Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Guest Blogger: Maggie

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My name is Maggie. I am 28 years old. I am a very proud and humble birthmother of a 1 1/2 year old little girl. I am in an open adoption with an adoptive family that I love as much as I love my own family. They have been saviors to me and to my daughter.

My daughter's birthdad and I had been dating for about a year when I found out I was pregnant. He and I had a long-distance relationship and he would drive 4 hours south every Friday to stay with me until Sunday when he would return home. He was amazing! He was the best friend I had always wanted, he was smart, funny, cute, kind to every person he met and he was amazing with my other 3 children I had from a previous marriage. I wasn't planning on having children that quickly, but I knew that he wanted his own eventually so when I found out I was pregnant, it meant that changes were imminent.
I planned to relocate to where his job was and find new employment. That wasn't difficult at all and by the time I was 3 months pregnant, I was moved and settled into my new job. Unfortunately, my daughter's bdad had battled a drug addiction for quite some time before I met him. He had been clean and doing well, but after I moved in with him he started having some problems with his addiction again. The situation escalated to the point for me that I had to remove myself. I left and returned to my hometown. I had to leave pretty quickly because his addiction had really taken a toll on his personality and this new person was quite frightening and aggressive. So, when I left, I left everything!
When I returned home, I had no car, no home, no job. I had left everything to feel safe again. Yet, I had nothing to help me find stability. I ended up staying with friends here and there, I had temporary jobs but nothing that was secure. I was homeless, jobless and 5 months pregnant. My baby’s birthdad had ended up in jail and I had no contact with him.
I didn’t think about adoption until I was 5 ½ months pregnant.  It took me two weeks of thinking only about the choice of adoption to finally pick up the phone and contact an adoption agency.  I was so scared! The social worker I spoke with was amazing and so caring. She helped me through the process, helped match me with the most amazing family, and showed me a genuine concern for my feelings. To her, I was not another girl who was placing a baby. I was a woman carrying a child that was choosing to give my daughter a better life than what I had available for her. She helped me see that!
My daughter was born on Sunday, June 13, 2010. I didn’t see her until her adoptive mom brought her into the delivery room. I held her and I cried! I still cry now when I think about it. This precious daughter of mine, with blonde hair and icy blue eyes; she looked just like her dad! He would have been so proud. I cried about the loss of that family, that dream that I hoped for. I cried for the loss of his dream because addiction had taken him back. I cried because she wouldn’t know me as a mommy and her birthfather as a daddy. That was a sad, heartbreaking day.
After I relinquished my rights to be her mother, I went home. I went home with an empty belly, an empty heart, and empty arms. I felt as empty as empty could feel. It was awful. I somehow lived through my days and went about life without a sense of normalcy. It seems such a blur now. I thought about her all the time, I worried that the adoptive family wouldn’t follow through with the adoption plan, I got angrier and angrier at the baby’s birthfather.  It was exhausting.

Around December of 2010, my daughter’s birthfather got ahold of me. He was now in rehab, he knew about the adoption. He was extremely supportive and sorry. I started talking to him every day again. He listened, he understood, he cried and apologized. He was my best friend again!  I shared as much as I could with him about our daughter. I let him know that she was loved and happy, that she was beautiful and smart and friendly. He was so proud of all the pictures and I loved that I could share all of this with him. I felt less empty being connected to him and being able to talk to him about our daughter.
On June 13, 2011, I celebrated my daughter’s one year birthday alone. I was happy to have my friend, happy that my daughter was happy, happy with my relationship with her adoptive parents. I felt calm and at peace. It was a great birthday! Three days later, after 14 months of being clean and sober, my daughter’s birthfather lost his battle with addiction and left this world behind.
Today, I do everything I can to provide support and friendship to other birthmom’s, to help other people understand birthmom’s, to help adoptive families be able to relate to birthmom’s. I write a blog at http://www.premieradoption.org/premier-blog/ and share my ongoing experience of being a birthmother in an open adoption. Also, I have co-founded a support system for birthmom’s called The Enclave which is where I devote most of my time.
I am a very proud birthmother. Choosing to place my child rather than be her parent was the hardest choice to make. I had to disregard every ounce of pride and ego I had, I became so humbled and so grateful!! I love my daughter and her birthfather for helping me have this amazing adoption experience. I would not be the person I am today had I not had the blessing this journey has brought me. 
There are so many details and feelings that I experienced over those few months and I wish I could paint them on a giant canvas for the world to understand, but I just don’t think anyone but another birthmother would understand what I felt and what I feel now!

Thank you for reading this and being part of my experience! 


heather said...

Thank you for sharing your story and the reality of all you went through. It's not all sunshine and roses. How sad to hear that your daughter's bio dad never got to really know her. Glad to hear that you have such a great relationship with the APs.

How would you respond to those who might attack you for your positivity and who attack APs and PAPs for preying on you? WHo say that you would have been able to parent your child if you had had support instead of vultures around? What did you learn about open adoption before you decided to place? Did you research it or did the agency tell you about it.. all of it? WHose responsibility is it to really know what the pitfalls of open adoption "agreements" can be?

Anonymous said...

As far as the attacks and the vultures...my positivity comes from my belief in God and that what comes to be is what comes to be. Also, I cannot change the past. I made a decision and all I can do is move on and make the most positive situation I can for myself and for her. I have NO CONTROL over what will transpire. Before the adoption, I learned what my options were and what choosing to place my daughter meant for me! I tried to become as educated on that part of it as possible so that I could hope for the healthiest outcome as possible for myself and my daughter. The adoption agency I went through told me EVERYTHING! Nothing was sugar coated. I was given a very realistic idea of what to expect. They did NOT want me to choose adoption if it was not what I wanted. I believe it is the responsibility of the adoption agency/lawyer to inform the birthparents/adoptive parents of the legalities of the open adoption agreements...I also think the adoption agency should give suggestions, tips, ideas. I also do NOT think that it is ok that the open adoption agreement is not something that is in fact a legal and binding document. I think the AP's should be allowed to make an ultimate decision as to whether the child being around the birthparents is the healthiest for the child, but they should have to prove this in court before the open adoption agreement can be terminated. I do not at all agree with the fact that the AP's can terminate the openess at any given time! Thank you for reading and for your condolonces.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us Maggie. Your positivity is just beautiful although I am sorry to hear what you suffered. May God bless you and your children.

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