A while ago, I read an extremely insightful, moving book called The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Anna Fessler.
The book highlights stories of women who were pressured or forced by their families to relinquish their children, in a time where much shame was associated with unwed mothers. I can in no way represent these personal accounts properly, I can only recommend you read it.
These stories gave me a deeper appreciation for my own situation, and a passion for educating expectant women considering adoption, and educating families on the importance of leaving the choice up to her.
Recovering from the natural pain and grief that comes after choosing a better life for your child and recovering from the pain and grief that comes from having your child taken away from you are two entirely different things.
I've often cited a huge reason for my ability to move on and heal properly being that I've never regretted my decision. There was pain and depression and mourning, but never regret, never anger at that choice and wishing I could go back and change it. I know some who have felt that regret and dealt with that pain and my heart hurts for them. How much longer and more complex their mourning is. Sadly, I've heard the stories of older women who have found a way to live despite that regret, but have in no way recovered or accepted or moved on from it.
I'm not saying every parent that makes an educated decision about adoption won't feel regret. I am saying that every parent that is pressured or forced because of an outside assumption that it is the best decision, will feel regret, anger, bitterness, brokenness. And contrary to some beliefs, they won't be able to come home from the hospital and forget what happened to them just because it was the "right" decision, on paper, according to those who were not actually carrying the baby.
It is very important that the expectant mother makes her own decision, whether to parent or pursue adoption.
What are your thoughts or experiences?""It’s funny. The whole time I was carrying my daughter, I told myself that I wasn’t her real mother. I really believed that. I knew that I was carrying her but, you know, that was the party line, that’s what they told you. The social workers said that you were carrying the child for someone else. And I really went along with that in my head. I guess in a way I was less tormented because most birth mothers didn’t have that kind of detachment. They knew that they were their child’s mother. They knew what they were losing, and I was just totally out to lunch in that department. Until my daughter was born. I realized at that moment, that’s not the way it works. She was my daughter. I realized that fully, in every way, she was my daughter."-Ann" - The Girls Who Went Away