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My Daughter's First Mother: An Adoption Story

Posted on November 09 2016

My Daughter's First Mother: An Adoption Story

I am so excited to be here to share with you about adoption! My name is Naomi, and I am the creator behind the shop Eli&Ryn. Adoption is so close to my heart. I am blessed to be a mama to two beautiful children through adoption.

You may have seen “Things NOT to Say to Adoptive Parents” type articles. As an adoptive mom, I have spent about 5 years hearing things that are less than kind, and usually, they are from “well-meaning” people who have questions about my family. I promise I will sprinkle in a few {what to say} phrases to help educate on positive adoption language, but what I want to use this space to talk about is… my daughter’s first mother. The strongest woman I know.

{first mother} – sometimes people ask questions about my kid’s “real mom.” I know what they mean, they mean my kid’s “first mom” or “birth mom.” Both terms are the most accepted and recommended terms in the adoption community. Because for real, like really real, I am their real mom.

A little over a year ago, a pregnant woman (I am going to use the name “Anna”) walked into our adoption attorney’s office to make an adoption plan. We had just experienced our second failed adoption and we were uncertain about continuing the adoption process. Our attorney called us, told us about a new potential match with Anna. We skype’d. We told Anna our story – we were honest. Very honest. We shared about our failed matches and fears about another failed match. Anna said she felt like we were supposed to be the parents of her unborn baby girl. Anna wanted an open adoption, we did too. We decided to move forward.

{open adoption} – often the response when I mention open adoption is “aren’t you worried she will take the baby back?!” That is not what open adoption means. It means the baby, while she is legally ours, will get to have some sort of relationship with her birth mother or birth family. Numerous studies have shown the open adoption relationship is SO much better for the adoptee. Open adoption can be defined so many ways, it can be pictures sent on a specific schedule, visiting the birth mother or birth family once a year, or some other relationship that is usually agreed upon before the adoption takes place.

For the next few months, I STILL wasn’t sure there was a baby girl joining our family. While I struggled with anxiety – Anna, miles away, was ENCOURAGING ME. Can you believe it? She was preparing to place her child for adoption – and she was stronger than I was. But really, she IS stronger than I am. Anna knew she didn’t have the resources, the home, or the abilities to raise this baby – she made the hardest decision of her life to place her unborn daughter with another family, the decision to let us to raise her sweet baby as our own.

{place for adoption} – sometimes people ask me “why didn’t she want the baby?” First, it sounds harsh, but it’s none of their business. Second, and more importantly, placing a child for adoption does NOT mean the birth mother did not want the baby. Each story is different, but in our case, both of our children were wanted, loved and cared for from the start. We are blessed with two amazing children who each have amazing birth mothers. Both women decided to place their child for adoption for different reasons, but that does not mean they did not WANT them.

In early December, Anna called me to tell me she was in labor. Once again, even though SHE was the one in labor, she kept asking me how I was feeling, if I was going to be ok (it was probably apparent over the phone that I was crying tears of joy, and a little frantic to get us all packed up and ready to go!). We didn’t arrive in time to see our daughter enter this world, but Anna texted me pictures, and called me to ask what we wanted to name the baby. We arrived a few hours after our daughter was born. Anna asked if I would stay in the hospital with her – I stayed in an adjacent room and we shared feeding, diaper changes, and snuggles with baby girl through the night. We were co-mom-ing, and for some reason, it was the most comforting thing in the world. Ten days later, my husband and I went to court and the adoption was legal, baby girl was officially our daughter – but she was still Anna’s daughter too.

{was adopted} – “Is she adopted?” I am asked when people realize my daughter’s big dark eyes are not from my husband or I. Yes, I respond “she WAS adopted” - but adoption does not define who she is, so we say “was.” Even at 11 months, this baby girl is serious and inquisitive, sweet and snuggly, and an adventurer. She WAS adopted in December of 2015, she IS the strongest 11-month-old I have ever met. She gets it from her mom, her first mom.

Now, almost a year after our daughter was born, Anna and I are planning the biggest first birthday bash I have ever been a part of. We are friends on facebook, I share pictures, videos and stories with her of our sweet daughter. We talk about our day to day – and I get to encourage Anna as she goes back to school, found a better job, and works hard to improve her life. I take every chance I can get to remind her she is strong.

1 comment

  • Chantel : November 09, 2016

    Love your story!! Thanks for sharing!

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