Monday, November 16, 2009

Interview - Part Two

Do you feel like society was judging you during this time? What do you think society thought about your decision? Or how you got into this postition?
You would think the late 80's would have ben more liberal, but I was in the midwest with my first pregnancy. I would say it was about 30% support and 70% rude opinions. People were not shy about telling me what a selfish, horrible woman I was for giving up my responsibilities. I was a waitress and this wonderful older couple requested me every Saturday night to wait on them. I loved them and they loved me! That is until one night they asked me what I was going to name the baby. I told them that I was placing her for adoption so the parents were going to name her. They never requested me or spoke to me after that night. I was judged all the time back then, I was young, unwed and just another welfare case to all who saw me. Of course I had support from my family and friends, but beyond that, nope. What did society think about my decision? Well, the State of Missouri thought I was an idiot slut who asked for what she got. The social services department treated me like I was a criminal and tried to take away my rights even before my baby was born. They stepped in one month before the due date and told me that I had to find a new family, I was not allowed to know anything about this new family, and I had broken many rules trying to get to know the parents before the baby was born. This is not what I wanted to hear at 19, pregnant, scared out of my mind about the upcoming month, and trying to do the right thing in my mind. Who were they to tell me what I could or could not do with my unborn child? How dare this social worker treat me like that! It was a horrible situation to put me in and I am thankful that I was strong enough to stand up to her, the State, and everyone else who tried to tell me what to do.
That kind of treatment of birth mothers is the exact reason why so many girls change their minds about choosing adoption. It is a terrible way to have someone make you feel, especially at such a vunerable, unknown and emotional time in one's life.

Was the decision to give your child up for adoption easy or hard? What got you through the decision?
It was very difficult. It is not for the weak of character. You have to believe in yourself a great deal, and put yourself and all your feelings aside. I knew what I was doing was right. My mother was an amazing source of support and information. She was my biggest fan and always told me how proud she was of me, that she could never do what I was doing and admired me for being so brave. She was my rock. She never felt sorry for me, but instead allowed me to learn from it, deal with it, and eventually live with it. Without her, I would not be the person that I am today.

Who/what influenced your decision? Did you feel any pressure to give your child up for adoption?
No pressure, it was solely my decision. My life influenced my choice. I was raised with good morals and a positve outlook on life.

Have you had contact with your children?
All the time. It really is such a positive story for all involved! My kids can ask me anything, how great is that? So many adoptees have questions that they need to ask and I welcome every one of them. I am thrilled that they want to know me!

Is it an open or closed adoption?
Both were open adoptions. I had to fight for it in MO and it was a rough road! The second placing I went to an open law state which was much easier on the birth mother. It is all about what she wants and that is where the discussion begin. We worked details out from there. It was a breathe of fresh air for me since my first experience was so difficult.

Would you advocate other women to give up their children for adoption if they don't feel capable of raising a child?
Absolutely! I want to advocate for the birth mother voice from a postive point of view, an inspiring story that the world needs to see. It can be such a wonderful and rewarding decision. I am proof that to be brave is to be blessed many fold.

What do you believe to be the pros and the cons to Adoption?
The biggest pro is the choice of life. The biggest con is the amount of time it takes to heal. A pro is that if the adoption is open, there is a good chance that everyone will be comfortable and healthy with the arrangement. A con is the abandonment issues that some adoptees have not knowing anything about their background or birth parents. A pro is that adoption is changing in great ways: open laws, open websites, tons of literature on the subject, and more acceptance with adoption as a whole. A con is that even with all the advancement and acceptance in the last couple of decades, adoption is still a very controversial subject that conjours feelings of anger and disappointment for so many. A pro to adoption, as a birth mother, I was able to give my heart to wonderful parents who raised great kids who appreciate what I did for them. It is a gratifying feeling to know that I made a difference in not just my childrens lives, but all the lives that they have touched.
They are better people because of my selfless choice to give them the best that I could. That is what I wanted for them, always.


Lavender Luz said...

Thank you for the insight into an experience that I will never have. It helps to know what it was like for you.

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Thank you! Glad I could shed some light for you...I love your name here!