At Choice we get to work with extraordinary women… brave women, selfless women, women who love their babies more than they love themselves. Our advocates walk alongside these women while they make heart-breaking, life giving, future altering decisions. This is a little Q&A with one of our most recent birth mamas Kaitlin who we first met in Seattle, WA. She was living in a shelter with her partner and her daughter, waiting for more permanent housing through a state program. She owned one pair of shoes, had no transportation and carried everything they owned in 3 backpacks. Though she had very little in terms of material things, she had the undeniable drive to find the best life for her son and for herself.
One word to describe how you felt the moment you discovered you were pregnant?
Why did you choose adoption?
The second I found out I was pregnant, I knew I couldn’t raise him or her the way I wanted to. The baby and I both deserved better.
What and who played the biggest role in your decision to place your child for adoption?
Finances and my boyfriend. I knew I couldn’t provide everything this baby needs. I was already parenting my 2 year old daughter and that was a daily struggle. I want to be able to support my child(ren) and if I can’t do that alone, then maybe my life isn’t where it should be. I need to focus on me, my daughter and my relationship.
Pictured: Kaitlin and her son the day she gave birth.
What did you think about adoption before you placed? And after you placed?
I was afraid that adoption was still closed like it used to be because if it was I wouldn’t have gone with this option. I couldn’t imagine not being a part of my son’s life. Afterwards, I believe adoption is a Godsend and I am incredibly blessed to be a part of this amazing community.
Looking back, what do you wish you had known then that you know today?
I wish I would have known how much love surrounded me. I felt very alone all throughout my pregnancy until I met my advocate. She was there for me whenever I needed her. I remember calling her once because I didn’t know how to make lasagna. I know that’s not “her job” but she walked me through it (over the cell phone she got for me so I could safely keep in touch with her, my partner, and doctor) step by step until I put a completed lasagna in the oven. Then I sent her pictures of the final product.
If you could dispel any myths about adoption or birth mothers – what would you say?
That we “gave up” our children and that we don’t love them as much as mothers who decide to parent. The truth is that we love our children more than we love ourselves and therefore selflessly decide to give them exactly what they deserve. I couldn’t give him the life he deserved.
When, if ever, have you felt most discouraged about your decision to place?
When I see young, single mothers parenting. If they can do it, so could I. But the truth is, I have no idea what their story is… who’s supporting them… if they are happy… if each of them is living the life they hoped for. So I have to remember the choice I made was the best choice for me and my son… that’s what’s important.
What’s been the greatest reward or surprise of being a birth mother?
Being able to say that I’m a mother. I may not parent my son daily, but I carried him for 9 months and cared for him. I know what he’s up to thanks to our open adoption, and I see him regularly. To be able to say that makes me feel empowered and more feminine then I’ve ever felt before.
What’s your greatest wish for birth mothers today?
That we can celebrate this extraordinary decision together and we will always be there for each other, no matter the circumstances.