Unplanned Pregnancy – Part Eight

Links to Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven are at the bottom of this page.

My mom and I were the first ones to leave after placing my daughter with her family. (They still had paperwork to do and such.) We hadn’t reached the end of the road, when my mother, never too good at finding the right words for the moment, said, “I would have helped you keep her if you wanted to.” I’m sure she meant to comfort me in some way, but…I turned away from her and stifled back the tears as I started out the window.

Along the long drive home, a few tears eventually did come, but I didn’t let her know it. I cried, not about the adoption, but about what I felt was a lack of understanding and insensitivity. She didn’t get it. And I suppose it was odd that I would expect her to as I doubt I ever shared with her how God spoke to me and how He had filled me with peace. All she knew was that I had made a decision to give up my baby.

Throughout this whole process, from the day God spoke to me until this day, I hadn’t shed a tear over the adoption. I was genuinely happy for them and completely resting in God’s peace. As I saw it, there was nothing to grieve over. So I didn’t.

Back at home, I was relegated to sleeping downstairs on the couch (mom didn’t want me climbing stairs with my stitches). The next morning, I marveled at how much pregnancy weight came off overnight. And I began my diet of soda crackers (nothing seemed very appetizing) and water.

Then the phone rang…

“I called [Anne-Marie]…to tell her how [the baby] slept all the way home…, and how many times she woke up in the night and how often she was feeding! I wanted her to know that I was a wonderful mother, meeting all of [the baby’s] needs with tremendous love and care and devotion. She had, and will always have the right to know this firsthand.”

Initially, I didn’t know how to process her mother sharing all of this information with me. It wasn’t that I didn’t care to know or didn’t want to know. But rather than dwell on it; I just listened, responded, and took it all in figuring I would do something with all of it later.

As she talked, I held the gift she had given me the day before. In a white square jewelry box was a heart pendant on a necklace and a heart-shaped note. The note read: “To [Anne-Marie]- This little heart symbolizes the love and gratitude in our hearts for your precious gift to us. We promise to keep in touch and be the best parents ever!…”

She kept in regular contact with me. Soon we arranged our first visit. My daughter was 4 weeks old when I drove down to visit early on a weekday morning. According to the open adoption counselor the adoptive parents had been educated under, this visit should have only been for no more than three (3) hours. Well, I arrived at 9 am and I didn’t leave until almost midnight or later. There was a lot to talk about. She had a lot to show me. Things she had made as part of their open adoption training meant to be shared with potential birthmothers. She also had a stack of books about birthmothers and open adoption, newsletters from the open adoption counselor, etc.

There was also a time of Q & A. She had a long list of things she wanted to ask me, things she would be able to tell my daughter about me, my family, her biological father, etc. We had a lot of fun getting to know each other.

I cannot even begin to describe the blessing of being able to share in my daughters early moments. While I wasn’t there physically to witness most of it, they took endless videos and still pictures. My first photo album was filled before she was 3 months old, if not sooner.

Two events really stand out for me from those early months:

During one visit, we were at a restaurant having lunch. A woman approached to admire the baby. She asked, “Who’s the mother?” Her mother smiled at me and we said as we smiled and giggled, ‘We are.” I’m sure we gave a quick explanation and I reflect back on that with great pleasure at how I was blessed to share in that joy.

The other event wasn’t really an event, but rather a three-way discussion via snail mail and phone calls with the open adoption counselor in California. During a phone call, I believe, her mother had shared with me a conversation she had had with the counselor. The conversation was about the stages I needed to go through. One of the stages was grief. As I already mentioned, I had nothing to grieve about. You have to lose something to grieve over it. I hadn’t lost anything. In fact, I had received blessing upon blessing in not only sharing in my daughter’s life, but knowing her family and developing relationships.

So, as the story goes, I wrote a letter to the counselor, under and alias which she saw through in two seconds. My letter was blasting her about this grieving issue. I was a tad infuriated by her telling the adoptive mother that I “needed” to grieve. Upon receiving and reading my letter, the counselor called the adoptive mother to tell her that I was worse off than she imagined. Soon, her mother called me to tell me about the phone call. We talked about it and we laughed. The counselor just didn’t know me. The adoptive mother accepted my reasons for not agreeing with the “need” to grieve and we moved on to develop a great friendship.

At the conclusion of the adoptive mother’s story recounting their adoption experience she writes, “[She] is now nearly four months old. Our darling baby’s coos and gurgles captivate us, her cries tune us in to her needs, and her smiles melt our hearts. Our joy is indescribable! [Anne-Marie] has visited five times and will continue to visit whenever we can mesh our busy schedules. Thank you, [Anne-Marie], for your courageous decision to place your baby, and for making our dream come true!”

The story doesn’t end there, so Part 9 is coming soon!

Story Links:

Unplanned Pregnancy – Part One
Unplanned Pregnancy – Part Two
Unplanned Pregnancy – Part Three
Unplanned Pregnancy – Part Four
Unplanned Pregnancy – Part Five
Unplanned Pregnancy – Part Six
Unplanned Pregnancy – Part Seven

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4 thoughts on “Unplanned Pregnancy – Part Eight

  1. Pingback: Unplanned Pregnancy – Part Nine « The Mom-O-Sphere

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