Are you wondering what it’s like to place your baby for adoption? How are you going to feel afterwards? How do you know what to look for in the adoptive family profiles? How will you move on with your life after adoption? Birth mother Tammy shares answers to these questions and more in her story:
“When I found out I was pregnant, my first son was a year and a half old. The birth father and I didn’t have a great relationship at all. I’d moved from Florida to California with the dream of having a family in my mind. I wanted to move on with our fairy tale life and it didn’t happen that way. He started going out a lot which was stressful on me. I was caring for our one and a half year old son and trying to work at the same time. We lived with his parents and it was not good!
I always wanted better for my life, so I was like ‘wow, I’m settling for a man who doesn’t respect me, doesn’t respect my son, doesn’t respect our living arrangements.’ I wanted to be on my own, make my own money, have that positive relationship in my life. I think that’s when I started to figure out ‘this isn’t going to work.’
I’ve always loved babies and children, so when the thought of adoption first entered my head, it was strange. It took me by surprise and then I kind of went with it and thought about it a little bit more. Nobody supported my decision of adoption, except Lifetime and a friend. I had a lot of pressure from other friends, family members, and people at work to parent this baby. I chose to fly back to Florida to re-start my life with my first son.
When I looked at adoptive family profiles, I was pretty open. I was looking for a two-parent family who couldn’t have children themselves. It’s funny though because the family I ended up choosing was nothing like what I went in looking for. It was difficult to tell my son I was choosing adoption for the baby I was pregnant with because he was only two. I ended up telling him that his brother was adopted at birth and went to live with another family and is OK. I told him I love him and had no plans of adoption for him.
Right now, I get updates from the adoptive family I chose…they send me letters, photos, and even report cards! I’ve moved on and he’s still in my heart but I focus on the children I have now, and my life now. At first I beat myself up that I’d failed because I chose somebody else to raise my son. In hindsight, I now see that I chose a better life for my son: two parents who love each other and treat each other with respect, which is way better than I could’ve done at the time.
I’m now parenting two boys, have a successful career, and I mentor new birth mothers who need to speak to someone. It’s nice to be able to help someone out who’s in a situation like I was. I tell the women who I talk to trust yourself and forgive yourself; keep your head up high and never quit working towards your dreams. I never knew how strong I was until I went through adoption: it really is a powerful decision. What kept me going was the thought that there is a better life for me out there.”
Would you like hear from other women who chose adoption for their baby? You can hear from women who have their own adoption story as a Birth Mother. These stories of adoption are a real-life look at what open adoption is like today!
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.