Friday, July 25, 2014

If you're uncertain about adoption, keep your baby.

Jane
We just received a comment from an expectant mother trying to decide about adoption. She writes:
"I'm Nolee and I'm 22 yo. I'm 4 months pregnant now and most days I think adoption is the best option, that my baby will be better without me, that my baby will have a better life NOT because a social worker told me but because I told myself this, I'm sure this is the best way to go.. until I reached this forum and specially the comments here and now I don't know what to do. I'm not prepare to raise a child in any level, financially, emotionally and as much as I love this baby I feel keeping him/her it's gonna hurt both of us. Now I'm so confused. Now I'm even thinking that adoption is the wrong
way to go but so is keeping my baby. In my country the only legal way to place a baby for adoption is with a closed one, so I will never know if the a-parents adopted for the ''wrong reasons'', I just gotta trust the system and it makes everything even harder."  
Shortly after this, we received another comment, perhaps from the same woman: "I just have one question I wish any member could answer. Is this blog anti adoption? I -want- to give my baby up for adoption and I was looking for information online and found this page but apparently I'm doing a mistake?"

Nolee, we are not anti-adoption. Adoption is the best solution for a child who needs a family.
However, we are convinced that many unnecessary infant adoptions take place in the United States causing needless, lifelong suffering to mothers and children. For more, see our page on  "What We Think About Adoption" link on the right-hand sidebar.

Nolee, rather than pursue adoption, starting thinking of ways you can keep your child. You're dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, doubting your self-worth and it's easy to fall into the "my baby will be better off without me." I believed that when my daughter Rebecca was born. Now I know I was wrong. You may not be perfect--none of us are--but you're the most important person to your child. Your baby wants you, not a substitute. Every expert on adoption says that if possible, children should be raised in their natural families as nature intended.

Adoption does not assure your child will have a better life than you can give him or her--a different life, certainly, but not a better life. Since your country doesn't allow open adoptions, you will have no way of knowing how he is doing or even if he is placed. He might end up in an institution or foster care.

No one is prepared to raise a child. Your body is preparing you for motherhood. Once your child is born, maternal instincts kick in. Your love for your child will go a long way to help you raise him. Likely there are parenting classes available which teach the basics, feeding, changing diapers, and so on. More importantly, these classes provide guidance on helping you help your child thrive emotionally. If you are a loving, kind mother--and I think you will be because you are seeking advice-- you're child will become a loving, kind person, and never have the kind of angst that we hear from so many adoptees. Nor will he or she grow up with feelings of abandonment, and the insecurities that gives rise to.

Nolee, there's help available for young mothers if you seek it. Family members may step up, there's aid from government and charities. An adoptive family may provide greater material goods, but in the long run, these are less important than being raised by people who look like you and share your talents. We have written about this numerous times. Spend some time going back over previous posts and using the search function in the upper left corner.

When you give up a child, you are giving up a piece of your soul, and you can't recapture it later. I have known many mothers who regretted giving up their child; I have not known any who kept their child and regretted it.

Nolee, what country do you live in? Knowing this can help FMF give more more specific information.

Readers, please add your thoughts.--jane
*************
PS: I'll be going it alone in First Mother Forum for the next few months while Lorraine gets ready for and recuperates from her ankle surgery on August 8, and finishes her memoir.

I'm thrilled by the support for Lorraine and humbled by the accolades for FMF. I won't be able to fill Lorraine's shoes but I'll do my best.

I have a few things going on in my life which will slow down the posts.  My granddaughter Chelsea, the daughter of my surrendered daughter Rebecca, is visiting for a week. Then on August 3 my husband and I leave for my family reunion. My siblings and I and my mother when she was alive have gotten together every three years since 1975 along with our spouses, children, and now grandchildren. This year we will be in Olympic National Park. I'll be back August 10. I hope to be able to create a few posts during this time. I encourage readers to suggest topics they'd like to see on FMF.
________________________
FROM FMF
Thinking of Placing Your Baby for Adoption? Think very hard.
'I'm Having Their Baby' turns into 'I'm keeping MY baby'
Hoping to adopt: How to talk to the mother of his child....
Forty-five years later, I still regret giving up my daughter.

RECOMMENDED READING

Birthmothers: Women Who Have Relinquished Babies for Adoption Tell Their Stories
by Merry Bloch Jones 
"Often revealing their experiences for the first time, 72 American mothers who gave up their babies answered questionnaires and participated in in-depth interviews with sociologist Jones ( Step Mother ) for this searching study. Although their ages and backgrounds vary widely, almost all of the mothers, the author notes, share regrets about their decision to relinquish their babies, with a majority reporting troubled marriages. Most traumatized among those interviewed were teenagers too young to have a voice in the decision to surrender the baby, or who felt stigmatized by illegitimacy. Sixty percent of those who gave up a baby to adoption agencies that "seal" records later sought to locate their children. A chapter titled "Finding, Winning and Losing" sums up the obstacles to establishing intimacy after reunion, and discusses relationships between birth parents and adoptive parents."--Publishers Weekly

And you might take a peek at Lorraine's own first memoir, Birthmark. It was the first memoir from a natural mother and came out in 1979, but even recent readers find it moving and relevant. See sidebar for link.


62 comments :

  1. I too want to lnow what country you are in Noelee.......if we are in the same country I am more than happy to help where I can....

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  2. Nolee: I am just going to say it: please try with every ounce of your strength to keep your baby. PLEASE. I say this as a 56 year old adoptee from a closed adoption. Unless you are an adoptee, especially in a situation where the adoption is closed, you have no idea what damage it does to the person. I struggle with it every day. Not to mention the pain that first mothers have endured from giving up their own flesh and blood. As Jane states, there must be resources and assistance for you. Do you have family? Please keep going over posts on this forum...you will learn a lot.

    What is written here is the truth about adoption. Take a deep breath and read, learn, think, and seek more advice. Once the mistake is made, and it is a big mistake, there is no turning back.

    Please keep us posted. My thoughts and prayers are with you

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  3. Nolee,
    How I wish I had the internet when I was a scared 21 year old woman who was told if I loved my baby I would give her away. Can you see the irony with that phrase? Adopted children (almost always) do not feel the love by parents walking away from them.
    I have a suggestion. Just as you determined to keep this pregnancy and not terminate, determine to raise this child for a year. Just go ahead and make plans to take one more year out of your life for the thing you love most in the world. Taking care of an infant is really a very natural thing to do. If you are able to breast feed it won't even cost you much more to live. You can buy a couple dozen cloth diapers and just do your wash more often. Yes, finding employment will be harder while caring for a child but this year is so important to your child.
    This baby needs you. It will be so fragile just after coming from your womb. No other mother will sound right, smell right, or have the connection that the two of you have.
    See how you feel after a year. The baby will still be very adoptable if you decide to go that route but your child will be much stronger to take on the hardships of living with a strange family.
    Adoption is the single most wretched thing that happened to me. My sorrow has no limits. But I bet you are not thinking so much of yourself but more so of your beautiful child. If so, read the adoptee blogs. Go over to Lost Daughters and find out how complicated and soul searing adoption is in the people that have to live it.
    When I was pregnant I was only given the rosy ideas about adoption. In a million years I would never have thought my daughter would miss me. Really. I never thought adoption would be hard on her. Never. and I was wrong and that is my shame. Not having unprotected sex. That was a GREAT idea because it brought my precious child into the world. Not taking care of her is my shame.

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    Replies
    1. 'My sorrow has no limits...'

      Agreed.

      Delete
  4. @ Nolee

    I have written a few comments on the previous post, but I'll continue here.

    I was pregnant when I was 16. I said to myself all the things that you are saying to yourself. I believed them too. I had no faith in my own abilities to bring up my child. I had no money and no independence. I knew nothing.
    I also believed that my son would do better in a 'proper' family with a married couple who were prepared and longing for a child.

    My son disappeared behind the cloak of a closed adoption.
    Do you understand what that means?

    It means never knowing if your child is alive or not.
    It means your child wondering why their own mother didn't keep them.
    It means never ever knowing your child as a child - never cuddling or kissing or hugging them.
    It means that if you ever see them again, and you MAY NOT, that the ease of the relationship that you should have as mother and child is no longer there. You cannot get that back.

    Closed adoption could be used as a weapon of torture easily, such are its effects.

    My son was adopted by a married couple in a closed adoption. They were vetted by social workers beforehand. They had jobs, owned their house, had a wide external family, and were prepared for a baby.

    When I met my son thirty years later, he had been physically, emotionally and psychologically abused. He had lived in abject loneliness for many years. My poor beloved boy did not have a better life. My rubbish unprepared efforts and all my personal faults and crappy makeshift presents would have been infinitely better than the adoptive couple he went to (who divorced and soon descended into alcholism, before kicking my son out).

    How will you know that your child will be alright? You won't. Only you can make sure of that.

    What do you need in order to keep your child?





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    1. I think anyone thinking about giving up their child for adoption should take a look at the blog of someone who did, and who wrote with deep honesty how that felt. Her feelings are unique to her, but many of us mothers will recognise them too.

      It's hard to describe how the world, and we ourselves, change through the experience of giving birth. The world before and after is different.

      The blog is http://everyoneactdead.wordpress.com/

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  5. Dear Nolee,

    I wanted to write to you from the perspective of an adoptive mother. Adoption is serious business because, above all else, you are making the decision to uproot a child from his/her origins, history, family traditions, knowledge of how he/she became the child they are, the ability to look in the mirror and see the generations past in you, the ability to fully understand and accept why you do the things you do. This is a huge, lifelong loss for a child. Ask Julia Emily, an adult adoptee who posts here. Or Robin, another adult adoptee.

    My adopted son was taken away from his parents by the state, due to severe abuse, and put into foster care. While he needed to be taken away, it does not remove his big loss where he does not get to continue his family traditions and history, to really get an understanding of who he is.

    You would be taking away something from both yourself and your unborn baby that nature wants you to have, that society is built upon, unless it is impossible. Can you get any support from relatives? Also please do tell the other commentators which country you come from, I really hope others can direct you to resources. I think adoption should only happen in the most extreme abusive cases, impossible to rehabilitate. You don't seem that way at all Nolee, just young and scared.

    Hugs to you,

    Jay

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  6. By the way, Jane, I see you and Lorraine almost like partners in a marriage: the same goal, with complementary approaches. Enjoy you wonderful family times, and thanks for keeping this blog going! You are just as vital to its vibrancy as Lorraine,

    Best wishes,
    Jay

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    1. I second what Jay says!

      Delete
    2. Hi, You really don't want to listen to anything a social worker has to say to you about adoption. Not when they don't put choices forward about keeping your child.
      Did the social worker tell you how the separation immediately affects the baby? Don't buy into that better life for the baby stories. It's a fake pipe dream meant to delude you into giving your child away. People with money drink, fight, do drugs, divorce, argue, abuse, don't stereo type people with money . giving your child a better life. Your not their baby machine.

      Delete
  7. Nolee,
    Seventeen years ago I was pregnant with a man I'd only known for 3 months. I was only casually dating him, I was suffering from untreated depression, and this was the 3rd time I'd been pregnant. The first time I was an idiot 18 year old and didn't use birth control. I had an abortion. The 2nd time was 6 years later - my birth control failed. I had a miscarriage. 5 years later my birth control failed again. All my previous mistakes came back to haunt me. I yelled at myself in my head - I was bad, I was a slut, I was irresponsible, I was unfit to raise a precious child. My child deserved better than me. I would not abort again, I would give it up for adoption. I could take my bad behavior and turn it into something good for someone else, a two-parent well off family who could give this baby all the things I couldn't - stable home life, money, a nice house, etc. I met with them and made a plan. They were lovely people and very nice to me. This was "our" baby now, not just mine. I had made the right decision and felt better and more at peace than I had in a long long time.

    Then she was born, 2 weeks early. She looked exactly like baby pictures of me. I could not stop staring at her. She looked back into my eyes and it was like looking into my own soul. She was hungry immediately and latched onto my breast like a little barracuda. It hit me like a ton of bricks - this little creature was no longer "my decision." She was her own person. And she deserved her mother. Me. Even though I was still completely unprepared and overwhelmed and terrified I would mess her up. (I'm still afraid of that and she just turned 17). Who was I to give her away to someone else? Someone who didn't know her like I did? Someone who had picked out a name for her that, while perfectly fine, would've never occurred to me in a million years. It was the name that sealed the deal for me. My baby was never going to be that person, she was going to be Molly. That's what her name is, that's who she is. So I called the lovely woman who I had planned to give my baby to and broke her heart. I felt awful about that but there was nothing else I could do.

    I share this because I was where you are - I was convinced adoption was my only choice, all the way until my baby was born. I refused to listen to anyone who was telling me otherwise. My baby deserved better than me, period. Well I was wrong. My daughter is the greatest thing I've ever done in my entire life. She is this amazing person I am honored to know and raise. Sometimes it's hard - I won't lie to you. I have had to learn to ask for help, which is also hard, but it's worth it.

    Your baby needs you. Your baby deserves to be with its mother. If I can do it, you can. Please, if there is any way to keep your baby, do it. It will be the best thing you've ever done.

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  8. Hello, Nolee here. Thank you so much Jane and the rest of you moms for your response. I'm still very confused, crying myself too sleep almost every night is not really helping. I wanna explain more about my situation right now.

    I live in PerĂº. I dropped out of university because of depression and alcohol problems and a couple weeks after that I found out I'm pregnant. Both my parents and my family are very supportive and want me to keep my baby, but I still doubt about my self-worth because of my mental issues, I know no one's perfect but giving my baby a mom that maybe won't be able to be emotionally available 24/7 seems worst to me. I have health insurance because of my mom (until I turn 25) and she also pays for my psychologist and every thing I need. My parents are almost 50 and I have two little siblings of less that 11 years old and my parents also pay my older sister's university, so it's hard to imagine putting even more pressure to the family economy situation. I wanna go back to university and I don't know how I'll do that and get maybe a part time job when there will be a baby in the house. Both my parents work so no one's never there home.

    When I had my first appointment in this (I don't know the name in english) ''place'' of the government that is in charge of adoptions here, I spoke to the head of this ''place'' (it's called Inabif). She seemed like a very wise and understanding woman, she showed us me and my mom some pictures of families who had adopted kids and how happy they're now. It works pretty much like this: The adoption process can only begin after the birth of the baby, not before. Inabif is in charge of evaluating future adoptive parents and give them consilour through all the adoption process and checks on these families years after the adoption is complete to make sure the kids are doing ok. Also, they suggest telling the kids about adoption before they turn 6 years old, and offer therapy for them if needed. That made me feel a little more confident tho it's true I will never now who these parents are or how they plan to raise a child. Inabif encouraged me to write a ''diary'' for my baby and his/hers future parents because they believe that is very important for these kids to have an idea of where they come from and about their first family for when they're older.

    Everyone tells me not to think about it while I'm still pregnant, that I can decide when the baby is born but I can't stop thinking about it. I don't wanna make a last minute decision, if I'm gonna do it, I wanna do it right for my baby. (Sorry for any mistakes, english is not my first language)

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    1. Hi Nolee, I'm glad you're still here.

      Are you lacking confidence in yourself as a mother? If so, why not accept the support of your parents and family who want you to keep your baby? Let them help you, and advise you and show you what you need to know. Lean on them, let them help you and your baby. You don't have to be perfect. No-one is. You can carry on getting help for the things you struggle with while your whole family help you raise your child.

      You said that the adoption agency check on the kids years later to check that everything is okay. But what if it wasn't? Could the adoption be undone? How might that affect your child?

      About making your decision before your baby is born...the problem with that is that it's impossible to really do, because until that time you have never had a person in the world who is your son or daughter. You have never been a mother. So it's impossible to make an informed decision beforehand.

      Not being a perfect mother is not the end of the world. Really.

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    2. dear girl......you have been shown pictures of random children who may or may not have been adopted ......agencies make lots of money from adoptions......they dont have you or your baby's interest at heart. No one is a perfect mother....so let your mother care for you and her grandchild......I am sure it would be her delight to do so.....it certainly would be mine :)

      Delete
  9. Dear Nolee,
    What you describe sounds similar to how I felt when pregnant. The adoption place was run by government and the people were very helpful to make me see adoption in a positive way. I believed the parents would be better for my baby than me. They promised me a letter once a year and I never got that. I always thought people who adopt were better than me but now I know I was wrong.
    Get help for your alcohol problems first, make yourself strong. Do you have AA in Peru? I'm sure there are 12 step meetings there. If your family want to help then let them help. The baby is a member of your family.
    If a child needs therapy offered to them to help them get through the adoption doesn't that tell you that it's a trauma?
    Where is the father of the baby? He can pay something towards the costs and so can the father's family. Unless you think you really would harm your child then let adoption be the absolute last resort.
    Does your psychologist think you would be an unfit mother?
    If your sisters are going to University they will be able to help you when they have jobs. It sounds like your family has resources to pay for education and make good choices for you. Get help for the depression and for the alcohol problem first.
    Adoption has been a very negative thing for me, I regret letting my baby be adopted.
    hope this helps. Good luck with everything.
    K.

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  10. Dear Nolee,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I understand how worried you must be about becoming a mother while dealing with your problems with depression and alcohol. I just wanted you to know that I know a young woman just like you, who had problems with mental illness and alcoholism when she became pregnant. Through staying on her medications and through a lot of determination, she has raised her baby. And she has very little family support, compared to you.

    I know you feel bad about being a burden to your parents, but I strongly feel that any struggles will be temporary compared to the drastic permanent decision about cutting your baby off from its family. The biggest gift you can give your child is your family. Even the happiest adoptive home (or the longest letter you write to your child to describe your family) cannot replace the lost bonds of his/her birth and heritage.

    It is nice that "Inabif" offers therapy for the adopted children, but wouldn't it be so much better for your child if he/she didn't have to go to therapy because of being adopted? You sound as if you have a very nice family that is supportive during times of struggle. I think you can give this child everything he/she needs - and I believe you have the determination to stay well and go to university too. Maybe some things for yourself will take time, or happen a little later, when your baby is a few years old, but they can happen for you. Please believe in yourself. I hope you will consider keeping your baby.

    Many hugs to you,

    Jay

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  11. Nolee,

    I am a mother forced into having my son adopted by strangers. Please, understand that if you make a decision for adoption it will affect you for your life. Many mothers, have become depressed, alcoholics after losing their baby. I know you are dealing with this now. That's the first thing you should be working on making sure your baby is safe. Stop, the drinking and I believe the other things including mental health issues will improve.
    As far as placing your baby please don't he needs his mother and you need him!
    You seem to have a wonderful parents. Let them help you, you can go back to University and be a mother too.

    ps , the alcohol depresses so don't drink it and I know when I drink I become sad and depressed even more.

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  12. Hello Nolee,
    I've been through pre-partum depression because I was lonely, pregnant without a fiance to take care of me and the baby to come. I tought of adoption. I'm an adoptee myself. Never thought in all my life that i would one day put up my baby for adoption. But I did, because I was in pretty bad period of my life. But I overcame the depression. And now what? There is no baby anymore. I didn't have family or friends to help me keep my baby neither the social services. You seem to have support from your family. Trust them. You know them. You don't really know people from the adoption agency. And trust the testimonies you can read her from adoptee, first mother and adoptive mother. If you put your baby up for adoption, it won't be just a loss for you and your baby but for your entire family. I am thinking every single day of my baby, She is now 4 y. old. I miss her a lot and so it is for her older siblings. It was a temporary problem and a permanent solution. It's a lifetime pain, even if you keep it secret, (never talk about it) or if you talk about it every time you have a chance. Sometimes I tell myself, my friends must be exhausted to listen to me about this. But this is what it is. She's in my mind 24 hours 7 days. No fear, please. Fear is a bad mistress! Keep it up! Don't make any decision while you are sick, in depression.

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  13. Nolee,
    I was in your beautiful and interesting country last summer. I came to Peru with the daughter of the daughter I gave up for adoption. She invited me to come with her while she visited friends in Lima, Trujillo, and Huaraz. I am fortunate that my lost daughter found me when she was 31. She is now 47. I am fortunate that her daughter, my granddaughter, is my friend.

    But nothing makes up for the sorrow I have suffered for the past 47 years from losing my daughter to adoption.

    You may believe you are helping your family in giving up your child. I thought that. I didn't want to be a burden or have my daughter be a burden. I know now that the burden of another child is nothing compared to the loss of a child.

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  14. Nolee: You made one statement in your post that was all I needed to hear: Your parents and family are supportive and want you to keep the baby.

    I beg you to listen to them.

    No parent is perfect. Giving away your baby because you feel less than perfect is not a solution. Adoption does not solve any problems, it creates new and different problems. And closed adoption, especially, is a nightmare. You will never know if your surrendered child had a decent life. Your child will never know you. And believe me, that is a terrible way to grow up.

    If you think adoptive parents have more to offer the baby than you do, you are mistaken. That is what you are being told, but it is not true. I know a fair number of adoptees, and all of their parents had issues, mine included. None of us had the perfect life our first mothers were assured we would have. One of my dear adoptee friends had a seriously abusive set of adoptive parents, and had a miserable life.

    Please keep us posted here on FMF. I think it was a Godsend that you found this forum. Everyone here who shares their story is speaking from the heart. This is the truth of adoption.

    Listen to the first mothers here. Keep your baby. You can do it, especially with the support you have.

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  15. Nolee,

    I was so alarmed after reading your story and your comment that I planned to leave a comment for you here at FMF. But in my usual verbose fashion, my response became so lengthy that it became its own blog post. So please see my response to you at Kellie's blog, All In The Family Of Adoption.

    Also, I highly recommend that you spend some time reading other posts on Kellie's blog. Kellie is a grandmother of a relinquished child and she can give you insight into how giving up your baby will affect the rest of the family. This is especially relevant for you since your family really wants you to keep the baby and have offered to help.


    http://www.allinthefamilyadoption.com/2014/07/keep-your-baby-nolee.html

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    1. Thank you for this link Robin. I always think about my family, specially my grandmother. She's so excited, she goes with me to all my doctor's appointments and every time we talk about adoption she gets angry. I hate myself when I think of al the pain my family would have to go through if I decide to place my baby for adoption.

      And for all the rest of you moms who responded, I'm truly thankful and I appreciate your comments, I really do. I'm really considering keeping my baby. I talked to my mom yersterday before going to therapy and she always says no matter what she'll support me, that I can't please everyone and I gotta think about myself, but that having a baby is a blessing and keeping him/her with us will be hard, but not the end of the world. I think she's right.

      Delete
    2. Good for you Nolee. Now your family can enjoy your little one, and your little one can enjoy his or her whole family, and you can feel supported and encouraged.
      EVERY mother needs support, every single one. I'm so glad you are nestling into your family and that your son or daughter can nestle there too.
      No matter how hard it may sometimes be, it can never be as hard as letting your child disappear from your life.
      I wish you the very very best, Nolee. I'm glad you stayed here and read awhile and listened. Brush any doubts away, knowing that your family are there to support and help you.

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    3. Nolee_-I am the silent mother behind the blog, as I have had so much on my mind, and my schedule, but I hope that you keep thinking of ways that you can keep your child. Once your child disappears into another life, your will find the life you think you might have back is gone.

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    4. Nolee,
      Please heed what Lorraine said in her comment at 10:55 pm. The adoption agency wants you to think that you can give your child up and then put this behind you and simply move on with your life. Well, it rarely happens that way and for the child adoption will always be an issue in his life. For some aodptees it is more difficult than for others, but you can never know in advance how negatively your child will be affected by adoption. Remember, the adoption agency has a vested interest in getting you to believe that the you and your child will easily move on from the separation. The bottom line is they need babies to supply to PAPs or else they'd be out of business.

      And another thing, just because the PAPs may be very eager for a baby don't think that means that their whole family is on board. Many adoptees have had the experience of having adoptive grandparents, aunts and uncles, or cousins who don't fully accept them as family.

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  16. Nolee: I am beyond happy to read your last post! You have support.... Your family will help you and your child will remain with his or her bio-family. Or should I say true family. Giving away this baby that family members are waiting to welcome would be a mistake of epic proportions. Keeping your baby, no matter how difficult parenting may be at times, is so right. Do not make a decision you, your child, and your family will regret until the end of time. I am so thankful to read this from you!

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  17. Nolee:

    Please check out the link Robin provided to Kellie's blog, All in the family adoption. It is a well-written blog that will help bring certain issues to light. Also, if you put up a post, Kellie is likely to respond. She is a very non-judgmental and compassionate person who has dedicated her life to helping others.

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  18. Robin: you're 100% correct in everything you said. Especially the last paragraph. I will never forgive a cousin who told me when I was quite young that the woman who had me threw me in the garbage. I was devastated. And no one helped me deal with it.
    I hope Nolee is reading and listening .

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  19. Dear Nolee,

    I am very happy to hear you are now thinking about keeping your baby. I just wanted to add that my heart thinks this will be a good decision for you too, not just your parents and grandmother. Please focus on getting the best attention for your depression right now, before your baby comes. I wish you, your family and your unborn baby a wonderful life together. It won't be perfect (because nobody's life is perfect) but it will be good!

    Un gran abrazo (my friend from Argentina always says this to me)
    Jay

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  20. Dear Nolee,

    You ARE this babies mom ~ right now your babies ONLY mom! If you choose adoption the only thing that will change is that you will then be a mom without her baby and your baby will have another mother raise him/her. On top of whatever other issues you have, you will now have to learn how to live life without your baby on top of everything else. Adoption doesn't take away any problems, it only adds to them.

    Losing my son to adoption effected every single aspect of my life afterwards. Every. Aspect.

    Even though most would say that our story is a great one ~ my son did get great parents. He did have a great life growing up. I went on to have a great life despite the loss of him. BUT ~ it remains the one thing that has brought great sorrow to my life in every way. I would wish life without your child on nobody. Nobody.

    Please continue to learn about how adoption loss effects the natural families as well as those who live life adopted.

    Good luck ~

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  21. Dear Nolee,

    You are blessed with a supportive family who love you and your baby. Your child is a blessing, not a burden. You are a blessing to your family, not a burden. God bless you and your baby and all your family. I cannot tell you what to do, but if you were my daughter, I would encourage you to keep your child and do the best that you can. Your child would have his/her family around him/her and that is the best possible thing. Good luck to you, whatever your final decision may be.

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  22. Nolee,
    I am an adoptive parent with a beautiful adopted daughter. I too would urge you to keep your baby. All children deserve to be with their natural families if at all possible. It sounds as if you have a supportive family and your baby will benefit so much from having them and especially you in his/her life. My daughter has a good life with us but we are not the same as her natural family and no adoptive family can be the same as you, your baby's mother.

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  23. Hello everyone. Thanks for all the comments and support. Lately everything seems to be falling apart. It's like my dad and older sister are taking one side (adoption) and my mom, grandma and me the other side (keep the baby). I had lunch with my sister today and she started talking about it by saying ''if you go visit grandma don't let her mess with your mind'' and then goes on and on about how adoption is the best, that I'm being negative by thinking I'll never know how the baby is doing, that probably he/she is going to end up just fine with a great family, that I should only focus on the baby's future and best opportunities and if he/she stays, he/she won't have ''any chances'' of a better life. Also she added that my dad's not planning on supporting me financially and that she needs my mom ''for her'' to pay for her last year in university and the plans she has after that. No matter what I said, my reasons to keep the baby didn't seem strong enough for her and my dad. The day before that, my dad told me that if I choose adoption he'll support me and won't judge, he seemed very lovely, then I told him that ''maybe'' the baby gets to stay and he totally changed his tone. He said I'll be ''limited'', that as soon as the nanny of my little siblings finds out about the baby she's gonna quit and it'll be hard for them to find another one and that I can't stay here, that I'll have to move with my grandma because my older sister won't be able to get through her last year of university with a baby at home. It really hurt. What both of them told me (my dad and sister) really hurt me and no matter what, their reasons to give the baby for adoption seem stronger than mine to keep him/her. I cry all the time and I feel awful, the only one who seems to be with me is my mom and I get more and more desperate every day. I thought I had support but now it's like I'm dividing my family and making everyone take sides and fight. I hate all this situation.

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    Replies
    1. Nolee,
      Your Dad and your sister know NOTHING about adoption. They are just repeating what they have heard from adoption workers. Your Mom and Grandma have had babies -- they know first hand how strong the bond is between mother and child. Your child will always suffer from losing his mother no matter how rich and nice the adoptive parents are.

      You don't owe it to your family to give away your baby. If your sister has to quit school, that's her problem. I can tell you from experience that you can keep your baby and your family problems will take care of themselves. If you give up your baby, you will always have a hole in your heart.

      You might suggest to your Dad and your sister that they read the comments here on First Mother Forum. Maybe they will see that adoption does not assure a better life for the baby or the mother.

      Delete
    2. Nolee:

      I think it is important to remember that agreeing to the adoption will not make these problems go away....and it may make them worse. Losing a child to a coerced adoption is absolutely destructive to the mother. And it will leave behind a whole wake of problems for the extended family. How will it affect your father and sister if they know, for the rest of their lives, that they cost you your child? Right now they don't understand what it may do to you...and by the time they realize they were wrong, it will be too late to do anything about it.

      I urge you to visit Kellie's Blog, All In The Family Adoption, where Robin put up a post for you. Kellie knows all about how family dynamics can affect a decision regarding adoption. She and her family are still dealing with the fallout years later. Here is a link to the post:

      http://www.allinthefamilyadoption.com/2014/07/keep-your-baby-nolee.html

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    3. Nolee, We are ALL urging you to keep your baby. Your sister is not a mother, I assume, your mother and grandmother are. As I said before, you do not get back the life you think you will. You do not forget and move on. Your child will be hurt by the adoption. Before I gave up my own child, I thought adoption would be the best solution for pregnant teenagers so they could get back to a normal life.

      That never happens.

      Your father will most likely come around, especially since you have your mother's support. Hang in there. Hold your baby in your arms. Never let him go.

      Delete
  24. Nolee,

    As an adoptee who loves who adoptive family very much, I still wish i was not adopted to begin with. It is only natural for a child to want to remain with their natural family. Do your sister and dad realize that they are banishing a family member, a grandchild and a niece or nephew from their family? Can they live with that? This child you are carrying is a human being, a member of your family, one that will carry on your genes, your fathers genes ect. How can you just "give it away".. What if you or your sister were born just a few years earlier and just tossed from the family because the timing was not right? Really? Then to be placed into a family of genetic strangers...no matter how much love they have to offer they are still genetic strangers and just may not respect your genes because they have to prove they are the "real" mom and dad.

    Adoption is a last resort for the well being of the child, not the first choice. Newborn humans WANT to stay with their own unless they are unsafe with their own. Does that apply to you?

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  25. Thank you Jnae, that's what me and a friend thought, they don't know the feeling of having a little baby growing inside you and the love one have for the baby even if I haven't given birth yet. I will tell them to read the FMF and obviously this post.

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  26. Dear Nolee,

    I was very sad to read that your father and sister are opposed to you keeping your baby. I really don't know if your father will change his mind after reading the post and comments here at FMF. I have been to South America and come from a culture that is a bit similar (India). I am guessing that your father feels you have let the family down by getting pregnant and dropping out of university. I could see how the nanny might leave if another baby came into the household. And of course your sister does not want to lose her university money!

    Assuming your father does not change his mind after reading these posts, do you feel comfortable living with your grandmother? It would only be temporary, I am quite sure, because once the baby is a few months old, I think your father and sister will want to meet their grandchild and nephew / niece - and they will fall in love.

    So stay calm and please focus on getting the treatment for yourself right now, and getting well. Think carefully about what your baby will lose if you break your connection to him / her, and do not make any hasty decisions.

    I think of you often and send you good wishes,

    Jay

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jay, thank you for your support. About living with my grandma, I would have any problem, she's moving to a smaller place soon but she and my aunt (they live together) were talking about me moving with them before all this situation and now they're more than happy to live with me and the baby. I love my grandma, when I was born my mom was a single mom and had to go to work so basically I was raised by my grandma. It wouldn't be a problem.

      I'm really trying not to think about all this now, I'm working with my therapist and try to focus on that now, some days are harder than others but I'm motivated now.

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    2. Dear Nolee,

      I am very happy to hear that you can live with your grandmother. So yes, for now, please don't worry about making decisions regarding the baby. You are doing the right thing, working with your therapist and focusing on getting well.

      I wish you happy days and peaceful nights!

      Un gran abrazo,
      Jay

      P.S. Some of the tastiest food I ate was in Peru!

      Delete
  27. Nolee: Listen to Jane. I can not say it any better myself. Except that I am an adoptee. I did not have a better life....I had a different life. And my life is a lie. Nothing about it is real, and I am searching like crazy and finding nothing but dead ends. Do not do this to your baby. I beg of you.

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  28. Nolee,

    Before you make any decision you need to focus on yourself and your depression. Honestly whether you decide to parent or place your baby for adoption is secondary in importance right now. No decision needs to be made now either way. Focus on what you can do right now and when the time comes you can make your decision.

    Be kind to yourself .

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  29. Nolee, I'm glad you found this website. Read what's here. Think. Feel. Don't decide anything right now. Take your time.

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  30. Nolee: We are all hoping to hear from you again soon, as to how you are feeling and what you are deciding. As an adult adoptee, I would like to mention a few problems that a closed adoption has caused me:

    I have no knowledge of my medical history. By default, my two daughters are missing half of their own medical history.

    I do not know anything about my birth or my first parents, except what little info NYS gave me on my first mother.

    My paperwork is not accepted for legal purposes. As it stands now, my husband has had to get an attorney to help me do the simplest of things: get a passport. No passport office in all of NY will listen to me. This is going to cost us money that we really do not have at the moment, but that's the situation.

    I asked the court to open my file. They refused.

    I am dealing with adoptive parents who are very insecure and it has put me in a position of feeling like I belong nowhere.

    Search angels have found nothing on my first mother. Other search angels have declined to help me, based on the lack of information I have. My search is about to fizzle completely.

    I had to borrow a friend's credit card to do DNA testing. Another $100 that my husband did not want to spend. Preliminary results show a little ethnic information and not much more. There are no matches with any relatives, so far.

    I am not posting this to talk about me. I am trying to show you what adoption does to a person. That person may be a little baby when it all happens. But, that baby grows up. I am almost 57 years old and I am still grappling with this nonsense. All because my first mother was forced to give me up, and the records are closed.

    Please....keep your wonderful,beautiful baby.

    Hugs.....Julia Emily

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    Replies
    1. Oh, Julia, I am so sorry to hear all this. You have gone down every alley you could. How do some mothers disappear without a trace? I know that $$ is an issue, but there is one other DNA service you could try. Someone who testified at the hearing in NY said that she found her mother that way. I know it is unlikely for you, but but you'll never know.
      And thank you for your help with the computer. Surgery is a week away. xxx
      hugs xxx

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    2. Hi Lorraine: I am willing to try more DNA testing. Or, wait and see if anything further happens with Ancestry.

      As far as my story, this is what I think happened: After I was born and relinquished, first mom (and her family) left the country. Maybe they went back to their old country? A-mom did say at times that the girl had taken off, couldn't be found, had to be tracked down so the adoption could be finalized. The paper I saw on A-dad's desk said that a signed, sworn affidavit had been received from my first mom, and a date could be set for finalization. I am guessing she never came back. I am also guessing she never told another soul about me. Either she is in her 90's somewhere in another country, or she died.

      Let's hope Nolee is reading here, and really listening to all these comments. She will regret for the rest of her life giving up her baby. We all know this....but have we convinced her? I certainly hope so.

      Good luck, once again. I am sure all will go well. I hope you get the laptop. You must stay in touch with your "family" here!!

      Delete
    3. Julia Emily,
      I am sorry you are hitting nothing but dead ends but I must admit I am surprised.The one thing that always stood out to me about your story is that you said your n-mother had a very uncommon last name. Didn't you say that hers was the only family in the greater NYC area with that surname? Isn't there anyone else in the whole country with that name? If so, perhaps you could call them out of the blue and make up some plausible reason as to why you are looking for the family. I wouldn't suggest immediately giving your true relationship to your mother to any stranger with that name. She may never have told anyone and it could get any possibility of a reunion off on the wrong foot if you 'out' her without her knowledge. But I'm sure you or one of your Search Angels will know the best way to handle it.

      Delete
    4. JE: I must have missed that part of your story--about the family with same name--OF course you must call them! In the early days of search--pre-Internet--people did that all the time! Lots of ALMA searches ended because someone systematically made phone call after phone call all over the country!

      You call you say...I am looking for relatives of X because --well, why not say, I think we might be related? Since you started here, you have done just about everything else, why not this?

      My last name happens to be very unusual (shortened from longer Polish name, Drozduski or y) even if it doesn't read that way in English, and I would welcome hearing from any relative. I think my paternal grandfather had a brother named Teofil (Theodore in English) but if he did, no one knows what happened to him. I'd love to hear from relatives! So, if you haven't done this, what are you waiting for. If it is too hard for you to do it, ask a friend.

      Good vibrations from here.

      Delete
  31. A suggested topic: Are you aware that in CA Appellate Ct is another case involving custody of an Indian child? It's "Children and Family Services v. J. E. et al." The father is Choctaw and the foster parents Russell and Summer Page are claiming "de facto" parental status for four- and-a-half year old Alexandria or "Lexie." Russell and Summer Page are drawing on the Baby Veronica case to bolster their position. They are both members of the conservative evangelical Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA that strongly encourages their members to adopt. Here's the link to ICTMN's article on July 8, 2014.

    http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/07/08/battle-icwa-goes-california-contested-choctaw-foster-case-155730

    A decision is expected sometime before October. Oh, and the foster couple's attorney is Lori Alvino McGill, who was the attorney for the bio mom in Baby Veronica and sued the Justice Dept on the grounds that ICWA is unconstitutional. She's arguing the same here. Here's the docket from the CA Appellent Ct:

    http://appellatecases.courtinfo.ca.gov/search/case/partiesAndAttorneys.cfm?dist=2&doc_id=2063771&doc_no=B252999

    Please Post!

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    Replies
    1. God....not again! When is this going to end? I had not heard about this case until now. I'll be following closely...

      Delete
  32. Lorraine: thank you. I am feeling down and out. I have to keep going ahead, and not let depression get the better of me.
    Good luck next week ! You are in my thoughts....

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    Replies
    1. Thanks....I am overwhelmingly busy getting ready for the surgery and wrapping up a ton of things--including the manuscript! which I sent to the new agent on Thursday (and then made slight changes on Friday...)

      Delete
  33. There is no family listed in NY with the same surname. I found two on all of Facebook and sent PM. More dead ends. I honestly have had a couple of search angels decline because of the lack of info. It seems like she wanted to disappear and did so. I have her name and my birth name. Right now it looks like that's going to be it, unless DNA yields anything further.

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    1. Julia Emily,

      I think Lorraine misunderstood what I wrote. I didn't think there was another family in NY with your first mother's surname, but there may be other people throughout the country. There are ways to find all of them and I don't mean through Facebook. There are many people who aren't even on Facebook.

      Delete
    2. My thinking was .....Facebook is worldwide. Thinking my first mother went to Europe or somewhere, I thought I might find a family member in another country. I can message from my computer , hit "send" and see what happens. I can't possibly spend all kinds of time on the phone calling and talking to people all over the country. If I get another search angel who thinks he/she can help, I'll mention the idea.

      It really does look like my first mother wanted to disappear, or was forced to do so. If that turns out to be the case, then that will have to do.

      The daily care of my elderly adoptive parents is draining all of my energy. I am not strong enough to do ALL of this.

      Delete
  34. I am hoping Nolee is being supported and loved and planning her baby's life with her....

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  35. I think almost everyone is uncertain about almost every life decision that is so profound. Still I agree, if you are uncertain about adoption there is no reason not to try parenting. A child who is a few months old is almost as desirable and has his or her choice of adoptive parents, and more importantly the mother has a chance to realize she can do it if she wants to. Biologically has been imperative in evolution that most will want to do it.

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  36. IMPORTANT UPDATE ON CA ICWA CASE Rusty and Summer Page v JE (Choctaw father) of Baby Alexandria

    On Friday August 15, the judges issued a remittitur in the CA ICWA case. Here's what I have:

    "The order transferring custody of the minor to the R.s is reversed. The cause is remanded to the dependency court with directions to determine if good cause exists to deviate from the ICWA's adoptive placement preferences in accordance with this opinion. 41 pages; Kriegler-Turner-Mosk"

    A remittitur refers to an appellate court sending a case back to the trial court so that the case can be retried, or so that trial court can enter an order that conforms to the findings of the appellate court.

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  37. I dont want to give up my baby but i feel like i dont have a choice, im 19 years old, Live in Texas and I truly have NO support. Im 3 months pregnant, the dad left for good. I told my mom thinking I could atleast get emotional support, but I got the exact opposite. I need to move out of my grandfathers house before the baby is born and i just got fired from my job..no income. i have 6 months or less. I know other people who did it alone, even younger than me but they ALL had parents and grandparents that helped financially and allowed them to live with them and even watched the kid most of the time. I have nothing. Im crying thinking about it, because its not fair I WANT MY BABY and i feel like i dont have a choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Morgan,
      I read about this organization in the March 2014 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine (p.30). It is a non-profit designed to help young and single moms. They are located in Oklahoma, but perhaps they can give you some guidance and support.

      http://www.vtizzle.com/mki/

      Delete
  38. Morgan,
    We're so glad you wrote. There is support to help you keep your baby. The Texas welfare agency can give you money, food stamps, medical care, and perhaps help you with housing.

    There are non-profits that can help too. Email us at forumfirstmother@gmail.com and let us know what city you live in.

    Please do not contact an adoption agency. No matter what they say, most put adoptive parents first and will try to talk you into adoption.

    ReplyDelete

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