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Diary of a Birth Mother in an Open Adoption

Moving Out of Gladney


This is the journal of a birth mother who has placed her child in an open adoption. Read about her first year after placing her daughter and come to see the other side of an open adoption, that of the birth mother.



I placed you today. It was the hardest thing I've ever done or will do, I think. Last night another resident and I cried together. Her placement was after mine on the same day. I'm spending the night at my best friend's to get away. I can't stop thinking about you. I wonder what you're doing right now.


I got an email from your AP mom about you telling me how protective your brother is with you. I cried again last night and took something to sleep, reluctantly. Then I had a bunch of dreams about Jon. I'm supposed to meet the birth mom who placed six years ago tomorrow. My best friend said all this has been hard on her, too. I guess I never grieved anything. I always drank, took a pill, had sex, or ran. It's hard not to do those things now.


Last night and this morning I thought about you but didn't cry. I didn't get much sleep, though. Tonight I'm meeting that birth mom. She helps a lot. I stayed busy last night, probably why I didn't cry.


I have hope today at last! I met with that birth mom last night for several hours and she helped me so much. She shared her experience, strength, and hope and it was just what I needed. She told me to decide how long I wanted to be sad. She said one day that she, her daughter, and her AP mom would be best friends. She told me to let myself cry, be mad, feel it all in order to heal One of the girls is going to suggest at the dorm meeting that everyone get set up with a birth mom who's placed already like this. I could think about you last night and not cry but just see you happy.


Today is my sister's 38th birthday. The adoption process for me has been like this: At first I felt mad at God, cheated, angry with myself and like an outsider. Then I thought maybe this happened to give me something to live for. Now I want to make you proud. I had doubts I could go through with it, that I could actually put pen to paper and sign away my rights, that I'd have the courage to place you in your AP's[adoptive parent's] arms, to walk away, to not drink or self-destruct over it. I hoped it would be easy because intellectually it made sense. I hoped you were well taken care of, nurtured, and had a life totally unlike mine. Whenever I doubt my decision, I'm told to look back at this entry.


I decided to place for adoption because of economic reasons, my instability, my emotional problems, no family support, and no two-parent, stable home.


If I'd kept you, I'd probably be on welfare. I wouldn't have any money and I'd have to borrow money, food, and clothes, all of your necessities to get me by. I couldn't afford to go to the doctor. I wouldn't have gas money or a place to live. I couldn't afford day care or a sitter. I wouldn't have money to do laundry and I'd be on food stamps. I couldn't take you in the car because I wouldn't have money for a car seat. I couldn't keep you cool because I couldn't get my a/c turned on.


Today I had counseling after missing three weeks. I'm fighting self-destruction. All around me I witness the courage of the other girls. I emailed Self telling them how wrong they were. I'm scared of moving out but I can't stay here forever. You were a big hit at church, your AP mom said. I put three pictures of you up in my room. You're precious, so adorable. I never want to forget you.


I did what'll probably be my last newsletter for Gladney. It was kind of sad. Another resident had her baby and only had to push for 35 minutes. Her dad said she was okay last night but may need support later. I got depressed last night but it helped to get out and visit her. I put up a picture of your APs with you. It helps to see they're happy and know you will be, too.


I got a roommate for the first time since I've been here. She's 31, married, and placed a child a year ago. Gladney wants to talk to me about using my journal on the Web site. She loved it! Another resident placed her baby today, a boy. She's so strong. She's helping her boyfriend raise his young son.


One of the former residents who placed in June is having a hard time with the adoption and is drinking a lot. I feel empty without my daughter. I talked to my mom. She said I wasn't real verbal as a baby like my little girl and that I didn't have a bunch of hair like her.


I wish I could hold my little girl for just a minute, even a day though I know as soon as she got fussy I'd panic and look for her AP [adoptive parent] mom to take her. I'm moving out in nine days, back out on my own. I'm so excited! Hopefully they'll let me volunteer. I'd love to give back everything that has been given to me freely. I pray I won't put my body in danger again. There's so much I want to be and do.

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