Thursday, November 5, 2009
The following is an interview from an adoptee researcher in which author Kelsey Stewart answers personal questions regarding being a Birth Mother.
How many children have you put up for adoption?
Three. A daughter and twin boys.
How much do you think about your children?
Every single day.
What do you wonder about? What do you fear?
I know my children and talk to them on a semi-regular basis. They are older, in their late teens so they have had time to heal and are getting to know me.
If you could go back to before you made the decision, would you do anything different?
Not really. I used birth control in both relationships, but circumstances happened, and I became pregnant. Both pregnancies were beyond my control and I do believe that everything happens for a reason.
Do you feel guilty at all for giving up your children?
This is a very good, yet difficult question. There is an enormous amount of guilt involved that never seems to go away, even after 20 years. I have had many years to heal and work through those feelings of guilt. When I was younger and they were so little, the guilt was a relentless aching that would crush my heart and make the hole in there larger everyday. It was literally heartbreaking. "How can I leave them? How will they ever understand that I wanted the best for them? How did I let this happen?" Those were the thoughts that kept me up at night. But through the years as I watched them grow, I was amazed by their accomplishments. Now that they are older, I have replaced that guilt with pride. My daughter tells me all the time that she is proud of me, that I am the strongest person she has ever known, and that she loves me. My pride is in knowing that all my children know and understand that I loved them and did the right thing for them.
How far along in your pregnancies did you decide to give your children up for adoption?
Immediately. There was no doubt in my mind that I had to ask for help.
What were the emotions you felt when you decided to give up your child for adoption?
Disappointment in myself, the fear of not knowing what to expect both in the pregnancey and the adoption process, embarrasment, and very sad that what I was planning to do would eventually break my heart.
Why did you give your children up for adoption?
My mother and father divorced when I was very young and his absence had a profound effect on me. I know abandonment issues. I know that feeling of low self worth and I knew from an early age that if I married it would be for love, it would be well researched - meaning I would not jump into it for ANY reason - and if I had children, it was going to be a marriage that would last the trial and tribulations of life raising a family. I was very young, not married and I did not want my child to miss a loving, full time father like I had.
I also had examples in my own family of unwed mothers and they kept their children so I saw first hand how very difficult it is to raise a child alone, not being there after school, working nights to make ends meet. The biggest example I had was my mother, she did it alone as a divorcee in a time when she was the minority. Almost every one we knew, through school, through Scouts, through sports ... all the parents were married, so my friends had that nucleus that I did not have. I watched my mother struggle and I learned first hand that parenting is a full time job that requires a lot of patience and some wisdom. I knew that I needed help raising my children and I was gifted with maturtiy because of the wonderful job my mother did with me, and that allowed me to see the big picture. I wanted my children to have that necleus family that I wanted so badly, and was too young to provide at the time that I was pregnant. Adoption presented itself as the best decision for me. I was brave enough to ask for the help I needed, and I do not regret the decisions I have made.