One of the most crucial things in making the choice of adoption for me was having support. The same goes for becoming a mom at 19. Knowing what to expect, having people who have been through it before, people to believe in you, women to cry with you and share in your joys, people who pray for you…it is a beautiful thing to have a support system in place for those challenging changes in life. It has created lasting bonds having these special women in my life who were there for me.
When I was pregnant with Anna, I spent most of my months set on parenting despite the raging battle inside me that felt no peace about it. My parents and counselor encouraged me to look into all my options (parenting and adoption, abortion wasn’t an option to me) so I could make an informed choice. That sounded okay, it didn’t mean that I was committing to adoption just because I was looking into it, right? Around 5 months into my pregnancy, February 2004 to be exact, I searched on Yahoo for adoption groups. I had also found a Teen Mom group to explore life in both worlds! Both proved valuable and informative for my decision. There weren’t many birth mom groups out there at the time, perhaps since adoption was just becoming more open and public for birth moms and no longer something to hide? Adoptions of Love was the one God used to put my support system into place (outside of my family, local friends, and counselor which I was also blessed with). It wasn’t a group of just birth moms, it had adoptive moms as well which was, and still is, great to have their perspective from the other side as well. Best of all, they were mostly Christian women and guided me in love and prayer as I was on my journey back to Christ myself.
It was in this group I found one of my best friends, Breanna. She was the first birth mom I connected with being close to my age and having uncanny things similar like loving pot roast as our favorite food. Plus, she had just gone through the adoption process a few months earlier choosing an open adoption for her daughter. As I learned about what adoption could be through her posts and pictures it changed my view of what adoption was. It didn’t have to be closed deal, with me left wondering where or how my baby was doing. “IF I chose adoption,” I thought, “that is the kind of relationship I would want with Anna.” I admired their openness and the friendship between both families surrounding the baby girl so loved in the middle of it all. Watching her adoption story unfold has helped my own adoption story, she is constantly a step ahead on this journey which is helpful for me to get an idea of what is ahead!
Sadly, Yahoo closed down the original group forums so the original Adoptions of Love is gone. Now we are banned together on Facebook if anyone is in need of adoption support from women all around the adoption triad (birth moms, adoptive moms, and adoptees). Email me if interested. Birthmom Buds is another awesome resource! I look forward to their annual retreat every year, though at the rate I have babies it tends to be every other year for me. Whenever I do make it, their company is such a blessing, and the years I don’t make it I feel like I am missing something hugely important. It is like missing a family reunion (the kind you actually look forward to, I used to dread them as a kid!).
I highly, highly recommend getting plugged in somewhere, online or even local if possible. Thanks to Birthmom Buds I was able to find some local birth moms in my area! It makes such a huge difference to talk with those who truly get it. They know the joys and the pains, and they can offer advice or a warm empathetic embrace because they may have walked a similar path.
If you are in the adoption community, whether a birth mom (or even a birth grandma), adoptee, or adoptive parent, where did you find your support?