Adoptimist Adoption Blog
March 11, 2016

A Birth Mother’s Internal Struggle

I was recently reminded of this birthmother blog written by Elsa, another birthmother for the BirthMom Buds Blog, about the internal struggle she has dealt with post adoption. In this post, she shares a beautiful, yet heartbreaking poem about the internal struggle she goes through as a birthmother. This poem and post got me thinking about my own internal struggles regarding adoption and how most birthmothers I know have experienced many of these same internal struggles.

My internal struggle started during my pregnancy when I was still considering adoption. I honestly felt like my heart was in a huge battle with my head. And it felt like that every single day. My brain knew what the right decision was. My brain had made lists of what I needed to parent a second child. My brain had done the math and knew that financially caring for a second child at that time in my life would have been impossible. My brain had done the research to see what a parenting plan would have looked like.

But my heart was a different story. My heart felt the unconditional love, a mother’s love that all women experience when they find out they are pregnant. My heart was screaming, “No!” My heart was breaking. My heart wanted nothing more than to bring my baby boy home and raise him, as that is just instinctively and intuitively what mothers do. Ultimately though, I knew that this was a decision that I needed to make based on thoughts and research, and not just emotions. So my head won the battle.

In her poem, Elsa describes the struggle between the mother and the birthmother in her. The struggle I feel is no longer the heart and head tug-of-war I felt while pregnant. My decision was made and I have processed it for years now. However, I still feel at times there is an internal struggle between the mother and birthmother in me. The mother in me longs to throw his birthday parties, to wake him every morning, and to comfort him when he is sick. But the birthmother in me knows that what I can do is send birthday gifts, love him from afar, and honor the commitments and promises I made to him and his family regarding communication and open adoption - even though at times it can still be an internal struggle.

About The Author

Coley Strickland

Nicole “Coley” Strickland has become a strong voice for expectant mothers and birthmothers. At the age of 25, she became a birthmother, lovingly placing her three-day-old baby boy into an open adoption and the arms of his adoptive parents. She and fellow birthmother Leilani Wood went on to found BirthMom Buds, a website and nonprofit organization that provides support to birthmothers.

Coley has further given a voice to the bittersweet turmoil of birthmothers, becoming an active member of the adoption community, writing, speaking and sharing her story with others. In addition to her numerous blogs, she has also been featured on a number of radio programs, magazine and newspaper articles, as well as in the books: How to Create a Successful Adoption Portfolio by Madeleine Melcher and A Personal Touch on Adoption by Peter Berlin. In addition to her many other roles, Coley has been blessed to parent her special needs son Noah, who along with the son she placed, is the love of her life.

Visit Coley's site at
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About This Adoption Blog

The Adoptimist blog features advice, tips, and inspiration for adoptive parents who are actively pursuing adoption connections online.

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