Adoption Haters

Since discovering I was pregnant and beginning the process of placing my precious baby boy with an amazing family, I have encountered an appalling amount of ignorance and downright hatred for making this decision. I had one of my (now ex) best friends send me an angry and very cruel tirade via text message. “Your family is rich, why aren’t you keeping the baby? You’re just selfish and don’t want to grow up. So many women want to have kids but can’t, you’re being so ungrateful. If you didn’t want to keep the baby once it’s born you should’ve just had an abortion when you found out you were pregnant”. After about 8 messages full of similar accusations, she ended with “now go eat some chocolate and think about what I’ve said and quit being such a bitch”. I sat on the couch with my mouth open in shock and my heart hurting. If you are reading this and have similar views, I feel sorry for you. Here is my rebuttal.

“Your family is rich, why aren’t you keeping the baby?” Yes, my family is financially stable. NO, that does not automatically make me ready to be a mother! I want my baby to be raised by two parents who are in love with each other and Jesus. I want him to ALWAYS feel cherished, valued, and loved. I never want him to spend a day in daycare or be picked up late from school, which would inevitably have to happen if I raised him alone. I never want him to feel like he is a burden to his mother or have to explain why his father isn’t around. There is a lot more I could say on this but I’ll keep it brief. To make the argument that being financially stable = being a good parent is ignorant and untrue. If that is your viewpoint than I hope you do not have children because parenting – ACTUAL PARENTING – is about SO much more than money! (If you still don’t believe me, call Ted Bundy’s mom. She was rich, too).

“You’re just selfish and don’t want to grow up.” No, I am not selfish, nor am I giving my baby up because I “just don’t want to grow up”. I am 25 years old. I have traveled the world and lived alone overseas multiple times; I worked my ass off to graduate with honors from a private college; I worked during the first year of my masters degree. (I worked even though my professors told me I wouldn’t be able to work and pass my classes; guess what? passed ’em all). All of these things have taken vast amounts of discipline, grit, and maturity, and you know what? I AM grown up; that’s why I am making this decision. You think it’s an easy decision to make?! I already adore this baby and he’s not even born yet. Letting him go and saying goodbye to him while kissing his sweet face is going to be the hardest day of my life. But it’s for him. It’s not a decision made for myself, because – unlike the majority of Americans – I am aware that the world does not revolve around me. Just because something will be “hard” for me does not by any means indicate that I will regret making that decision in the long-run. If I were being selfish, I would not choose to endure 9 months of raging hormones, loneliness, idiotic texts like this one, and the million other less-than-amazing things that accompany an unplanned pregnancy.

“So many women want to have kids but can’t; you’re being ungrateful”. Yeah, I know that. Which is why I am entrusting my child to one of these wonderful women and her husband! Ironically, this “friend” of mine – we will call her Andrea – would have had a drastically better/easier life if her own mother would have opted for adoption when she got pregnant at 16. Instead, her mom kept her and proceeded to remind Andrea daily how getting pregnant with her had ruined her life (usually right before her mom left the house for the night to support her raging addiction to alcohol). Nice. *Disclaimer: I am NOT knocking single parenting; I greatly admire those who do it and do it well. However, I do not think that all women who unexpectedly get pregnant should raise their children, nor do I think that staying with their “real” mom always has the best outcome.

“If you didn’t want to keep the baby once it’s born, you should’ve just had an abortion when you found out you were pregnant”. Are you FREAKING kidding me?! As someone who had an abortion in my younger years and who is now pregnant, this statement makes me want to slap society in the face. It’s disgusting to me that abortion is more socially acceptable than adoption. I had my abortion when I was 8 weeks along; everyone at Planned Parenthood carefully avoided the word “baby” and replaced it with “fetus”. They reassured me that the baby was not, in fact, a baby, but “just a big ball of cells and tissue at this point” and wasn’t even human yet. Newsflash: they were lying. When I walked into my OB docs’ office this year, he gave me the basic rundown of developmental stages that my baby had been going through. I told him about my previous abortion and what the clinic had told me. He just shook his head and handed me a brochure entitled, “Weeks 8 – 10: Your Baby Has a Heartbeat!” I felt sick to my stomach. I am pro-choice, MEANING I think women should have the right to make a choice and live with the consequences, just like anyone else. I also think they have the right to be informed- REALLY informed – of exactly what they are doing when they consider abortion and not lied to for the sake of someone else’s wallet or political agenda.

“Go eat some chocolate and think about what I’ve said…”. Pshh silly girl – doughnuts are where it’s AT!;)

The social mindset toward birth moms and adoption in general needs to be abolished. Things have changed. Adoption is no longer something to be ashamed of! You don’t have to drop your baby off on the orphanage steps and then vanish. Yes, you got pregnant unexpectedly. Yes, it sucks at first. Yes, people will judge you and be self-righteous jerks about it. Yes, it’s going to be hard for you to feel that baby kicking around happily inside of you and then have to part with it. Yes, as the birth mom, you are the one losing out in this situation. YES, IT WILL BE WORTH IT IN THE END. In the grand scheme of things, these people do not matter. You are giving your baby a chance at an amazing life, you are making his adoptive parents’ dreams come true, you are giving yourself the chance to find out who your real friends are, and you’re making an extremely selfless, unfathomably hard, and very mature decision. Get over it, society.

Quotes about God and Christianity

“If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.” ~Oswald Chambers~

“The man with an experience is never at the mercy of the man with an argument.” ~Leonard Ravenhill~

“When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her.  It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.” ~Mother Teresa~

“A teardrop on Earth summons the King of Heaven.” ~Chuck Swindoll~

“I am not what I ought to be.  I am not what I wish to be.  I am not even what I hope to be.  But by the cross of Christ, I am not what I was.” ~John Newton~

“The soul hardly ever realizes it, but whether he is a believer or not, his loneliness is really a homesickness for God.” ~Hubert van Zeller

“Many are willing that Christ should be something, but few will consent that Christ should be everything.” ~Alexander Stuart~

“Pain removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul.” ~C.S. Lewis~

“Your greatest ministry will most likely come out of your greatest hurt.” ~Rick Warren~

“Not to be afflicted is a sign of weakness; for therefore God imposeth no more on me, because He sees I can bear no more.” ~Joseph Hall~

“The right attitude is this: that I have my own will, yet I will the will of God.” ~Watchman Nee~

“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” ~Corrie Ten Boom~

“My arms are too short to box with God.” ~Johnny Cash~

“Hate the sin, love the sinner.” ~Mahatma Gandhi~

“When you are precious to God, you become important to Satan.” ~Unknown~

“Christ had no interest in gathering vast crowds of professed adherents who would melt away as soon as they found out what following Him actually demanded of them.  In our own presentation of Christ’s gospel, therefore, we need to lay a similar stress on the cost of following Christ and make sinners face it soberly before we urge them to respond to the message of free forgiveness. In common honesty, we must not conceal the fact that free forgiveness in one sense will cost everything.” ~J. I. Packer~

Quotes About Self-Pity

“Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure, and separates the victim from reality.” ~John Gardner~

“He did not know how long it took, but later he looked back on this time of crying in the corner of the dark cave and thought of it as when he learned the most important rule of survival, which was that feeling sorry for yourself didn’t work.  It wasn’t just that it was wrong to do, or that it was considered incorrect.  It was more than that – it didn’t work.” ~Gary Paulsen~

“Only a teaspoon of self-pity, girl.  Every day give yourself a teaspoonful, but only a teaspoonful.  Fill it up full, but only once! Don’t let yourself have more.  You can’t live off it.  But just a bit of it is like a tonic.” ~Breena Clarke~

“If you don’t like being a doormat, then get off the floor.” ~Al Anon~

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” ~Mahatma Gandhi~

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not.  Make it your strength.  Then it can never be your weakness.  Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.” ~George R.R. Martin~

“You build on failure.  You use it as a stepping stone.  Close the door on the past.  You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it.  You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” ~Johnny Cash~

 

Small Town Secret

Today has been a hard one.  I have been through a lot in my life – from bus bombings in Israel to an abusive relationship, etc – and I am grateful for that fact now because all the practice dealing with emotions has helped me keep from panicking/despairing over my current situation.  However, there are some days when the sadness is inevitable, and it eats at you like a termite.  Because I am placing my child with an adoptive family, I am keeping the pregnancy a secret from certain extended family members and acquaintances.  This is a fairly easy thing to do while I am at my house in the city where I attend school, but when I can’t take the silence and aloneness anymore I am in my hometown visiting my parents.  

That is where I am currently, and while being with my parents (and their own personal pack of spoiled and adorable dogs) is a lifesaver, it also means that I am basically stuck in the house because I know the entire freaking town and I am now over 5 months pregnant!  There are so many thoughts that I have swirling in my head at all times, and sometimes they well up and translate into a huge tidal wave of anxiety, depression, and fear.  However, I refuse to live my life in that manner, especially while a little life depends on and resides within me.  So I force myself to go outside, play with the dogs, and enjoy the sunshine.  I’ve found this to be an especially effective technique precisely when I have the least desire to get out of bed or move at all.  

I often worry about my baby’s health.  Because I didn’t find out I was pregnant until I was 4 and a half months along, I worry about the fact that I drank occasionally and basically lived as an insomniac all semester, and especially while preparing for finals in December.  The level of stress I was dealing with during the first trimester was insane; I was working as a credit analyst at a bank while also attending grad school full-time at an elite private college that consistently tried to kick my butt. Needless to say, I barely slept from August to December, and when I WAS sleeping I was having nightmares about failing a test.  

HOWEVER: even though I was going through all of these things, this baby still managed to tough it out and stay alive, and that makes me smile because it means he is as tough as his momma:) I’ve had several ultrasounds so far (finding an OB doctor that would take me on as a patient at nearly five months pregnant is a whole other miraculous story!) and he appears to have all his limbs, fingers, toes, vital organs, and a VERY cute face.  This little guy clearly has an awesome destiny ahead of him, and I am excited to see what he grows up to accomplish. 

It’s hard coming up with excuses to avoid family gatherings.  I come from a traditional, old-money, Southern family, and my parents are the proverbial jewels from both sides.  My dad’s father is very like the patriarchal Mr. Ewing in the tv show Dallas, and the whole family kind of bows down to him.  Incidentally, he too was adopted, back in the day where women basically dropped their children off at an orphanage and never saw them again.  He’s quite the self-made man; he started his own business when he was 12, put himself through college, eloped with his boss’s daughter at age 19, and then struck oil in Texas and became extremely wealthy a year later.  While he is a brilliant businessman, he is a bit lacking on the emotional side of things sometimes and can be quite harsh and unfeeling when people do not go along with his agenda.  

He keeps calling and inviting me to go to various family gatherings and asking me when I will be coming in town for Easter.  Needless to say, I am due near the end of June so I will have to come up with legitimate excuses to avoid all of these invitations! Thankfully my parents are amazing. My heart goes out to girls who have to do this with zero support from their parents.  Know that I admire and respect out you, if you ever happen to read this.

Quotes about Life

“If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.” ~Mother Teresa~

“It is not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you.” ~Zig Ziglar~

“Never be bullied into silence.  Never allow yourself to be made a victim.  Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” ~Harvey Fierstein~

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” ~Zig Ziglar~

“Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.” ~William Arthur Ward~

“Never sacrifice who you are just because somebody has a problem with it.  Be you always.” ~Unknown~

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” ~George Bernard Shaw~

“You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.” ~Irish Proverb~

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ~Benjamin Franklin~

Introductory

Well for my first blog post ever, I will tell you a bit about myself and the reason for this blog. I am 25, I love to travel, and I play several instruments.   I am in the middle of grad school, and last month I found out that I was 4 and a half months pregnant… Surprise!:/  This blog will be an account of my journey over the next few months, and I am writing it with the purpose of hopefully helping someone out who finds themselves in the same position that I am currently in.

I had no idea I was pregnant, and I found out when I went in for my yearly gynecologist checkup.  Upon hearing the news, I nearly fell off the table.  My first thought was immediately abortion;  how in the world was I supposed to make it through my last full semester of grad school, pregnant and alone?  After calming down a bit (and by calming down I mean no longer hyperventilating) I decided against abortion.  I had already had one several years ago, when I was younger, and it had haunted me emotionally for months afterward. I decided the only option for me was to go through with the pregnancy and find a stable, 2 parent home for the baby.

The few ‘friends’ that I told the news to had very mixed reactions about my decision to place my baby in an adoptive home.  Several accused me of being selfish; “you’re just giving the baby away because  you don’t feel like doing the right thing and raising it yourself”.  Selfish, really? Hm.  Interesting.  Because of these accusations, I will give you the reasons for my decision.  First of all, many people view a baby as just that – a baby.  I prefer to think long-term.  This is not “just” a baby! This is a life that I will be solely responsible for, for the rest of mine.  Yeah, technically, I COULD keep the baby and raise him (it’s a him by the way!) alone.  Single parenting is a great option for many people, but not for me.  What happens when the baby is no longer a baby, but a child who is say, five years old, and wants to take piano lessons? Or be on a soccer league? How will I pay for him to have all these opportunities while still paying rent and other bills and working full time to do so?  The answer is, I wouldn’t be able to.  Also, speaking of work, where will my child be during work hours? Will I pawn him off on a daycare or my parents and only see him for a few hours a day?  Not to mention the fact that I do not have a significant other, and his father is completely out of the picture.  No, I’m pretty sure that “selfish” is the completely wrong word to describe my decision.

The “selfish” thing to do (which, by the way, is oddly more socially acceptable than placing one’s child for adoption) would be to get an abortion.  Instead of doing that, I am going to spend the next few months dealing with back pain, stretch marks, crazy hormones, loneliness, and a myriad of other pregnancy side effects that will make me hate my body for the next.. oh… I don’t know… year or so at least, in order to bring a child into this world that I am not going to keep.  Not to mention all the emotional trauma and such that I will go through during and after placing my child with an incredible family who is more than ready for him, who can give him a mother, father, opportunities, and a brighter future than I can.

I have had many friends who became pregnant unexpectedly and decided to raise their babies.  While a few of them have become stellar parents, the majority saw their babies as a “savior” that gave them a reason to quit their crazy lifestyles and stay at home; “I’ll never be alone again and I will always have my child to love and support me!”.  In this scenario, it is usually the child who pays the price of not growing up with a father and all that goes along with it.  So, your baby saved your life, but did you really do the best thing for your child? Also, the novelty of never being alone again wears off around age 2 or 3, and the child is usually dumped on the grandparents while the mother goes back to her lifestyle of partying and no responsibility.  Yeah, really selfless move.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that adoption is the best decision for my baby, and therefore I will not be moved.  I’ll step off my soapbox now.

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