I think, as birth mothers, we tend to fabricate what an adoption will look like. Personally, I was under the impression–before my son was even born–that he would come up to me crying one day asking me how I could possibly give him up. I thought about all the different things I’d tell him and how to convince him that it wasn’t because I wanted to give him up. Fast-forward about five years, and he hasn’t ever asked me a question like that once.
When I think about the reasons my son would even care to ask about my choice to place him would be if he didn’t get along with his adoptive family, if the adoption were closed, or if I had vastly different (and much better) circumstances when I placed him. Needless to say, I chose his adoptive family with the utmost care, and he loves them unconditionally. We have a wide-open adoption, so he sees me now and then and knows who I am to him. One day he may ask about the circumstances behind me placing him, but he is too young and happy with the living situation he’s in. He has no reason to be in tears at my feet begging me to tell him why. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that it’s most likely not going to be an over-romanticized scene from a movie; it will most like just come up in casual conversation, if it ever comes up at all.
However, it has always been in the back of my mind that he will want me to tell him why I placed him. So, over the years, I’ve written letters to him that his parents are keeping for him until he’s older, I’ve talk with him and his family countless times, so he knows I’m not blocking him from my life, I’m telling him every chance I get that I love him, and I show respect for his family so he knows I’m confident with my decision to let them parent him.
There still may come a day where he has questions, and for other birth mothers, they may get confronted about why they chose to place. But I think we just need to let them know they are loved, and gently answer their questions honestly as we’re asked.
Lindsey Olsen is a birth mother who placed her son in 2012. She is also a parent to a beautiful little girl, and wife to (who she thinks is) the most amazing man in the world. Her favorite things are her faith, her family, and her country.