From a birth mom’s point of view: ‘PLEASE watch your words.’

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“I’ve always felt incredibly compelled to share my thoughts on adoption from a birth mother’s point of view. I’ve spent a few days trying to figure out how to tell my story and share what is most important. Then I realized it’s not about what I want to share, but what needs to be known.

Not everyone will support you.

I did the entire pregnancy and adoption on my own. I was made to feel I couldn’t do this. I didn’t tell my family because I didn’t want them to judge me and be disappointed. Where we came from, kids didn’t do this. They went to college, got married, had kids and lived ‘happily ever after.’

My son’s biological father refused to help or be supportive. He never wanted a baby and told me to get an abortion. That wasn’t an option for me. Abortion seems to be everyone’s first response when you tell them you are pregnant and not ready. It’s just not for me. He refused to take me to the hospital when I went into labor. He wasn’t there for the birth, he wasn’t there when I got back from the hospital. He signed the papers in front of a witness and left. We didn’t stay together after that.

My family, when they did find out, told me they were taking my son, and when I was ‘responsible enough’ they would give him back to me. They told me this in the hospital the day after he was born. They didn’t come when I called saying I was in labor, they didn’t tell me it was going to be OK, they abandoned me, as they have again in my adult life. Some people can’t support you at all; they don’t know how. But, someone has to.

If you’re adopting a child and have the opportunity to be there for the birth mom — or have the opportunity to get to know her — do it.

You will know your child better because of it one day. Nikki, my son’s adopted mom, tells me all the time how much he is like me. Even when I talk to him for less than 5 minutes, I see how similar we are.

The day I came home from the hospital began a deep depression. The only thing that pulled me out of it was Nicki. My previous abusive relationship left me cut off from all my friends. Nicki introduced me to women my age, she introduced me to the world again and she kept every promise she made to me. She never ran off with my baby, when I called and needed to hear him cry, she let him cry so I could breathe again. When I finally was able to see him, she brought him to me to hold.

She has been a rock in the rockiest part of my life.

Heather Browand

I wrote the following in a personal Facebook group of women and men who are kind, supportive, understanding and loving. I was able to be raw and honest with my words there. I wrote this in a moment of passion.

From a birth mom’s point of view:

Not all of us had CPS called and our children taken away. Not all of us were shamed into giving our baby away so we could keep our own lifestyle. Not all of us were 13 years old and our parents made us do it. Not all of us just dumped our baby at a fire station. These are just a few of the ‘NOT all of us’ examples. I respect the fact that there are women who DESPERATELY want children, and adoption is a real choice for them, and I encourage them to seek that path.

HOWEVER, if you don’t actually understand what adoption is or what adoption CAN be, please educate yourself. Twelve years ago today I gave birth to a perfect little boy. I can see his face perfectly in my mind. I remember what his body felt like when they placed him on my chest , I remember holding him for hours just staring at him, I remember every single detail. The same details his adopted mom remembers. I held him first in every single way and I loved him first in every single way.

For reasons that are mine and mine alone, I placed him with a family who could care for him in ways I couldn’t. That doesn’t mean they LOVE him more than me. I share my son, my heart, with another mother.

PLEASE when you start a search for a child, remember it’s mother, remember that it’s not just a baby you’re getting. If you’re smart, it’s more people to love your child. Watch your WORDS when you see someone post about an adopted child. There are often other eyes watching.

‘You’re such a wonderful person for ‘taking them in,’ or, ‘What would those children have done without you?’ 

I’m a birthmother; I fight stereotypes over it constantly.

I am judged because they assume drugs, booze, cops, prostitution or some other tragic story is my story. ‘Birth mom’ means I must not have truly loved my child, because I ‘gave them away. Gave… them… away.’

Listen to your words. They affect people.

I placed my son sober, praying, crying, with my heart ripped open, trying to give him something more then what I HAD. Every day I wish I had a second chance. Every day I think ‘He should be here… with me.’ BUT, every day, I also thank God he has his adoptive mom, who has become my mom, my friend. Every day, I thank God he is alive and I can see him, touch him, every single day.

PLEASE watch your words. Think about both sides, even when you think you know the story.

He is still mine too.

I wrote this the day my son turned 12.

Heather Browand

Sometimes I can let it go, the comments, the looks, the assumptions.  Sometimes it’s easier to just not explain it. If you see us together, there is no doubting we’re related. However, when sitting with the whole family, you wouldn’t assume he’s my son necessarily, just related.

Sometimes I get so sick with the thought of ‘What on God’s green earth have you done? How could you ever be forgiven for not keeping the most precious of gifts?’ Those thoughts were intensified after giving birth to my daughter, and more so after my youngest son.

Heather Browand

Sometimes I get angry that the adoptive parents aren’t doing a good job. Not good enough.

Sometimes I praise them for being everything I could not, for loving him without a question, for loving me as if I really was part of the family, not just my son’s birth mom.

Sometimes I just cry.

Sometimes I hate myself so much I want to blow up into a million pieces and magically make time go back so I could be brave enough to say, ‘NO, I want him.’

There is SO much more to this story. The point of me sharing this is to ask the mothers waiting desperately for a birth mom to reach out to them on a website, or to the family sitting at home that just got the phone call a child is available, or so many other scenarios, please know there is much more than just a baby.

Remember that talking to the birth mom, and having a relationship with her, is not going to make your child love YOU any less, or them any more. Staying connected is only going to help the child and show them what a strong person you are, and their mother was.

I was 19 when my son was born, I am still his mother, I am still the first person who ever loved him. I will always love him, no matter what.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Heather Browand, 32, of Katy, Texas. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.

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