My name is Leanne, I’m from Saskatchewan, Canada and in 1988 I became a birth mom.
Growing up, my relationship with my family was strained. I had a mind of my own and did not like to live by the rules. I had older parents and was born much later than my siblings.
Leading up to discovering that I was pregnant, I was in a rebellious stage of life.
I was smoking pot and drinking. I was living with friends and not working…and I was dating a man with whom I believed we had a good relationship. When I told him I was pregnant he drove me to his house, parked outside and told me that inside the house were his wife and daughter...and then told me to have an abortion.
I wasn’t in a good place at the time mentally.
At first I was going to raise my baby. I waited past the 3 months to tell my parents. When I told them the first thing they said was that I needed to have an abortion…which growing up Catholic was surprising to hear.
After a few weeks of considering single parenting, I wrote my sister a letter and asked to and live with her, I wanted to clean up my life and start over.
My sister lived in Vancouver. She was in agreement and I picked up my welfare cheque and hopped a train headed west.
That is when the whole adoption process started, I was 6 months pregnant.
Finding a family for my baby was a cold process…I ended up with a private adoption. In 1988 open adoption was not talked about as much, I actually never heard about it. Then, one day, I was meeting with a financial assistance officer and she asked my what my plan was, I told her adoption. She told me she had a friend that worked for social services that wanted a baby and that they were having trouble adopting. She told her friend and the friend and her husband wrote me a letter.
They felt perfect so I chose them.
We never met.
I wrote my birth daughter a long letter explaining where I was at during that time in my life and told her about me.
When it came time to place my birth daughter, it was gut wrenching. I dissociated and from then on forced myself to believe that I sent her to a magical place and that she had the best upbringing ever. I just wanted to forget what was happening.
I thought I chose the "perfect" family only to find out years later that my decision was far from perfect. I don't resent her A parents for this, they did the best they could.... my daughter has my personality times 1000 so she wasn’t exactly an angel.
I’m sharing my story because I want the world to know we are not bad people, birth moms. We are caring and selfless by choosing adoption. I personally chose to not have more children as the guilt I carried was horrible. Placing my daughter was the hardest decision of my life. I still have gut wrenching pain today even though my birth daughter is in my life and is so beautiful inside and out.
If I could give adoptive parents advise for loving their children’s birth parents it would be to keep them in your life, there will come a time when your child may struggle in school or have personality issues you don't understand. If you have the Birth parent in your life, on some level, you might have a better insight on personality wise or medically.
A special thanks to Talk About Adoption, a nonprofit organization loving on empowering women facing unexpected pregnancies, for connecting us with Leeanne!