By Gina Crotts
After seventeen years, I have answered this question in various ways, and in every response, I felt I was giving a wholehearted answer. Year one, after placement, my answer leaned on the fact that I was giving her a mother and father; something I obviously could not provide at that time. Five years after placement, I believed I was giving her a life of stability and ease; a fairytale ending. Year ten, I felt a huge wave of regret.
After ten years, I knew her parents were in the middle of a divorce and that fairytale life I thought I was giving her crumbled. I had to go within and ask myself really, why did I place my baby for adoption? The answers I had been leaning on were no longer a reality. I had to reevaluate and decide if I was going to live in regret or find the real answers to why I felt compelled to choose adoption.
The real answers didn’t surface suddenly. I had to allow myself to grieve the fairytale life I thought I was giving her. I had to let go of the expectations and face the fact that life isn’t perfect for anyone, and people aren’t perfect. When I stripped away my rehearsed answers as to why I placed my baby for adoption, I found the center of my actions.
I placed my baby for adoption because I had several confirmations, throughout my life, that pulled me in that direction. I felt something larger than myself burn inside of me when I would talk about adoption. I felt compelled to place her for adoption as if it were my calling to do so.
Every step of the way - getting pregnant, choosing adoption, picking a family, giving birth - I felt confident that I was on the right path.
My response to this question makes some people feel uneasy, and that’s okay with me. Seventeen years after placement, I don’t answer questions to make others feel more comfortable about a situation that feels abnormal to our society. I answer difficult questions with vulnerability and truth, my truth. I can’t advise pregnant women on what they should do, parent or place, because becoming a birth mother was a calling that was confirmed to me. I have no way of knowing if that is someone else’s calling or path that they should follow. What I can do is answer questions about my adoption experience with honesty, and advise pregnant women who are considering adoption to search within themselves to find their truth.