Even though we had an open adoption, I still struggled emotionally after my son’s birth. I was grieving for the child I willingly lost. I gave him something more and better than I could at that time in my life. I gave him two parents who were financially, physically, and emotionally ready to parent a second child. Although I knew I made the right decision for Charlie, it was incredibly difficult those first few months alone. I felt as if no one else really understood the turmoil that was going on in my heart.
Sleepless one night, I turned on my computer and began typing different adoption-related words into a search engine. I was desperately looking for someone to talk with who might understand my pain. I came across many websites for adoptive parents but few for birth parents. Finally, I stumbled across an “Is anyone out there post?” on an adoption forum written by another birth mother named Lani. I replied and we began chatting via email. Lani’s daughter was born and placed in an open adoption just four days before my Charlie, which just happened to be my birthday.
At first all we talked about was adoption — she understood what I was thinking before I could even get the words out of my mouth. Since our babies were the same age we were experiencing many of the same emotions and feelings at the same time. As time went on, our friendship strengthened and became about so much more than adoption; she is now truly my best friend. As we watched our birth children grow from a distance, our emotional pain began to lessen. We still had bad days and we had not forgotten our children. But we were trying to move forward. We both knew we were making it through that grief because we had each other to lean on. We did not want others to have to go through all the searching that we did in order to find a friend who understood.
Based on that principle, together in February of 2003, Lani and I started BirthMom Buds, an organization and website for birth mothers and pregnant women considering adoption. We wanted birth mothers to have a safe haven so they could find other birth mothers and discuss their feelings. We never dreamed BirthMom Buds would become the successful national organization it is today. Our organization provides birth mothers with an outlet, a way to meet other birth mothers, a means to begin healing, and much more. Our members range from teens to women in their sixties who placed during the baby scoop era.
Through BirthMom Buds, I have had the pleasure of meeting and befriending so many amazing birth mothers. I’ve also enjoyed becoming active in the adoption community and have shared my story with others publicly. I have mentored expectant mothers considering adoption. The opportunities have been endlessly amazing and I never would have had any of these opportunities had I not walked this path.
Like any relationship, my relationship with Charlie’s adoptive family has had its ups and downs. But we are still in contact and visit when our schedules allow it. Charlie knows who I am, that I am his birth mother, and he is proud of the fact that he has two mothers.
It is still hard sometimes but the good days outweigh the bad now. I have learned the pain in my heart will never totally subside. But I have allowed myself to move forward.
Today, I still believe that Charlie is doubly blessed, but I believe that my life has also been doubly blessed as well. Because of adoption, I have had the privilege and pleasure of getting to know many birth mothers who I now consider dear friends. Friends I never would have had the opportunity to meet had I not chosen adoption.