To be honest with you, I didn't think much about her birth mother’s loss before the placement actually took place. I guess in my mind I was convinced that 1- she wasn't going to follow through anyways (that was my insecurities from previous failed matches despite the great relationship we had built leading up to this point) and 2- she had placed before, so I guess in my mind she kind of "knew what she was getting into" and had come to terms with it. Super unfair and naive of me.
Ella was 24 hours old and mama S had just signed her consent and was being released from the hospital. After delivery, the nurses had been somewhat condescending to her and her hospital experience wasn't the most positive. At her discharge, the nurses acted in that same manner. As the agency worker was getting ready to escort her out, mama S began to cry. It was in that moment that my whole heart shattered for her. I felt overwhelming guilt. The agency said she was just upset about the hospital staff, but I knew it was much more than that. I hugged her and I truly hoped that in that hug she could feel my sincerity, my love, my commitment to her and our open adoption plan, my vow to raise her daughter to be an incredible and incredibly loved individual, and my gratefulness. In that moment, I had never loved anyone more than I loved her. And I had never been so happy and heartbroken all at the same time.
At the time of match, we agreed to a semi open adoption of monthly pictures for the first year then annual pictures until 18 years of age. I knew that the other adoptive family did not hold up their end of the bargain and how much it hurt them. She deserved more than that and we loved them. Now, at this point in the blog, you all are aware that our adoption turned into a wide open one. In fact, when my sister passed away recently, she was one of the first people I told, and she is one of the very few who checked on me almost every single day for WEEKS. When I told her about starting this blog, I asked her to help me share things from her perspective. (By the way, she has read every single one of these before they even make it to y’all). My sensitivity towards her feelings and her privacy means a great deal to me. For the first time, she shared with me what it was like for her after she left the hospital during Ella’s placement. Below I am going to share her exact words to me, so you understand that despite how emotional it is waiting for a baby, it is so much harder to be on the giving end:
“When I was leaving the hospital, it was very emotional for me, it was extremely hard to control my feelings. One of the hardest moments in my life to control my emotions. Just like signing the papers in the hotel giving up my rights to *Rose. When I got back from the hospital, I went to take a shower and I was just standing there in the showering rinsing off and randomly…I started crying. It was random, I was not feeling any emotion at the time. It was very odd to me. I am pretty sure I could have kept crying, but I stopped myself. I knew I was handing Isabella to an amazing family. I knew that. I wasn’t scared. I was so happy. I was happy to get to know you a little beforehand and have multiple conversations and smiles with each other and laughs. It made R and I as comfortable as we could ever get with handing her over to you guys. It meant the world to me to have such good conversations and help you with the few things you had questions about. It made me feel really good to show you what I had learned from raising *Rose the two years that we did. It made me feel proud and so warm hearted.” -Mama S aka my best dang friend ever
I have said it before, but I will say it again. Have compassion. Show love. Be open minded. Gain perspective. And never stop.
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the other family.