Sunday, November 28, 2010

how people reacted to adoption.

I wrote this for Stefanie's blog on the negative or postive things that were said when I told people that I was placing. I've added in some other things that I recently thought of.

People just always kind of knew I was planning on placing my baby for adoption. I don't know how, but I didn't really have to come straight out and tell everyone, especially at school. Word travels fast when you're the only pregnant girl at a high school, so I guess the news that I was placing travelled with it. Which didn't bother me any, because it was kind of awkward to tell people. I guess I just felt bad about it- I knew the truth about adoption, but there are many misconceptions and people tend to think it is such a negative thing. (I hope that my story has helped clear up some of those though!) 

I guess most recently I have had to deal with telling people more because I started college where no one knew me, or what had happened. I started school the day my baby turned one month old, so it was pretty fresh in my mind. We had to introduce ourselves and say 7 things about us. My things included one big one- that I had a month old son. Thats when the girls started asking questions.. like "how can you be away from him all day?" or, "don't you feel bad leaving him so young?" and at that point I wondered if I should have told them. But I realized they would eventually find out because I was spending the next 9 months with the same 20 girls, so I was very open with my story.  I shortly explained that I had placed him for adoption, and the questions stopped. I think they just didn't know what to say, because they didn't know me very well yet. But now we talk very freely about it, and I allow them to ask any questions they want. One girl recently asked "WHY." Just straight up, "Dallas, why did you do it." I could tell she was probably judging me a little bit for it, because adoption isn't something common here in Canada. I was a little offended because of the tone in her voice, but I looked right in her eyes, and firmly stated that it was the best thing for my son and I knew he was meant for the family he is with. I think it softened her outlook on it, and we have discussed it more now. 

Honestly, people never really said much to me about my decision. I'm sure they talked to each other behind my backs, but never to my face and I am thankful for that. I felt as though I didn't owe an explanation or apology to anyone. It was a personal decision based on the overall well-being of my baby, and there were so many reasons for it that I couldn't say in a single way "why." It definitely helped that throughout my pregnancy everyone was positive. But I felt so good about it, that I probably wouldn't have cared if anyone had been negative towards my decision. There are a few things that really bothered me about what people said. 
Some thought I was being selfish and placing my son for adoption just because I didn't want to have a child. Well hey, not true at all. This may be biased, but to me adoption is the most self-less thing any parent can do for their child. I went through hell and back to give Cash the life he deserved.. I cried countless tears over the loss I felt simply for his eternal gain. If I was concerned about my own feelings, I would have kept him so I wouldn't have to feel those pains. It would have been so much easier at the time. Another thing that upsets any birthmom is when people say adopted children never fit in with their adoptive families. I disagree. I believe anyone will be molded and shaped to their surroundings, and to me, Cash's 'family' is the one he was raised in, not the one he is biologically from. 
A month after placement, I posted a picture of Cash of facebook. I wanted my friends and family who didn't see him at the hospital to see a picture of him, because he was a big part of their lives for those 9 months. Well I guess that didn't sit well with some people, and someone close to me said that it was "weird." She said that when I "gave him up", it made Cash D&Y's child and basically told me that I should let it go. She said I was sharing him with them, and that talking about him, seeing him, and having contact with his parents made things harder on me. Well as you can imagine, that didn't sit well with me. Never, ever, tell a birthmother what they are feeling. Until you are in the position, you have no idea what we are feeling. I have never "shared" Cash with them.. obviously I knew what I was doing when I signed the relinquishment papers. I signed all my parental rights over to them. No sharing there! I agree fully when she said he's their child, but I can't just act like it never happened, because it did. I won't ever just "get over it". Talking about him, seeing pictures, and having contact with his parents makes the hurt bearable. And after placement, I started doing whatever made ME feel better- I had to take care of myself. So what if people thought something I did was weird- if it helped with the hurt, I didn't care what others thought. Times have changed, and adoptions are no longer kept on the down low. It killed me to hear what this person was saying. We had a pretty bad argument, but it was so frustrating to me because she had never bothered to talk to me about things before. If you aren't educated on adoption, or know exactly what situation the birthmother is in, DO NOT say your opinions to her. 
Decent people don't intentionally set out to be offensive to birthparents, but the majority of people just don't understand what adoption is really like now, so they say things without thinking. They just have the wrong impression of it. 
 It is my hope to educate as many people as I can about the positivities of adoption so birthmothers like myself won't be hurt by uneducated comments, and change the way the world views it. But in the end, what other people think and say doesn't matter. Words can hurt, but there's nothing greater than the joy you get when you know you did the right thing for your child. 


  1. A co worker of mine, after I shared my quick story told me about a friend who is a birthmom and went on that she tells her friend not to talk about it. I told her it's the worst thing that you can tell her. I gave my number so she could call me if she wanted to talk to someone who understands but she hasn't called yet.

  2. Dallas - you know what is best for your son, I'm proud of you.

  3. Dallas, I think your amazing...and I had no idea that so may people were so negative about adoption, It is a beautiful thing!! I'm so glad that you share your opinions so openly, I love reading them.

  4. Shucks this was hard for me to read! Whenever I hear the 'negative feedback' stories I really do just get so protective and angry! I've never been able to understand why people would be hurtful towards someone who has been through an experience such as adoption. Too many misconceptions for such a beautifull/bittersweet thing.

  5. so its okay for birthmoms to say their opinions on everything and say whatever they want to other people, but no one can say what they want to a birthmom, because she is simply a birthmom?

  6. I would never say "simply" a birthmom.. there is nothing simple about it.
    I understand your point though, and i guess I may have said NEVER a little too harshly. However, Adoption is such a sensitive and personal topic that I strongly feel like it is no ones place nor business to state their opinions about adoption to anyone affected by it. I can relate adoption most closely it to a death- if someone close to you died, and someone made a degrading comment towards that person, would you not be extremely upset? Or maybe states a comment about your religion/beliefs/values that offends you. Every person is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions, but it is kind of an assumed law that we still respect each other by not making comments that hurt other people. I believe Adoption is sacred and beautiful thing and would love for it to be treated with respect so in return, I want to be treated with respect.
    I do realize that I have no control of what people say to me or about my situation, but this is my personal blog. That entitles me to post my feelings and opinions about any topic I wish, and I chose to write about my life as a birthmom. I am not forcing my opinions on anyone, nor am I asking for any feedback. Seeing as you are anonymous, I am guessing that I did not personally invite you to read my blog.. so if you don't agree with what I say, I suggest you take your comments elsewhere.

  7. Amen Dallas amen! I agree with you 100%

  8. I just found your blog and am sitting here crying you have a way with words I love your blog your story and your attitude people just don't understand and say hurtful things on both sides unless they've been through it they don't understand! I love adoption and each of my childrens birth mothers and the birth fathers we know about... I have four children all adopted through lds family services and I couldn't love them more then if I had given birth to them they are beautiful inside and out happy adjusted and we are like any other family so to those that don't understand and think its a horrible thing need to look around and see the good in it. I have a family because of four equally beautiful self less girls like you who looked beyond themselves and saw the life they wanted for their babies! Thank so much for sharing your story you are beautiful inside and out and so is that little boy!!!

  9. I just found your blog too. Thanks for sharing your story. I wish you all the best for 2011 :).