Thursday, March 1, 2012

Choosing to Parent

Many of you will remember this post about C and The R House.  C had made an adoption plan and was planning on placing with The R House.  While C made an adoption plan early in her pregnancy she faced many trials and struggles along the way.  In the end C made the decision to parent.  There is NOTHING wrong with that decision.  NOTHING AT ALL!  While C made an adoption plan that in no way means that she had already placed the child.  S (the baby C had) was never any one's baby but hers.  So because SO many people have wondered and asked questions here are some that I asked C.  If you have questions for C you can email them to me or leave them as a comment.  If you have something negative to say about C and her decision.  KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!

While dealing with a failed adoption for the adoptive couple is heart breaking and extremely hard I have yet to touch on what a failed adoption is like for the birth mother who chooses to parent.

Note from C....Please... Let me add that I'm answering these to its full depth, hurt, and raw emotion. Whomever reads, please note these are my words, my feelings/thoughts, and my life. Don't judge me.

Q: You made an adoption plan and met with the adoptive couple. Did you try and distance yourself from them or did you "fully invest" in the relationship?
A:  I made an adoption plan with a wonderful family. Although the adoptive mom was my favorite from the beginning, the dad was a "grow on". I think that had a lot to do with my male figures in my life. I never tried to distance myself from the adoptive mom, never. She was the most caring, loving, woman I've ever met. I didn't really have anything I felt "invested" with the adoptive dad. I don't think the distance came into play with the adoptive mom and I until my decision was being questioned by myself. That's when the distance came and I know they noticed it as well as me.

Q: What was the biggest impact on your decision to parent?
A:  I'm being honest right? My other children. Point, period, and blank. People are probably going to say how selfish I am regarding this, but all in all, my biggest choice to parent was the fact that my kids knew it, wanted her, and my daughter took adoption to a level I wish nobody did. It hurt and their feelings cut like a knife. I knew no matter struggles or walking through fire with them on my back to protect them... I couldn't take "their" sister away.

Q: Do you feel like you made an adoption plan to early? (that is worded horribly but it doesn't come out right.... what I mean is... do you think you should have connected the adoptive couple later in your pregnancy?)
A:  Honesty will come here as well. YES I feel like I made a plan too early. But that was me, well, our choice, and I felt the earlier the better. Well, I figured that was the "norm", I didn't know, but it was right to me after Ru (father) brought it up. I think that an expectant parent should be at least 6 months before she's "sure" about placing. Although, that "sure" could still change, I think that the thought out process should be through that time. I never second guessed my decision NOT once until December time.

Q: Was your family supportive of your decision to make an adoption plan?  If not did they impact your decision to parent?
A:  Family? What's that? I don't have any "family". I've got my children and my mother. My mother supported me, but now she's so in love with S. My children weren't supportive, well, Summer, the twins did NOT know my "adoption" choice. I felt they were too young. And my mother asked me repeatedly if I was sure about parenting.

Q: Is the birth father supportive of your decision to parent?
A:  Yes he is supportive in MY choice to parent. He just isn't as involved as I thought he would be. I know this is a process, he's coming around, slowly.

Q: Was the birth father supportive of your decision to make an adoption plan?
A:  At first, yes! 100% absolutely. Until the idea of two all Caucasian people would be raising our child. Then it went to he couldn't live with himself if he placed. After about 4 months pregnant, I was positive he'd never sign the papers, but I knew the APs and I would still find a way.

Q: What was the hardest thing about informing the hopeful adoptive couple about your decision?
A:  Oh my heavens! Everything. Nothing was easy. Nothing at all. The hardest was how to word it. Then how to send it. Then how to accept it on my end. Then doubting myself. I love the adoptive mother like super so much. She's honestly a great woman. I wish with every inch of my being that she's blessed with everything she's ever wanted. I'm still completely mortified about telling her. I ache thinking about it.

Q: Have you ever questioned if you made the right decision? (I know birth mothers question their decision at times. Have you ever had times where you wonder if your life and S's life would be different had you placed.)
A:  YES!! I think all the time. Especially those nights where I'm up in the middle of the night and say, she should have been theirs. Or times when I know its going to be extremely hard to do this, I think about it. I think about it when I'm down too. Its all because the adoptive mom. And S deserves the best. So, that's why I'm busting my rear to give all 4 the best I can of everything.

Q: Did your "change of heart" have to do with the potential adoptive family, or if it had to do with placing at all? (i.e. did you not feel comfortable with placing after all.)
A:  NO! The APs had nothing to do with placing. At all. However, I did start thinking about how we (children and I) were going to see S living half way across the country.

Q: What first prompted you to think about parenting after making an adoption plan (i.e. getting a job, getting offered support from someone, reading something, relationship with the baby's father changing, etc.)
A:  Around Thanksgiving I started feeling that, "oh crap, can you really do this?" I researched older siblings and adoption and commented on a blog written by a lady named Lisa. I explained what I was curious about. That got me in contact with a lady who had a daughter and recently placed a son. Reading her story, seeing others in similar situations as mine... Seeing how their "kept" children were handling adoption? They weren't. They were depressed and miserable. Maybe if my kids were closer it would have been different, nobody knows. But once I saw that - sealed the deal. Plus Ru and I got talking and bonding more. He said he was ready to be a father, a family.

Q: Why did you feel like parenting was the right decision for you?
A:  Can you feel? I didn't think I was strong enough to go through the adoption after my kids & Ru, so parenting was something that was the "right decision" for me! Of course, now I'm smitten and looking at her now makes me want to kiss her...

Q: Do you still think about the family that was going to adopt S?
A:  Do I? Ahhhh! I stalk her pages. I kept waiting for her response since she blogs after letting her know... I think of them OFTEN! I have memoirs too. Doesn't help.

Q: Did you have major doubts through the whole process or only question your decision right at the end?
A:  Never major doubts throughout, I questioned, but normal of course. My mind wasn't confused until about Thanksgiving.

Q: When was the moment that you decided to parent? Was there an actual moment? Or Action? Or maybe something that was said or something not said?
A:  Around New Years, I knew I was sure I couldn't go through with it. So, I text the APs first birth mom and she told me to tell them ASAP. I even sent her the email to check to make sure it was okay. I couldn't keep them thinking, I had to let them know as soon as I was sure.

Q: Do you still think adoption is a good thing? Or did the process change your perspective?
A:  I think its good in "some" circumstances. Infant adoption (although my APs did NOT coerce or try to "buy" my baby) is what its seemed to turn to. I think birth mothers (which they might, but never heard of) get counseling offering them ways to keep and parent before placing. And there's millions in foster care... Why an infant? That's my one big issue now that I've did this.

Q: Is parenting what you thought was best for YOU? Or is that what you thought was best for the BABY and if so, Why?
A:  Best for my FAMILY. Which makes us all happy. Us 4 anyways. I would base off pure familial connection. I'm not saying its best for me nor the baby, but I'm happy I do it everyday.

Q: Do you feel like parenting is the "plan" god had for you and S?
A:  Once I started doubting my placing and choosing to parent. I read more into, "be fruitful and multiply" and "God never gives you more than you can handle". On top of the natural mother information on babies thriving with their natural/first mothers, meaning its what's best, yeah! I honestly believe that Gods plan was to parent S. I've learned and changed so much that maybe she's just what he ordered.

Q: Do you still have a relationship with the adoptive couple?
A:  Not really. And I don't foresee there ever being one. I mean, we've tried the email, but its not the same. It just DON'T feel right. I mean, I feel horrible for ripping their adoption chance away, although I've got a complete clear conscience and very at peace with my decision. Its still hard. I know they're mad, but its like we went from awesome to blech. I don't hold it against them though.

Q: Do you plan on telling S down the road that you made an adoption plan?
A:  Yes!! Her items she received from the APs, if you're friends on my fb, you can see that anything from them, it says "from MY ---- " (Adoptive Moms name). I want S to know of all the good people in the world, and she's totally unforgettable.

Q: Did you feel pressured to place at the time you made an adoption plan?
A:  As I said before, never pressured or coerced into placing. Especially at the time we made the adoption plan. Everything was more in "my court" and I had the ball at all times.

Q: Are you happy now that you are parenting? If you're not happy now, did you feel pressured to parent instead of place?
A:  Parenting is an experience. Its hard, I won't lie. Not even from a financial aspect, from an emotional one. I've had moments where I breakdown crying because she won't sleep, but what mother don't!? I love S and it feels definitely different this go round. I honestly wish I would have waited for all of my babies. The age I'm at is perfect to have your first!

Q: If there was pressure, did those who pressured you step up to help and are they still helping?
A:  Doesn't really apply. But its just me, I don't get help.

Q: Do you feel you have all the support you need to be parenting now?
A:  No, I could definitely use more. But hey, I'm making the best of what I do have.

Q: Do you feel now that you have all the accurate information back when you made an placement/parenting decision and were able to make the right choice for you and S?
A:  Definitely. I was a research fanatic. I found out so much stuff, I even know adoption laws in NC. Pretty wild, but I feel I could counsel others

Q: If you don't feel it was right, what info do you feel you didn't have or wasn't accurate?
A:  Never got wrong information, however, there's something I think that needs incorporated. Not that my situation warranted it, but ALL expectant mothers should be shown, told, and guided through everything that is available out there for them to parent first. If placing is still "IT" for them, so be it. But I do believe that's a lot of the "changed my mind" that takes place.

Q: If in the future S finds herself pregnant would you be supportive of her making an adoption plan?
A:  Ahhh! Such a harsh one. Ha. I have two S's and have thought about this in great depth. It would really have to be dependent on the situation. I wouldn't tell her she couldn't if she felt like adoption was best. BUT I would tell her everything I know to make an informed decision. NO I DON'T want my baby girls being teen moms like I was. That's why I pray I've educated enough on sex and marriage.

Q: How have you been treated by various people (the adoptive parents, birth mother friends, etc.) when you told them you decided to parent?
A:  The APs and their 1 birth mother I talked to before, we don't talk anymore. I don't feel we ever will. Now the adoptive mom's "followers" and friends have had nice and harsh words to say. I've been called everything but a white woman. I've been told I'm selfish, they feel sorry for S, I'm a bad mom, among others. This doesn't even bother me anymore. I got bashed for saying I was placing, but I got brutally attacked when I chose to parent. But its okay, the ones that attacked me will reap what they sow. It was sad, pathetic, and utterly childish. I've even saved every email to go back and read what they've said. Then say to myself, "welp proved them wrong, hahahaha."

Q:  Not many people know that I sent you a profile for a hopeful adoptive couple that is a mixed race couple (if that's not politically correct you can change it) who also lives in North Carolina. You stated in the answers above that 1 Ru didn't like that the adoptive couple was Caucasian and 2 that you would see S living half way across the country..... Did seeing the hopeful adoptive couple in NC and mixed race have any impact on you and Ru? I mean did it make you think maybe you could place with them because of the race difference and the distance?
A: Totally see what your saying and I honestly was so dead set on if anyone is to have her, the parents I had picked out were it. I liked the other profile, the closeness, the sense of knowing that they could share heritage. My problem is they never emailed me back. It might have been different.

C and S
Life always throws lemons and people make lemonade. Mines a little off and threw me some grapes. So I'm making wine... "I always get better with age."

Once again if you have any other questions you would like to ask C you can email them to me at myangelsfromgod@gmail.com or leave them as a comment on this post.

I want to thank C for answering the questions with honesty.  I know some of them weren't easy but you have shed light on a subject that most people don't consider.  Making an adoption plan and then choosing to parent isn't an easy decision.  HOWEVER it can be the right decision if you feel that is what is best for the child involved.

1 comment:

Larks Nest said...

Great insight. C, I am sorry that you were harassed for making choices for your child. I know your potential AP's very well, and I love them greatly. I know they are aching, because who wouldnt ache over that beautiful little girl?!? She is precious. I am sure it wasnt a choice that came lightly to you, and the only thing that matters is that you are at peace with your choice.

I am a foster mom, so your comment about infant adoption vs foster care tugged at my heart strings. I agree... more people need to look into the option of caring for those that are already here. :)