Bittersweet: A Birth Mother’s Story

The following is a very personal post by a guest who wishes to remain anonymous. As an adoptive mother, I feel it’s important that others hear this mother’s truth. It’s easy to forget that the adoptive parents and baby aren’t the only ones whose lives are changed.


I am a true believer in adoption. As my friend once said, “Adoption is neither black nor white, but there are many shades of gray.” I never regret for a moment, trying to give my child everything I didn’t have to offer at the time, by placing him with an amazing family. That doesn’t mean I never have “what if” moments. What if I had been in better financial standings? What if I had family support? What if I kept him?

I would be lying if I said I had no regrets. I have many, but there is no manual that simply walks every birth parent easily through the adoption process. I know in my heart of hearts that as a mother I did the best I could to give my son everything I wanted him to have, and that meant loving him enough to let him go.

Adoption isn’t perfect, or without hurt. Adoption is bittersweet.

My adoption experience started when I found out, at the age of twenty five, I was pregnant with my second child. I already had one child I was caring for as a single mom, and my boyfriend at the time had a little boy from a previous relationship as well. He was far from ready to care for the responsibilities of another child, so I found myself alone and financially struggling to support myself and my son who was already with me.

I made the hard decision to put my second child up for adoption. Not only was I living paycheck to paycheck, but my oldest child’s father was in the picture and I had a fear that someday my second son would ask why he didn’t have a father as well.

It was through my job that I coincidentally met an amazing woman who had tried for many years with her husband to conceive, only to have it end it heartache time and time again.

We spent many a day just talking after our shift, before my pregnancy. I learned a lot about her life, values and what kind of person she was. Needless to say, we became extremely close, so when I decided I wanted to enter into adoption, I knew exactly who I wanted to raise my son. There was no question in my mind.

Nervously, I came to her with the proposal of adopting my beloved child and raising him as her own. I remember very clearly telling her, “If I go through with this you’re the only one I can do it with,” and so, with a happy, heavy heart we proceeded forward together.

From one month to the next, my beautiful child began to grow, and his wonderful mother was there for every doctor’s appointment I had. I remember asking them about what they would name him and seeing pictures of his room, even tagging along when she bought his baby book at Hallmark. How happy they were, and how happy I was for them.

Before I knew it, he was being born.

No longer was he mine, inside me, and growing. I held him when he was born, and even was blessed to feed him once. I held him tight, bottle in hand, and begged his forgiveness for all my shortcomings. I told him I loved him, I always will. Then after he drank his bottle I had the nurse take him to his mother and father who waited in a room across the hall.

The years that followed were difficult. In fact, every year his birthday comes around and I grieve for that little guy. I know I will never have all those little moments: his first steps, his first tooth, or his first words.

I grieve that loss every year.

In all the time I spent in counseling, trying to prepare for the adoption, no one ever helped prepare me for after the adoption. That saddens me. I truly wish there was more out there on the aftermath of adoption, and coping. To this I say “We are real, our feelings are real and we don’t just disappear after the paperwork is finished.”

I would love to, as a birth mother, see more awareness on the subject. As a birth mother, I want to know I am not alone.

I believe in adoption despite my heartache.

Adoption has taught me that being a mother isn’t simple. It taught me to be strong for myself and all my children. It taught me that true love means not doing what is best for you, but doing what is best for those you love.

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  1. I just want to say thank you, to Jessi, and to the BirthMother who opened up and shared her story.
    I am in tears, I am greatful that even if this person needs to remain anonymous, that she got her story out, and she told it from her heart.
    Thank you,
    Thank you,
    Thank you….

    BirthMother to Keaton, 5 years old

  2. avatar Dolores says:

    THANKYOU–i am grieving right now 11 weeks after placing my daughter and while i did what was best for her–there is so little out there–it is really difficult right now–thankyou for saying “we don’t disappear after the paperwork is finished” and i also would love to see more awareness on the subject as well–i search and search. You inspire and encourage my heart though!

    • Feel free to read through my adoption blog.. I have quite a bit of Gaps, but I have a lot of blogs from the beginning. its a new blog address, so the ones from 2006 show from 2009 when i got the new blog.

  3. Too many people are quick to blame women who become pregnant when they can’t care for the baby for whatever reason. Consider the love that goes into adoption and don’t judge. I admire this woman for her courage and huge heart.

    • I totally agree. It wasn’t the right time for her, and she made a HUGE choice all by herself for the love of her baby. If people would stop and think before they pass judgment, the world would be a better place all around. ~Jessi

  4. wow.

    what happened to your friendship after the baby was born? is there any contact at all?

    what a beautiful friend. what a beautiful heart YOU have!

  5. love this post. there’s always two sides to every story. i guess everyone thinks that a mother who gives up her child is a hideous crack head. and they’re not.

  6. Such a heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  7. I say a prayer for my daughter’s birth mother every day, that she have peace and know how loved and cared for “our” daughter is. I know I share my daughter with her, and I’m grateful – oh-so-grateful for the gift I’ve been given.

  8. Wow, I have nothing to add to this that hasn’t already been said… my heart breaks for your guest!

  9. I was raised with 2 adoptive siblings. The story isn’t pretty. Adoption is just tough, tough, tough.

  10. Tell your guest poster that she should start a blog :) She could be a source to other women going through what she did.

  11. Well written, powerful post. I almost gave my first child up for adoption, I was 20 and in college at the time. My parents refused and agreed to do anything necessary to help me raise her so that was my final plan. For me that wasn’t God’s plan though. My daughter Brynn was born Dec 24, 1984 and died Dec 26, 1984 of hyaline membrane disease and meconium aspiration.

  12. Yes, I’m glad she shared as well. If I’ve learned anything from Teen Mom it’s that birth parents need support as well. It definitely sounds like it was the right decision. I think it’s very mature and caring to do this for your child.

  13. Truly a beautiful post. I’m proud for her and yet heartbroken at the same time. Thank you for sharing.

  14. avatar mamachaplin says:

    even though there is heartache in this story, it really is a beautiful post. thank you for sharing.

  15. Wow, what a powerful post. I’m so glad you shared it, I think we need to hear more from the mothers who love their children enough to do this for them.

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