I will never know the pain of placing a chid for adoption. I know I blogged prior to Baby Girls arrival about how I was uncomfortable with the notion of adoption being the end of my pain while knowing that it would be the start of a heart break for another Mom.
On the day we left the hospital in PA and began our journey home D came to the hospital. She arrived hours late puffy eyed with her mom as her support. I left the three of them alone- three generations of family. I knew that this would be D's last time alone with Baby Girl. There are many things that I wish D did differently to better herself and the lives of her two children her mother is guardian of. I know options she had but chose to reject. In reading birthmother blogs, adoption books, etc that a birthmothers grief may dissipate but it never goes away. I know D blames herself for baby girls condition at birth. I wonder at times if D's choice to reject her alternatives were a way of punishing herself, and covering the grief of placement. D is an adult (older then myself significantly). She has choices, she has support from her mother and daughter, but continues to spiral downward.
Adoption books often shed light on adoption as a means for birthmothers to "better themselves." Baby Girl was headed down a road towards DCF custody not going home with D. Based on D's track record I think the outcome would have been adoption regardless. I wish for D that at some point she finds it in herself to have enough self worth to take the support she has and the resource offered to her better herself. So as I send letters and receive silence in return I remind myself that D is grieving. I want so badly for Baby Girl to have communication back. How will I explain to Baby Girl that we sent letters/pictures to D but D does not have the emotional resources to write back? I also sometimes wonder that the letters/pictures D requested cause her pain vs. comfort?
Today as I left work a co-worker asked me about Baby Girl. While we waited and after baby girls birth she has said very little about baby girl or adoption so her conversation felt a little awkward. She shared with me how happy she was for our family and that six months has just flown by. She then timidly shared that a friend of hers placed a child for adoption many years ago and since has married and had three children. She shared that her friend still grieves over the placement and it was during the time of closed adoption. She told me she had shared our excitement as perspective adoptive parents and now parents with this friend. She shared with me that she felt like sharing our experience from one of the other perspectives of adoption helped her friend. I didn't ask and I'll never know- but based on her story I actually wonder if she herself was that birthmother we helped.
As I started- I will never know the pain. I can only guess it to be a fraction of the pain of infertility because at least with infertility we knew that adoption would grant us the ability to be parents. For birthparents once you sign those papers and the waiting period is over- there will never be a chance to parent that child.