An unplanned pregnancy can feel like the worst thing that has ever happened to a young female. I know when I was growing up, I was taught that if I became pregnant before I was married and ready to have children, that becoming pregnant was a negative thing. It would be a “burden” because it would have been a responsibility that I wasn’t ready for. I now see my unplanned pregnancy as a blessing in disguise.
I recently read an article regarding a birth mother’s adoption story and the stigma that she faced. The stigma that she faced has to do with saying that adoption is a way “out” of being a mother. I completely disagree. Once you are a mother, you are always a mother. The love you feel for your child never leaves, and the desire to have that unending bond with them never leaves. Adoption is not a way “out”, it is a transition.
I know that it can be a shock to find out that you are pregnant when it’s unplanned. I went through that. I was floored when I found out that my birth control hadn’t worked and I was going to give birth to a baby. It took time to accept and process that I had a life growing inside of me. I hadn’t planned it, and yet it was happening regardless. After accepting that an unplanned pregnancy is not something that you can just get “out” of, my next step was to decide what to do about it. The question for some becomes, “Will I keep the baby and be its parent or will I make another choice?”
My decision for adoption had nothing to do with wanting to put anything “behind me”. It had to do with making a decision to love my son in the way I deemed best for him. I have never seen adoption as a solution for “a way out”. I have seen adoption as a valuable option, and sometimes, the only option for a child to have the life that he or she deserves.
If you find that you are in a situation, and you don’t want to face the reality of that situation, I would call that denial. Denial is not a state of mind I would suggest being in if you are making choices for your child. Reality is a much healthier place to be when making decisions for your child. Being in denial, and putting a child up for adoption, will have consequences. Yet, there are always consequences to our choices.
I know what it feels like to have your life flipped upside-down by an unplanned pregnancy. But that is no excuse for denial of a reality. If you find that you are in denial about being in an unplanned pregnancy, my suggestion is to seek out support, therapy, and look deep down within in order to realize that the truth is: this is life. This is reality. Unplanned events occur and it is up to us how we want to deal with them.
Denial is a normal part of the grieving process. I think that one of the reasons that we go through denial when we have an unplanned pregnancy is that we may feel that we are grieving the life that we dreamed. We have plans, and pregnancy, as was taught to us when we were young, can ruin your life. I think part of maturing is realizing that we were taught incorrectly. Pregnancy, whether planned or not, doesn’t ruin our lives, it changes it.
If you find that you are in a form of denial regarding pregnancy, motherhood, and your life, perhaps you could ask yourself why you find yourself in a state of denial? What are you afraid of? Who are you afraid of?
Society Will Evolve
If someone is asking you to deny what you know to be true and how you really feel about putting a child up for adoption, then I wouldn’t listen to them. I know that there are those out there who believe that adoption is a poor option, but I truly believe that for them, adoption may not have been the best option. I never blame a birth mother for that. I don’t think any of us should. I think it is how society evolves that helps us open our eyes to the ever-changing world of adoption, and how beautiful it can really be.
I do not agree that one bad adoption experience should dictate how our entire society views birth parents and adoption in general. I also find that my fairy tale adoption story should not set the tone either. I think we need more research, more conversations, and more openness in those conversations in order to really determine whether or not adoption is the best option for us. While While adoption may not be the best answer for some, it was absolutely the best decision for my son and me.
I also want to mention, any child who has been adopted and assumes that that means they weren’t loved, is probably not being properly educated on the feelings that their birth mother had for them.
Reality is Reality
Growing up, I was taught that reality is what you perceive it to be. You can change reality based on how you see your world. I now believe that facts are facts, and reality is not based on perception, but in facts themselves. There is a reality to dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. It takes acceptance and the wherewithal to make an educated and wise decision. The decision as to whether or not to raise a child will be most effective in the long run if it comes from a place of acceptance of reality instead of a place of denial of the reality of the situation. Adoption is not right for everyone. Raising children at certain points in life is not right for everyone. As parents, it is up to us to use our best judgment in determining the best decision for our children.
Don’t let anyone tell you what is best for you and your child. Be aware of the reality of your situation, make the best decision you are able to out of a place of acceptance. Acceptance will make the healing process much easier.
Lindsay is a guest blogger for Considering Adoption. She placed her son for adoption 7 years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.