When you are a little girl you don't spend your days imagining having a baby only to choose to give her away to another family. So when I was asked what I wanted to do when the time came for my delivery and placement of my little girl, I had absolutely no idea. I naively imagined that the doctors and nurses would just quietly take my child the moment she pushed her way down my birth canal and made her miraculous appearance into this world. My images were clouded with what I had seen in movies and read in books, and colored by a dark cloud of secrecy surrounding placing your child for adoption. So when my social worker told me I could make a “plan” for this event I was dumbfounded. How did I even begin to script an event I had never experienced? So I started to think and imagine what would mean the most to my child, the adoptive parents and myself. I also considered what I could handle. I spent hours visualizing and walking myself through the entire birth experience. Because I had not selected a family yet I was able to focus on the memories I would need to hold on to, grieve and place in a sacred place in my heart.
In my plan, I knew the family I would select would be unable to conceive on their own. My little bundle was to be their first and, in my eyes, the miracle they had been dreaming of. I knew I wanted the adoptive mother in the labor room with me. Even though I was a first time mom, I felt she should be part of the challenges I would face in delivery. I wanted us to be connected and imagined that sharing the birth of a child would be forged while in the pain of my labor. I was scared about the entire labor process and I also wanted to select an adoptive mother who could also be my friend and nurture me. In order for me to let go completely, I believed both she and I should get to hold our child together for the first time, so I asked the nurse midwife to put the baby on my chest in BOTH of our arms. The second person to hold her should be the adoptive father because I wanted my child to have the father I never did. With these moments complete in my plan, I felt I could then release her completely to this family. I wrote down my plan in my journal and held it near to my heart because I believed it contained the moments that would help me let go.
When I selected my family I was upfront and honest about my birth plan, and because they were the right family they were completely committed to making it happen the way I imagined. The loss and grief are daily for me, but knowing I had control and could make a plan eased me along. Looking back on it all, I am so grateful my social worker supported me in creating these moments and that God showed me a family that would be the perfect match for my daughter, Gabby, and myself. I know I gave her the best start in life and helped everyone connect from the moment she saw the light in this world. Having a say in how it played out helped me remain strong in my commitment. Looking back, even as I grieve, I am at peace with my decision.