“You are the most selfless person I know.”
“Don’t you know what a gift you gave those people.”
“You did what was BEST for your baby.”
“You would never have the life you have now if you kept your baby.”
TELL ME MORE, TELL ME MORE…yes yes I am selfless, more please…You’re so right, I am a SAINT, keep it coming….
I have never felt comfortable when well-meaning friends and family have said these things to me. I wanted to believe them, I desperately needed validation, but deep down inside it just never rang true.
I was selfless in one sense. I had no sense of self worth when my adoption took place. I was a people pleaser and the only thing I knew was that I didn’t want to be the slut who got knocked up anymore. I wanted to make my family proud of me again. I needed to show everyone that I wasn’t the irresponsible whore who couldn’t do anything right. If everyone thought that giving my baby away was the right and good thing to do, well then who was I to argue?
Yes, it was a gift I gave to the adoptive parents. I wish someone would have told me that babies should not be given away as gifts. I wish someone had told me that if a baby was a gift, then I was just as worthy as the adoptive parents to receive that gift.
I didn’t do what was best for my baby. This is a truth I have just recently come to in my life. What was best for my baby was to be with his mother, me. I had formed a bond with him when he was inside me. He knew my scent, my voice, my body. The only differences between me and his adoptive mother were money and a ring. I wasn’t married and I didn’t have any money so I wasn’t worthy.
No, I probably wouldn’t have the life I have now if I kept my son. I have 3 children and a husband who loves me. I am not rich, but we get by just fine. I more than likely would have never met my husband if I still had my son. I am not negating my children who I love or my life by saying I wish I had kept my son. My life wouldn’t be the same, it would be different. DIFFERENT does not equal worse or better, just not the same.
The reason I never felt comfortable with being put on a birthmother pedestal is because none of these things were true for me. Most of the time these things are said out of love for me and I get that. But what I wish everyone would understand is that these were also things said to me by people while I was pregnant who should have been giving me support in KEEPING my baby. These things were said to me to make me feel GREAT about giving away my baby to strangers. These things were said to placate and coerce me into giving up the holy grail of babies, the womb-wet, white american infant by an adoption counselor who I trusted.