aabm #13: parenting after placement

Feb
10
Feb 10, 2011


what is ask a birth mom (aabm)? click HERE.

who are the birth mothers on the panel? click HERE.

today my aabm panel is answering the following:

Our son’s birth mother is pregnant again and will be parenting her daughter. I realize that this may be speculation for some of the birth mothers on the panel, but how do you think a situation like this might change her feelings about placing her first child? Might there be a strong desire for the two children to associate together often since they will be half brother/sister?

nicole

Depending on the situation of the first child age and place in the birthmom’s life it would make it clear why they made the decision they did because they will soon find out it would have been hard and it was the best thing at the time. Of course there would be a lot if emotion involved because it would be reliving a pregnancy and the feelings they went through the first time. Also I think if you have an open adoption it would be natural for the kids to know each other and spend time together since they are half brother/sister but every adoption is different. But pretty much since Mr. and Mrs. R are family it would just be another addition for us all! :)

andee

It’s hard for me to answer this because I’m not that birthmom. I don’t think this situation will change her feelings negatively about placing her first child (but again I don’t know her personally). I think that every child ends up where they belong and I hope that she feels the same way! Same goes for the two children. It would be really cool if they could associate, but everyone is different and some don’t ever really want to.

coley

I was kind of the opposite of this situation. I was parenting a child at the time of placement but I can tell you, it was and still is very important for my parented child and my placed child to know one another, associate with one another, and be friends with one another, so yes, it could increase her desire to associate with her child.

I think it’s also important to keep in mind how busy a new baby makes a new Mother so if she seems to pull back some at first, don’t be alarmed, she’s just probably super busy adjusting to life with a newborn!

*a note from mrs. r: for this question, i enlisted the help of my friend kelsey stewart. we have been friends online for quite some time, but met in real life at the 2011 Southwest Regional Families Supporting Adoption Conference.

the reason i asked kelsey to be a guest on the panel today is because she has five children–she has a daughter and twin boys that she placed for adoption and two children that she is raising with her husband. i thought her point of view was different from the rest of the panel and would help provide a better answer to the question.

you can learn more about kelsey on her blog A Birth Mother Voice and through her children’s book, The Best For You that she wrote about her decision to place to help the children she placed understand her reasons. i love her.

kelsey

I think this all depends on how close in proximity you are to her. I can only speak from my experience so please know that all birth mothers are different. When my children after the adoption were born, I thought about the adoptions, but it was not in this way that you asked in the first question. I began to see what it was what I had given the parents, as opposed to what I had lost for myself. Sure, seeing my boys grow … smile … laugh … hug me, it all reminded me of what it was that I missed in my adopted children’s lives. However, living life in the moment is what I became addicted to and my boys boys taught me that life is amazing. I began to appreciate how full those parents heart’s must have been every day since bringing them home. At times, even 20 years later, I think about what I missed the first time around and sometimes it will make me sad because I just want to hug them and say … “I have always thought of you…”. Other times it will make me peaceful with what I chose to do. But I never really even thought about changing my mind about the adoptions. Not one bit. Rather I felt blessed that I had the opportunity to be in the right place in my life to raise my own children.

Now the second question again will all depend on how close you are in geography. Absolutely there was a desire I felt for my children to know each other, but we were spread out across the country. I certainly made it a point to include pictures of the boys in all of my letters just so the families knew what they looked like. I also wrote about my boys and vise versa in the return letters. My children have not met each other in real life but there has been an interest on all of their parts (to clarify, I have three adopted children and two boys I am raising), and I am sure that it will happen someday. My adopted children have met online, and are occasionally chatting with each other which I think is fantastic! I think it is beneficial for adoptees to know their roots, but again this communication is something that is going to depend on each individual situation and what has been established between the families.

I think the best thing you can do is just talk with her and find out if she has been thinking about this. Communication is a wonderful thing in any relationship and it can often help squash speculations or fears that you may be experiencing.

13 Comments

  1. Our daughter's birth mother is expecting her new son any day now. I think she's got conflicting emotions about it (we're not a typical adoption situation AT ALL) but I know she's happy to be having this baby and happy to know that her daughters are being loved and taken care of.

    I think I have more complicated emotions about it than she does! Just in terms of explaining to my children why she parented them for a while before giving them up versus having this baby and keeping this baby. I don't have it sorted in my head, I can't imagine how my daughters will feel when they're old enough to realize the situation!

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  2. Our daughter's birthparents actually got married 15 months after placement and then about a year after that they had a baby girl who is now 18 months. So our daughter, 4, has a full bio sister! Her birthmom and I have talked and she said that while she has always wished she could have parented she knows even more now that adoption was the right choice. When we get together a few times a year-(they live in a different state) it is nice to see the girls together (although they look nothing alike!) and they know each other as friends and when they are older they will understand more. I can tell it is really special for them to see them together.

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  3. I've been a birthmom for 5 years and now have a 2 year old of my own – Kelsey put it exactly right when she said : living life in the moment is what I became addicted to and my boys taught me that life is amazing. I began to appreciate how full those parents heart's must have been every day since bringing them home.

    I would not change a thing! My boys know each other and are something like 'cousins' relationship-wise, I love them both and I know I was able to make this couples' dream come true and that God's timing couldn't have been better.
    Thanks for this post Lindsey!

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  4. Katy Lunsford said on February 11, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Best of luck.

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  5. Bean Sprouts said on February 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Getting pregnant post placement brought up a lot of strange emotions for me. I was thrilled to be expecting, but the entire pregnancy brought back such vivid memories of my previous pregnancy with my birth daughter. But having my son and being able to parent him, healed my heart in so many ways. Being a parent is hard, and I struggle still at times, which made me realize that there way no way I could have parented at 17 years old. My birth daughter got to meet my son about 9 months ago, it was one of the most amazing days of my life. It's important to me that she knows about my son, and that as he grows up he knows about her, because through blood, they are half siblings. I have a great relationship with her parents, and I know all of our relationships will continue to grow, and I know my son and my birth daughter will have a chance to bond as they both grow older. That makes my heart feel all warm and fuzzy.

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  6. Shaw Family said on February 13, 2011 at 1:10 am

    I'm both a birth mother and an adoptive mother. My birth child and adopted child are 3 weeks apart in age and me and my husband are expecting our first in March. Being pregnant has brought up so many emotions that I NEVER thought I'd feel again. Some good others bad. When it comes to how I view my children's relationships with eachother I may be a little different. I feel that Cayden (my adopted son) and Ally (my birth daughter) aren't "siblings" and neither are Ally (my birth daughter) and Jaxson (my soon to be biological son). I also don't feel that Cayden (my adopted son) and Sopheya (Cayden's birth mothers daughter) are "siblings". I feel that once a child is placed for adoption the family is formed and their "siblings" are strictly in that family. Blood means little to nothing to me. I've been told a time or two that my thinking is wrong but I KNOW without a doubt that Ally was meant to be placed for adoption by me and Cayden was meant to be adopted by me.

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  7. My daughter's birth mom:
    Carri placed Julia with us February 5, 2008. Caleigh Jade was born September 3, 2009.

    Carri's response
    "It didn't make me feel any different about the placement. I knew it was the right thing for her (Julia.) When they grow up, they are gonna know they are related. I don't think it needs to be where they are in constant interaction, but that they know they have a sibling they occasionally see."

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  8. Birth mom of 5 years now, and single mom to a 2 year old. And having my 2nd baby totally changed how I look at my relationship with my birth son. He has a family of his own, and he is not mine to parent. Yes, my boys share half of the same blood, but that doesn't make them brothers, necessarily. My birth son has two brothers that are also adoptive, and share no blood relation. Those are his brothers! Having my 2nd son created some distance between me and the adoptive family. I think it will end up being more of a benefit than anything. But every situation and every birth mom is different. Good luck!

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  9. We are all brothers and sisters! One happy family. :)

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  10. Kelsey Stewart, Author said on February 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I thought for sure I came here to say thank you for sharing the love! But alas, I just realized I did not. You are an amazing woman, mom, advocate, comediane and lover of life! If I could meet more people like you my life would be full of those who understand and embrace adoption the way I do.

    My gratitude to you Mrs. R for saying such wonderful things about me, and especially my book! I think the adoption crush is now mine!

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  11. Kyle & Shanna said on April 22, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Getting pregnant after placement brought a lot of strong emotions back to me. I placed my little boy in 2008, was married in 2009, and had my little girl in 2010. I had a lot of ups and downs and a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I was pregnant again. Sometimes I would just have this fear of the emotions I felt when I placed my little boy, and that I would have to go through those again (even though I knew I wouldn't).

    Mother's Day after I had my daughter was hard too. It was so bitter sweet that by the end of the day, I just stayed home and told my husband I didn't want to go anywhere or do anything just because I was an emotional rollercoaster. I had the great feeling of being a mom and having my little girl, but still that pain of knowing I had my little boy and wasn't able to spend mother's day with him.

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  12. Kyle & Shanna said on April 22, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Getting pregnant after placement brought a lot of strong emotions back to me. I placed my little boy in 2008, was married in 2009, and had my little girl in 2010. I had a lot of ups and downs and a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I was pregnant again. Sometimes I would just have this fear of the emotions I felt when I placed my little boy, and that I would have to go through those again (even though I knew I wouldn't).

    Mother's Day after I had my daughter was hard too. It was so bitter sweet that by the end of the day, I just stayed home and told my husband I didn't want to go anywhere or do anything just because I was an emotional rollercoaster. I had the great feeling of being a mom and having my little girl, but still that pain of knowing I had my little boy and wasn't able to spend mother's day with him.

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  13. Once again I know I am late to the game here. As a birth mom AND a single mom, I suppose I can understand that someone might think that my feelings for my son (placed in 2003) would change after my daughter was in the picture (born in 2010). I did go through a lengthy process of thinking through my choices for my daughter at the time I was pregnant with her. I am glad I had the knowledge and experience with adoption that I do, because I know now that what I chose was right. For BOTH of my children. My biggest worry was how the kids would see it later. I never want one of them to feel less loved than the other, and I can tell you without doubt that nothing about my love for my son has changed. Although life is a bit more hectic now and I have to wait longer for our visits, I am more grateful than ever that he has his parents. I think the most important thing in these situations is to be open and honest. If my daughter was some secret that he was never told about then I would be alot more worried that he would have those feelings. Fortunately that is not the case, he knows her, has met her and cares about her. This is the best that I could ask for.

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