Why Does Understanding My Placement Get Harder with Time?

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As a child, you mostly accept what you’re told and you move on. Plus, you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about personal relationships. It’s easy to focus on your immediate family and not worry about much else. As you get older, your perceptions start to change, and you start to see the bigger picture. You start to imagine a world outside of yourself.

As we become older, we start to see mothers interact with children or perhaps we become parents ourselves. Placement seems like an unnatural thing. It may be something we are grateful for, or in awe of, but still something that we do not understand. It’s okay to not understand or agree with the reasons why.

When I became a mom, I lost all sense of how placement was possible. I didn’t have a lot of money or support from family, but I could not have imagined placement. If you had taken my baby away, you might as well have killed me because I never would have recovered. I don’t know how a woman makes that decision or forages through after it’s been made, but I am thankful for all the women who do.

I think the most important things to remember are that life is the luck of the draw and what happened in the past is in the past. A wonderful life is not guaranteed, even for an adoptee. Parents may look great on paper, but life changes and evolves. Sometimes you just get what you get. Your placement happened way in the past. It’s over. Your birth parents are likely different people than they were all those years ago. My best advice is to allow yourself the opportunity to heal from whatever bothers you about your placement and move on. For you, that may mean finding your biological family, or maybe it’s just reconciling that the situation may never make sense to you. But you have to move on and not let the past define who you are.


Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and a mother of two, currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees’ rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life.

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