Wednesday, January 13, 2010

QUESTIONS are ANSWERED!! Q # 1, 2 and 3

Answers from the lovely birthmothers:
Note – not every birthmother has answered every single question, please match the fonts and/or order of entry to know whos response you are reading!

if you would like to answers any of the questions please do so in the comment section and be sure to leave the number of the question that is being answered. 

Deborah                 http://www.sethanddebforever.blogspot.com/
Stefanie               http://stefaniejinelle.blogspot.com/
Megan    http://angryoctopusstudios.blogspot.com/
Alyssa                     http://alyssa-rainbow.blogspot.com/
Anna                 http://annamaryk.blogspot.com
Jennilee                    http://foreverbirthmom.blogspot.com/
Amanda                   http://travisandamandarosemans.blogspot.com/
Nicole             http://lifeafterfirstmom.blogspot.com/
Kelsey                 http://thebestforyoubook.blogspot.com/
Cindy             watch her adoption story video here! 
Heather                  read her letter to her daughter here!
Andee                       http://anabananandee.blogspot.com/

Janessa                    http://scottandjanessa.blogspot.com/
questions for birthmothers from other birthmothers:

1. do you have any specifics that you would change about your adoption experience had you to do it all over again? for ex pics, gifts, placement sentiments, communication, etc

I would have chosen to place sooner, so I could gain more of an initial relationship with my adoptive couple, I didn't choose to place until I was a little over 5 months along and didn't choose an adoptive couple until I was 7 months along.  I get plenty of pictures from my adoptive couple, however I wished that I would have had my placement taped/filmed and a LOT more pictures taken, it was such a spiritual moment I wished I would have taken more advantage of capturing it.

I enjoyed every minute of my adoption experience. What I wish I could've done was let Valery (the adoptive mom) be more involved at the hospital. She was taking pictures when Olivia was born but I should've let her be by my and touch and hold her when she was first born. But everyone is different. I wish I could've done that.

I wish I had known before placement exactly what I wanted in terms of openness. I had no idea, and trying to change expectations after placement was difficult. It's impossible to really know how much you are going to want, but asking for as much openness as you can ahead of time and closing it later if it's too much seems like it would be less stressful than opening a closed adoption.

I would have talked more to my baby. I feel like i wasnt able to get everything out. Had I started when I was pregnant, then I am sure I would have felt less overwhelmed at placement.
Also, I wish I had been more up front with the birth father. I wish I would have had him sign papers before placement day. I think it might have gone a bit smoother.

I would have made my adoption more open so that I could have a closer and better relationship with my birth daughter’s parents. I also would have liked to give the whole family gifts, since they are so special to me and so wonderful!

I would have had some alone time with my son. I always had my sister with me except at signing the papers but my son wasn’t in the room with me. I wish I would have asked for more visits.

Well I lived with my adoptive couple before placement (while I was deciding if adoption waas best for me) and I think things were fine. I do want a bit more pictures (even though my adoption I see "Bunny" much more than other open adoptions)

Everything that happened in the last month of my first placement. The state that I was in made it very difficult to get my child to the parents that I had chose. It was a very negative ending to an otherwise positive decision.

I would get a lot more pics. I would have spent more time with my birthchild while in hospital. I would have video taped the birth and also camcorded a lot of mother-child time in hospital, I would have gotten professional pics while pregnant with only me and my belly but also with the a parents and myself and pg belly to be able to show my birthdaughter later on as she grows

Better communication

(1. & 2) If I could do it all over again, I would have made a more "concrete" plan for after placement. Saying "whatever works for you guys" is not a good way to start off. What I felt before placement and during pregnancy were polar opposite from what I felt after pregnancy. As bad as it sounds, I would have worried more about my feelings, and less about theirs. I catered my experience solely for their benefit, and gave no real thought as to how it would effect me. I also never took any pictures with her, and that bothers me. I wish I would have stayed in the hospital longer (I literally stayed the required 8 hours after birth, and was dressed and waiting on the edge of the bed for six of those) Shock is a crazy thing.

To be 100% honest, I don’t think I would have done anything different.  I chose my adoptive couple when I was 12 weeks pregnant, which helped us get to know each other better.  Our adoption is very very open. I think the ONLY thing that I would maybe suggest is to have better communication.  Communication is key and I know that the times that I felt something wasn’t going well, were the times I wasn’t communicating with the Adoptive Couple.  They can’t read my mind and I have to constantly remind myself of that.

If I had it to do over again, I would have put more thought into the placement ceremony… perhaps actually sat down with the PAPs and figured something out.  I was too emotionally raw at the time to really deal with it, and I knew the commitment we were making to each other was strong… so, I didn’t think the ceremony would matter quite so much.  Now, I wish we’d really planned something.  I also wish it was videotaped.  I honestly don’t remember much of it!  I also would have fought for his mom to be allowed to carry him out of the hospital (didn’t know until the last minute she wouldn’t be allowed to)

~If I could do it all over again, I would keep a pregnancy journal.  I would write down my feelings about why I have chosen adoption.  Maybe something for my unborn child to read when they grown up. Or, something I can read down the line to remind myself why I had chosen adoption.

2. do you have any 'if i knew then what i know now' thoughts that might help others with similar albeit hypothetical situations?

I wished I was more informed on the State Law when it came to adoptions, I was completely unprepared when the BF came into the picture out of no where and stopped the adoption.  I wished someone would have told me to expect the unexpected, that there was a slim chance it could be stopped.  I was sure my adoption would run smooth and go through just fine.  I wished at the time of trying to place that I had someone who had previously gone through the same thing to give me advice and support and give me hope that it would end happily.

It was hard for me because before the hospital experience and she was born, I had a good feeling about adoption and that when she was born nothing was going to change. Once there was an actual human being crying in my arms. It was WAY hard for me. I didn't expect it at all. I wish I could've known that it will be hard no matter what or how "good" you're feeling about the adoption.

Communication and honesty are very important!!

If I knew how fast time would fly during those few short days with Sara, I would have spent less time worrying about the birth father, and more time cherishing every second.

If I knew about open adoptions then like I do now, that’s definitely what I would have done. I felt guilty for asking for a few more pictures for the first couple of months.

I will advise even if you're not a religous person that you pray and follow your heart and feelings about if adoption is right for you. It is the hardest thing ever, and I wish I knew that birth mom support groups were available even after placement

I would make sure that the adoption agency that I chose had ME first and formost in their sights. It is very important to get the mental care that you need after the birth. You will not be prepared for the grief and guilt that comes with being a birth mother and more adoption agencies need to keep in mind that without the birth mother there would be no adoption. There needs to be more care and resources available to the women who make this brave decision.

I guess to say keep the baby because the loss at times is too great is not a good answer ;) Seriously though I would have had counsel during the pregnancy because even though I thought I was prepared I really wasn't

If i knew then what i know now id have tried to get things put in writing. such as updates. visitation. etc.
id have gotten lots of counseling. before, during, and after.

The only thing I can think of is how Open to make the adoption.  Lucky for me, the adoptive couple was very flexible and worked with me; but I had no idea what I wanted when I met them.  It took even until Avery (the little girl I placed) was a few months old for me to start realizing what I wanted/needed.  It’s hard to really know what you want, but I think if I had researched it more, I would have known sooner.

I wish I had done more to educate my family on adoption and openness.  I was (understandably) caught up in my own emotions and didn’t realize how much they were hurting at first.  I also wish they’d had a chance to meet my son’s parents before the emotionally-charged hospital time.

3. if you did NOT name your child in the hospital, how come you chose not to?
if you DID name your child in the hospital why did you choose to?

I named her Anna which was the name the adoptive couple had already chosen, I saw no point in naming her myself a different name than she was to be given, she was Anna and was going to be called that for the rest of her life.  I thought it was appropriate.

I had kept a blog during my pregnancy. After I had announced to Dustinn and Valery I posted on my blog that if I was going to keep her, I would've named her Olivia. And I kept calling her Olivia on my blog because I didn't just want her to be "baby" and they decided to keep that name. They changed the middle name to Kate after Val's sister and great grandmother. If I was going to name her, her middle name would've been Nicole. On the birth certificate that I filled out her name is Olivia Nicole Farish (The birth father's name is Nicholas Farish). After I filled that out I had a feeling that wasn't her name that it is Olivia Kate Jackson.

I did. I don't have a real reason (that I can remember clearly). I think I just wasn't ready to have him be "completely theirs" yet, if that makes sense.

I was going to name her Isabell. I was fine with my adoptive couple changing the name, but was going to name her Isabell. They even let me pick the spelling of the name they chose. But when she was born, she was for sure Sara, and not Isabell. So, I named her Sara.

I chose to name my baby after my two best friends (her name was Jamie Lee). I wanted to have the experience of naming the baby and all of that. My placement occurred 6 days later because they couldn’t find a judge to handle the relinquishment. I was also having my doubts about placing at the hospital because I ignored the advice of everyone (so I think, for me at least, waiting a little bit was good for me) and I thought it would be easy and it turned out to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, so I named her just in case I kept her. It was really neat and very special to me that Jamie’s family took part of the name that I gave her to give her the name she has today (Leah). I felt really special because they included me in the naming process.

I was calling my son Jaden while I was pregnant. I did not put that name on his birth cert thought. I put the name the couple choose since that is his name.

The adoptvice couple and I became close just because I lived with them. When the time of naming came, we all brainstormed. i was very honored later to find out that not many adoptive couples team up with their birth mom to come up with names.

Back when I placed the adoptions were closed so I did name my son because it was important to me that he leave the hospital with a name.  I chose him name soley for the meaning  “a gift asked for”.

I figured she wasn't going to be my baby but theirs so they should have the right to name her, I didn't want her to have 2 names. And although I would never have chosen the name they did, I feel of course it was their choice as it was to be their child

I did name my baby in the hospital bc i chose to keep her. financial and family reasons made it impossible to do so after a while.

I did not name the baby, because I so strongly felt that this would be the only time the A-parents ever would get to experience any of this, and that after waiting 14 years to have a child I assumed they would have a name picked out. As it was, they didn't, and she wasn't named until three days after she was born. So everything I have, from her little bracelet to the stacks of bills I got after all said "Baby Girl Masterson" or "Unnamed Baby Masterson" I called her munchkin while I carried her. And honestly, I do not like the name they picked.

The adoptive couple and I had talked about the babies name prior to her birth. I had told them that when I thought I was going to keep my baby I had picked out a name for her, and I shared it with them. They responded that they had thought about names too, but couldn't come up with a middle name and they liked the one I had chosen. I told them it was my middle name that I had gotten from my grandma, who had gotten it from someone in her family. After our first meeting, my daughters (now) mom told me that they loved the name so much and it fit so perfectly with the first name they had chosen. She told me that they had been trying to think of a way to honor me, and could they please give my daughter my middle name. Needless to say, there was crying, and so it was agreed on by all of us that my daughter would be named Haley Elaine

I wanted the Adoptive Couple to name her.  I wanted them to feel like they were having the baby themselves.  It was their baby, so there was no reason for me to name her.  She is their daughter.  Her middle name is my middle name though.  They chose to do it and it meant so much to me.

I did name my son… for a lot of reasons.  I felt it was an important part of acknowledging my role as mother while I had it.  I wanted to use the name his birthdad dreamed we named him as his middle name.  The middle name they picked was my grandfather’s name and I didn’t think I could handle naming a child after my grandfather and then placing him.  I felt there was a lot of symbolism in the name change.  I wanted THEM to be the ones to give him the name they chose (since it held a lot of significance for them)… I felt that if I used their name, they were really just inheriting it instead of being the ones to give it to him.  I thought it might help with the transition (I am Michael’s mother, L is C’s… etc.)

The adoptive couple and I talked about names during the pregnancy and I tired a few out on my baby, while she was inside me. We both seemed to like one name and I thought that suited her. Once she was born, I knew it was the right name. I called her Ella and even if they decided to change it once they saw her (they didnt), she would still be Ella to me.

~I did not choose to name my daughter.  After selecting the adoptive family, we began communicating daily and became friends.  We have an open adoption, and I did not see the need to issue her that 2nd identity.  It helps remind me that she is not only my daughter, but she is their daughter.
If the adoption had not been an open adoption, I would chosen a name for her.

Well, I chose not to name my child in the hospital because I felt that it wasn't my job to choose his name. I had been discussing names with his parents from basically day one that I had started communicating with them. We discussed names but in the end, I knew that it was their overall decision.


birthMOM said...

Q #1:
i would have had a picture taken of us all together at placement, i had someone taking candid pics for me, but never thought to have one of us all together.

i would have videoed as much as possible, including the birth.

less faith/love/trust and more structure in the 'business' aspect of the adoption plan itself, esp regarding communication.

i would have made myself have more 'downtime' in the hospital to enjoy baby. (my hosp situation was very unique and uncommon)

Karine said...

These are really helpful points and choices made. Thank you for sharing them. We actually have a name picked out but are so hoping the birth mother will want part of it :) It was wonderful to read each of your different perspective.
I do agree that communication is very important and I am learning so much from you guys and from my birth mother friends who have placed and are having a successful open adoption. Thank you again ladies! I appreciate your honesty and answers!

birthMOM said...

Q # 2
i have learned a lot about the agency i placed with, 'if i knew then what i know now', i would have placed in a private adoption and only worked with lawyers, not placed thru the agency. at the very least i would have had a lawyer present at any mtgs with my caseworker and couple and at my relinquishment, someone to represent ME.

birthMOM said...

Q # 3
i did name my son on his birth certificate something other than what the couple had chosen. the reasons are many and very sentimental. (one of these days i will write the story of how he got his name on my personal blog.)

the couple asked me at placement if they could use the middle name i had picked to be his middle name, they liked the sentiments better than the original middle name they had decided upon. (i didnt tell them the name i had chosen for him until placement)

debs life said...

I was asked to help with the name at the face-tp-face
, but I chose not to. I was in the mindset that she was theirs and I had "no business" naming their child for them, hindsight I may have said okay and helped with naming her. But, like a lot of girls have said, when she was born, she was Anna, she couldn't have been anyone else.

I was going to keep her name the same if I had to of ended up single-parenting and I was going to give her my Mom's name as a middle name, because of all the people who were involved in the adoption, my mom was my number one support and fan.

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