I have been on this earth for over 45 years now. Over half that time, my entire adult life, I have been a birth mother. I will admit that I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I contacted that adoption agency so long ago. I had no idea of the lifelong ramifications for myself, my child, and really, everyone I would ever come into contact with in my life when I signed those papers in some dark office 26 years ago. I had no idea of the social framework that I would try to force myself into, and now that I know, I have to admit I do not like it at all.
Sometimes, it seems that daily I must battle the confines of extremes. On the one hand, I must kindly say that the act of relinquishing my firstborn son to adoption was not selfless, nor courageous, nor wise. Rather it was the act of a fearful, doubtful girl who was trying to escape the realities of life, who trusted the wrong people, and who was let down and failed by those around her. There was nothing heroic in letting my son slip away. On the other hand, I must speak strongly of the love I had for my baby, proclaim how he was never in danger from me; he was never slated for foster care, neglected, or abused. Adoption did not save him from anything. It did not offer him a lifetime of “better,” just something different. I have to then prove that I was more than capable of being a “good” mother, even if it is just peering into what might have been.