Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Raw Emotions of Placement - an adoptive mom's perspective

Most of us that get on the road to adoption are like a fish out of water...we have no idea of what to expect or what to even ask...we listen and listen and try to learn but all we really know is what we want and that is a baby in our family....I think alot of things are scarier when we have no idea of what to expect, but when we know something it helps greatly...I am starting a series of posts with  views and experiences from women who have gone through placement. They know what it feels like to see someone make the hardest choice in their life and selflessly place their sweet baby in the hands of another who they chose to raise their baby. They know what it feels like to have a bittersweet happiness...I have asked them to share with all of us their take and how they dealt with prepared they are going to tell it like it is...I wanted them to because that will help all of us...there will be no holding back..just raw unedited feelings... - Deanna


Meet Candace....she had Sawyer placed with her...

(Excerpt taken from my own blog a month after Sawyer was born.)

One thing I didn't expect when I took Sawyer home was all the emotions I experienced this past month. I know what I am about to share is personal but I think it is important for people to know that are also choosing the adoption route. The first week was the hardest. I was so full of guilt. I knew Sawyer's birth family was hurting and I felt like it in some way was all my fault. I felt like the bad guy. I had this beautiful baby in my arms that I absolutely loved and I knew that could have never been if it wasn't for Sawyer's wonderful birth parents that were hurting so badly. I felt like I was so horrible for taking this baby from the only voices he knew. The only heart beat he knew. The only scent he knew. I was a complete stranger to him and I "took" him from his parents. It just didn't seem fair. I love Lauren and Jason so much and I just wanted to take them home with me. 

The next feelings I felt were jealously. I was so jealous of Lauren and Jason. I wish I could have given birth to my baby so bad. Every time I looked at Sawyer, I saw their faces and not ours. He has their hands, not ours. He has their toes, not ours. I admit, it was even hard for me to give Lauren updates a little bit. It was hard trying to feel like "Mom" when I was often reminded that I wasn't his "Real Mom". I didn't know anyone that had been in my shoes and had also done an open adoption that I could talk to so I felt so horrible for having these feelings. I felt like if I said anything to anyone that it would make me look ungrateful and I was so far from being ungrateful. I felt these feelings beating me down and making it hard for me to bond with my baby. 

Then one day one of the social workers came over and I just unloaded my feelings on him. He told me that all these feelings were COMPLETELY normal. I felt so relieved. He assured me that things would get better in time. The day after he left I met someone that had been in my shoes, twice. She has two adopted children that are both open adoptions. It felt so good to talk to her. We shared stories and she was a major help. She helped me see things in a different light. She told me to continue to be completely honest with Lauren and I have. She understood me so well. I love the love and relationship she has with her children's birth mother's. She said the birth moms are like sisters or sisters-in-laws to her. I understand that love and I look forward to the day Lauren and I have that kind of relationship.
Bonding with Sawyer was different for me. I didn't carry him for 9 months so it didn't just come the minute I held him. This may sound silly but the first real bond moment I had with him was about a week after I brought him home when I tried wearing a baby wrap someone got for me at my baby shower. I was trying it out, put him in it, and felt so close to him. I felt his little tummy move with each breath and I know he could hear my heartbeat in my chest. I felt so close to him and I didn't want to take him out of it. It was an emotion I have never felt before and I loved it. From then it just grew a little bit each day. I still put him in that wrap and just wear it around the house for no reason other than to feel close to him. I also have him sleep on my chest at night. He sleeps on Brett's chest sometimes also. It's moments like that and feelings like that that really help me feel like a mother.
 He is a very alert baby and he will just stare into my eyes sometimes and make me melt. He is gaining control over his head and will follow my voice when I talk to him.
Sawyer also love just being held. He cries when I lay him down so that makes me feel like he misses me. He is happy again when I pick him up and hold him in my arms. Sawyer is a special baby. He is helping me feel like a mom more and more every day. I have realized that even though I didn't carry him for 9 months, I am still his Mom... his Real Mom. Lauren will always be his Birth Mom and that makes him extra special because he has not only a mom but a birth mom too. He will always know his belly button is extra special because it was connected to Lauren's belly button.

My life has changed so much in the past month and I am happier now than I have ever been in my whole life. My love for Sawyer and his birth family grow every day. The jealously has been replaced with more honor and more gratitude for them. I feel so lucky to have an open adoption plan. 

It's been 19 months since Sawyer was born and life couldn't be better. There is more love than I ever thought possible. It DOES get better each day. Just be patient. I wouldn't have done adoption any other way : )

P.S. If you are interested in sharing this part of your adoption with others on this blog email Deanna at


Brinn said...

this is beautiful. your honesty is so refreshing. thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I felt ALL of those feelings when we got our son. Thanks for being able to put it into words. It was hard for me to describe.

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The Open Adoption Project via The R House