One of the hardest decisions I ever had to make was giving my first child up for adoption almost 24 years ago. I can honestly say I made the right decision. Would I make the same one today? I doubt it. But back then I didn’t know much about all the programs that are out there to help a young (no I was not a teenage mom, I was in my first year at college), single mom. I made my choice and it was one that took years to forgive myself for.
But I will say again, it was the right decision – for me.
I had a semi-open adoption; which is one where I get updates through the agency from the family that adopted my child. I got pictures, updates and was even allowed to send Christmas and birthday presents to her. Which made it much easier. And she also knew she was adopted.
I have had two children since that time a few decades ago but I never, for 18 years, forgot about her. Never did a day go by that I didn’t think about her, worry about her, wonder how she was doing, wonder if she ever thought about me, wonder WHAT she thought about me.
Then I was blessed to finally meet her after she turned 18. We talked a little about the decision I made and how our lives had gone since that day. Mostly we got to know each other. I knew I couldn’t be “mom”. I gave up that right literally and figuratively many years before. But I just wanted to get to know her for who she had become. Who she was now. And it was a very special blessing that she gave me that chance.
Obviously I had forgiven myself many years before I met her for giving her away. It wasn’t easy. My family didn’t understand. Even the counselor from the adoption agency told me I was being selfish. Rest assured I got over that one. There was no way I was prepared to raise a child at that time. I wanted her to have the best life possible and I recognized then that I wasn’t able to do that.
I look back on those events today because today is her birthday. She’s 24 today and has grown into a beautiful, wonderful woman who now has 3 children of her own and is married to a wonderful man. I am proud of the person she has become and blessed I can be even a small part of her life.
Decisions such as these are never easy. So many things could have happened in those 18 years. And so many things did. But the outcome was more than I ever expected.
Happy Birthday Tara. May today, and every day after, be as blessed as I feel to be the birth mother that brought you into the world.