Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Regrets from a birth mom in an open adoption.

I don't have many regrets in my open adoption. But looking back I wish I could have changed a few things. I wouldn't change getting pregnant with Ty, although I wish the circumstances were different. I wouldn't change finding Rebekah and Ben because I now cant imagine my life without them in it. I wouldn't change giving Ty up for adoption, now that I know the outcome...but I would change a few other things.

I spent many many hours thinking about how I wanted the birth to go while I was pregnant. I did a lot of research in the form of reading adoption birth stories and watching adoption stories on TV. I even would seek out people that were adopted and talk to them about their experiences, and I also loved talking to adoptive parents. I was gathering information and forming my idea of the perfect relinquishment. I thought I had it all planned out.

For the most part everything went almost exactly as I planned it. And despite a few drawbacks, like having to get more then one epidural and having my mom fall out in my hospital room just before giving birth, everything was wonderful. However...one of my regrets was not taking enough time with Tyrus. In my mind all I could think about was Rebekah and Ben taking all the "firsts." My life has been full of firsts and because I knew that I would not be parenting him and that this could possibly be R and B's one and only chance for a newborn I wanted the world for them and that came in the form of giving up a few things for myself.

I wasn't sure how I would feel about holding the baby or keeping him in my room. To be honest I was really afraid of experiencing to much emotional pain so I kept Ty at a distance as much as I could. It wasn't because I didn't love him, it was because I loved him so much that I was trying to protect my already broken heart. So, I didn't keep him in my room the first night...and now...I wish I had. I wish I had held him more, I wish I had kept him the whole night and just had more time....more time. I really really regret that. In fact before my rights were terminated and we had left the hospital I wanted so badly to ask if I could have him for just one night. I had no intentions on keeping him or changing my mind...I just wanted to be with him a little longer. But I didn't ask, because I knew it was hard enough on them. Can you imagine...can you imagine the anguish adoptive parents go through. For months me and Rebekah talked...and the promise of a baby was there for them after years and years of infertility, and in a moment I could have changed my mind and Ty would have been mine. My mind was constantly on that scenario, and I wasn't going to change my mind but I afraid of causing them any more stress then they had already gone through.

I think Ben thought I was a crazy women. In the hospital I kept asking Ben if Ty was hungry or if he needed to be fed. There was some maternal thing inside of me that just needed to provide something more for him...and I guess making sure that he was fed and taken care of was my way of voicing that. It had nothing to do with worrying if B and R were caring for him the right way, it was just me, crying out.

So if I could change anything, I would have had more alone time with Ty. Knowing now that it would have been hard on my heart but it would have been OK with R and B to give me that time. In fact, they offered many many times, it was me that was scared.

Now two months later I can think about all these things but I can not change them...and that is OK.

My only other regret is making the choice early on to make it a long distance adoption. I thought I needed the space, I thought I would want the miles between us...again to protect my heart. I have always said that if I didn't have custody of my children I would travel the earth just be with them. I thought that since I was choosing to give up Ty that it would be different and I wouldn't feel that way. I was wrong. It would have been OK for me to be close to them, and I regret making that decision. Really if you think about it, it would have happened anyway because when I found R and B, it would not have mattered where they lived, they were the ones and so there were no options anyway on location. I do know this...just because I relinquished my rights to Ty, no matter how I thought I would feel, I would travel the earth to be with him...and I will someday see him again.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think what your feeling is normal. From the other side since I am adopted, I have lots of questions but no birth mother to ask. Back in the late 50's and early 60's there were no open adoptions that I know of. Everything was secret or closed adoption. Someday hopefully you can tell Ty what you were thinking and why you didn't take the extra time. You hopefully will be able to explain why you gave him up. I know my own kids struggle with me being adopted sometimes and ask questions.

I'm praying for you daily.

Glynda

Leah said...

You are such a selfless woman Rebekah. I'm sorry you didn't get the time you wanted with Ty. I know you will all meet again though, despite the distance. I hope your heart is healing.

a corgi said...

hugs to you; as a woman who became a mother through adoption, I read this with tears in my eyes; you were very generous to think of the adoptive parents through this whole process and allow them "firsts" that most adoptive parents don't get.

regrets are hard, have a few myself. I try to learn from them so they don't happen again and pass that info on to others, sort of what you might be doing through this post of yours; you don't have any idea who might read it anonymously, but you might help them in their planning through sharing your experience and your regrets

betty

Patricia said...

Rebekah You are a strong woman!

I so admire you and I so enjoy hearing your story as well as Rebekahs story.

As a soon to be adoptive mom I can appreciate hearing all of this from you.
Although we chose a different way to adopt our little one it still does not diminish the fact that there is a birth mom and dad who do feel and do have emotions and hopes and dreams and regrets!

May God Bless you and hold you when you need it.

I thank you for sharing your side and I feel blessed to have found you. You are helping me in my own process. Little things you say in your blog are big things in my heart.
You are teaching me that our child birth parents are real people with real feelings and emotions sent from God to give us our child ~ I pray for them daily!

You are a gift Rebekah and dont ever doubt that!
God Bless you and all the birth mom and dads out there who to me sacrifice so much of themselves!

Lerin said...

(((HUGS)))

Jessie said...

It is so nice to read your viewpoints as a birth mom. I remember how hard it was for me to leave the hospital with my son and watch his birth mom leave in a seperate car. I wanted her to have more time with him and I think she too was scared to be alone with him to much to protect me. I had had three failed adoptions at the hospital previously and she kept telling me over and over that she wasn't changing her mind. She spent so much time worrying about me and my feelings that I know she missed out on time with him. Anyways I enjoyed your post but then I always enjoy reading your thoughts.

jess said...

Everything you did was so selfless...you gave B&R all of their much deserved firsts, you also gave Ty his firsts with his parents, you did everything to make everyone else so comfortable. You are a true Mother. I am always so humbled by your heart, stregnth and true love.

Paulette said...

Beautiful.....

JC Hardison said...

Being adopted I can tell you that someday these words are going to be golden to Ty! I wish I would have had a blog to go back and read when I was ready.

Kriss said...

Very well written Rebekah! Sorry I haven't written lately, I have been reading. -Kriss

Rebekah said...

You mean I could have actually gotten sleep that first night and you didn't say a word!?!?!? :)

I never told you this or blogged about it, but the hardest moment in my life was when you texted me the morning after Ty's birth and asked for me to bring him to you. Everything in my heart dropped...as I was reminded who his real mother was...

BUT, Ben immediately reminded me that this was your special time with Ty...that we would have a lifetime with him...Very good words of wisdom.

I felt like I was being as "cool" as possible....giving you as much cuddle time as possible...but it just wasn't enough was it? I understand. Even now...I just can't hold him enough, whisper my love enough, kiss him enough...

How much better would it be if the Rebekahs of today went back and relived the birth?

I would realize that in the upcoming days I would be nearly dead from exhaustion and let you take him as much as you wanted...that I would soon miss you so much and wish we had spent more time together...I would know that everything was going to be okay...

mak'n Changes said...

I love and respect you so much! I love reading your heart, spelled out in words, and poured out on this page. You are my most amazing, loving, strong, beautiful cousin!

LL said...

I think I feel so drawn to you because of our experience with the bmom of our daughter. This is a beautiful post. Regrets are normal. I know you know that. Adoption is tough. Especially open adoption where the adoptive parents and the bmom have formed a bond throughout the pregnancy. I think bmoms want the adoptive parents to have those firsts but I also believe that the bmoms should have every moment they want with their child. And I believe that adoptive parents usually worry about the bmom and want her to know that everything is alright. That they care about her. I know we feel such love for S...she is family.It is a very generous heart that chooses adoption.

If I could give one piece of advice to adoptive parents it would be to allow the bfamily as much time as possible with the baby. We spent three days with S and her family and we left the room many times to allow them alone time. It was hard. But it was right. Shelby spent two nights with S in the room. Of course I worried if S would still be able to place with us after having Shelby. But it was in God's hands. And we had to have faith.

like Rebekah said, we have a lifetime with our daughter. So any amount of time that S and Shelby could spend together was good and perfect.

Of course I have wistfulness about missing some of Shelby's firsts. But that is ok. We have many other firsts.

Adoption is hard. It is an electically charged journey for all. You do what you think is right in the moment and I think if we all could go back and change things we would, even if minor changes, the outcome would still be the same.

You, R and B have a great relationship and at the center is Ty but also God. It is perfect.

SJ said...

I have the same regret about not spending enough time with my son in the hospital. I also was concerned about letting Scoot and Beezer have all the "firsts" with Cory since he was going to be their son. I didn't even hold Cory for the first time until a day after he was born and only because someone made me do it for pictures. Now I wish I had held him longer and more often.

So yeah, I totally understand what you are talking about. Thank you for posting what was on your heart and mine :)

P.S. We should get coffee or ice cream sometime. I don't live that far away from you.

Ginger said...

Even when you're sure you've made all the right decisions and it's going to be "perfect" when you look back, there's always something to regret. I think that's as true for adoption as anything else.

Figgy said...

Rebekah I think this is one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. I have a ton of respect for what you did but I know it has to pull your heartstrings constantly. I think you're amazing!

Laura and Walter said...

Rebekah-I am just now catching up on your and R's story. I honestly don't even know how I stumbled upon R's blog, but hers led me to yours. What an amazing story of redemption, grace and mercy. I feel blessed that I came across your blog. My husband and I are in the process of waiting and I thank you for giving your perspective as a birthmother. You are an amazing woman and child of God!