What Placing My Daughter For Adoption Taught Me About My Own Placement

This guest post is by Jori Reid, a birthmother.

jori-reidIn a milion years I could not have imagined being in the same shoes as my birth mother.   As a teenager I was angry, hurt, heart broken and even resented her for placing me for adoption.

How dare she not want me — an infant so small and frail! Whatever I did to deserve to be given away was something I could not comprehend — until I placed my first born daughter for adoption.

I learned how horribly wrong I had been. I prayed for peace and for the Lord to soften my heart towards her.

I don’t believe in coincidences, nothing happens by chance. There is a reason for everything, even if we do not know what it is at that moment.

In February 2008 I found out I was pregnant. My world as I knew it seemed to have come crashing down around me. My poor choices finally caught up with me.

I was terrified to tell my parents.

I had grown up in a strong Christian household. To my complete surprise my family was supportive of whatever I wanted to do.

My mother made it very clear that it was my choice and they would all back me up. I knew I had two choices. To be a single parent or place my baby for adoption.

I was very familiar with adoption because I was adopted by my family at six months old.  Little did I know that a family thousands of miles away a was praying for a baby.

This family were friends of my family long before I was born. I struggled with what the right choice for me would be. At the beginning of June I found out I would be having a girl. Things got real.

I knew I loved this baby growing inside of me with every fiber of my being. But was that really enough?

It takes more than love to raise a child. I wanted my baby to have two parents. A mother and a father. A financially stable home. I wanted her to be sealed to her family for time and all eternity. My baby had that right and I thought who was I to deny that to her.

As I sat with our family friend on a warm sunday afternoon in June, he told me about his other two adopted children who I had met before and their adoption stories. He told me how he and his wife would be honored to raise my daughter.

It was finally my turn to speak. My chest began to burn and tears filled my eyes as I tried to speak.

I was having doubts about adoption after finding out the baby was a girl.

At that moment all of my doubts faded and I knew from that instant that he and his wife were meant to raise my baby.  That this baby I was carrying was not meant for me.

By the end of the meeting we all were crying. Not only were their prayers answered, but mine were as well. I will never forget that tremendous uplifting experience as long as I live.

The next thing I knew it was October. I can’t believe how quickly my pregnancy sailed by. During this time I kept in touch with the adoptive family through emails, telling them about my doctor’s appoitnments and I even sent them photo of expanding belly.

Because they couldn’t get pregnant on their own and weren’t able to be there for their other two children’s births, I did my best to keep them in the loop and to make the experience about them rather than me. They really appreciated it, especially the baby shower I threw for the adoptive mother a few days before the baby’s birth.

As we got closer to the delivery date, I started to put together a hospital plan.

I decide that I wanted them to both be in the room during the birth and for the adoptive father to cut her umbilical cord. My daughter’s birth was such an amazing experience.

The following Spring, my No. 1 goal for her came true.  She was sealed to her family for this life and the next. That gives me such great joy that I cannot express my feelings.

Like I said I don’t believe in coincidences.

It was six months after I placed my daughter that I found my biological mother.

It was the week of Mother’s Day.  It felt like my dream would never come true to find my biological mother due to having a closed adoption.  Then, on May 6, 2009, I decided to do a simple white pages search online.

I didn’t have a lot of information to work with. The only thing I knew was her maiden last name and that she was from Delaware. Thinking she may still have family in the state, I started searching, only to discover there were about 63 listings with the same last name.

Undaunted, I picked up the phone and dialed the number at the top of the list. When an elderly man answered, I asked if Debbie was there. When he told me no, I asked if Debbie Sexton was a relative.  He told me that was his daughter.

I was so shocked I could barely say a word.

“She might be my birth mother,” I told him.

There was a silence. Then he told me that years ago his daughter had placed a baby for adoption. Tears streamed down my cheeks I couldn’t believe it.

I had found my birthmother.

She had grown up only about an hour from where I lived!  I had called my grandparents house.

Through dedication and determination, I met my biological mother on May 8, 2009.  She said it was the best Mother’s Day present she had ever received. She told me that letting me go was the hardest thing she had ever done, and that she had always been praying for this moment.

As an adoptee, you always wonder who you are and where you came from.

But because of closed records, I never thought this day would arrived.

Just knowing how my birthmother felt (because I felt the same way even though I knew it was the right thing to do), brought much needed inner peace to me.

We now have a bond of friendship that can never be broken. There were a lot of answered prayers that day. The void in my heart is now full because of her. There is no more wondering.

I am so thankful for the gift of adoption and I want the world to know just how bittersweet adoption can be.

My life has truly been blessed by adoption. I want to thank my biological mom for doing the right thing for me, even though it was the hardest thing for her.  And my adopted parents for giving me a wonderful life.

My life is a journey and adoption is a big part of that journey. Through the heartache, pain, tears, unspoken prayers, answered prayers I have found hope, love, forgiveness, and grace.

Adoption for some is not a perfect picture and there are unforseen issues that arise after placement. For me it was a magnificent gift. A thousand time over I would never go back and change a single thing.

I am an adoptee and birthmother.

Jori Reid is an adoptee and a birthmother in an open adoption. Now married, she has four-year-old twin daughters and a 10-month-old son and is stationed at Tyndall AFB in Florida.

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