I have always found writing to be a therapeutic outlet. You can say anything you want. You don’t have to worry about anyone interrupting you. You don’t have someone telling you that your feelings are invalid or stupid. You don’t have anyone telling you what they would do, or how you should handle the situation.
When writing, you are true to yourself. It’s not about anyone else or their feelings. There is no right or wrong way to write.
As a kid, I never felt like I could tell anyone how I really felt. I really got into writing when I started questioning why my parents got divorced. I was a teenager, and the feelings I had toward one parent weren’t things I felt I could freely express. I wrote those feelings down and stupidly mailed them to that parent. It hurt our relationship for quite awhile.
That’s when I realized how much damage words, written or otherwise, can really hurt. From that time on, I kept all my feelings on paper, and to myself.
Fast forward a few years, and I learn that I’m pregnant. I had to first understand my feelings before telling my parents or the biological father. So, I started writing in a journal. I knew I couldn’t keep the pregnancy to myself forever, and that I had to tell my parents. I took the chicken way out, and wrote them a letter.
My parents worked in the same office and went to work together. I figured I’d put the letter in my moms purse, knowing she’d find it on her way to work. My thought process was that if they had all day to absorb this information, they wouldn’t be as upset or disappointed by the time they got home. It worked. To this day, I truly believe that if I had told them face to face, it wouldn’t have gone over as well.
The first four months of my pregnancy, I was determined to keep my baby, no matter what anyone else thought. During those four months I was miserable. I was angry. I couldn’t sleep. I snapped at everyone. I just wasn’t happy anymore. My choice to raise her wasn’t the reason, it was my circumstances.
I tried to write every single thought, good or bad, on paper. I never wanted her to ever doubt the love I had for her. This was even more important when I came to the realization that placing her for adoption would be the best decision for her.
With the type of adoption I chose, I was able to write to the adoptive parents throughout the remaining months of my pregnancy. In fact, the way I told them they were the parents I chose for my child, was in a card. This couple had been picked before and the adoption took place. I wanted to make it special for them. I picked out a “Mom to Be” card and a “Parents to Be” one. I wrote a little note in each one and the adoption agency sent it to them. Just writing the little note inside those cards was a way, I felt, to convey exactly what I was feeling at that moment.
If I didn’t write throughout my unplanned pregnancy, I don’t think I would have been able to handle the emotions that were yet to come after I placed her for adoption. Those emotions were on a whole different level.
Not long after placing her into their arms, I was asked to speak at an adoption convention. There would be adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents in attendance. I had only given birth about a month prior to this convention.
Speaking in front of a large group of people, off the cuff, is not one of my strong suits. Thankfully, I was comfortable writing all my feelings down, and reading from that. No matter how difficult it was to share very raw and recent emotions with a room filled with strangers, I knew it needed to be done. Knowing that I had expressed very true and heartfelt sentiments, I felt good walking away from the podium. If what I said helped just one person in that room, understand what a birth mother goes through, then I did what I needed to.
I wrote an article, years ago, for Adoptive Families Magazine. The article was about the events leading up to and including the adoption. It was one of the most cathartic things I have ever written about my pregnancy.
Writing has always been an outlet for things that I never thought I could verbally say. I wrote down everything. I wrote as if I were talking to her and from the heart. I wanted her to know how much I love her, and that none of this was her fault. I wanted her to know that I wanted to be her mom more than anything. I wanted her to know how scared I was.
If for no other reason, writing down your feelings lets you understand how you’re feeling in that exact moment. That goes for any situation you are going through. It has helped me through many different hard times in my life.
Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.