and keeping the family and birth moms connected!