Hi! My name is Annaleece, your friendly neighborhood birthmom. Maybe you’ve seen me around the ‘gram at @annaleece.fairbanks. I am writing this letter on behalf of the expectant mom you will meet someday. Of course, I can’t speak for every woman who chooses adoption or claim to know her story. But, I have enough experience to know what she might like you to know, because I’ve been there! I hope you will take some time to think about this letter that I wrote from her perspective.
Dear Hopeful Adoptive Parent,
I’m scared to write this letter. Choosing adoption has been a very difficult choice for me, and the second most difficult has been choosing a family for my child. I’m nervous. I’m scared to have this baby, and even more scared to watch you walk away with them. But I’m doing what I feel is best. I hope this letter will help you understand where I’m coming from.
It’s possible that you may have been misled about me. You may have bought into some stereotypes- either I am an immature teen who doesn’t want to take responsibility for my child, or that I am a drug addict, unfit to be a mom. Please hear my story and realize that I am my own person. I could be choosing adoption for a myriad of reasons. It's my circumstances, not who I am as a person that makes adoption the right choice for me at this stage of my life. I am just as human as you are, so please respect me.
Even if I am making choices that you don’t understand or agree with, try to see my history and circumstances and show me love and kindness while setting healthy boundaries.
Please understand that I’m not here to steal your baby. You are a ‘real’ mom or dad. You care for your child, you love them, you raise them just like any other parent. I just want you to remember that I matter too. When I placed my baby for adoption I knew that I wouldn’t be their mother in a traditional sense anymore, but I still love them as much as if I were. Open adoption doesn’t mean I’m going to swoop in and “take them back”. I just want to be involved in the life of the child I bore.
Put yourself in my shoes for a moment. Closed adoption would mean that every day I would wonder where my baby was, what they look like, if they even know I exist. I would have to go my whole life knowing that somewhere out there, I was missing out on the life of the child I carried- if they were even still alive. For all I know, they could be dead. I’m not trying to be morbid, I’m just being honest. These are the thoughts that so many birth moms deal with every day.
Your child will have many of the same questions about me as I do about them. They might struggle with those questions, or with feelings of abandonment. Please let me help. I can answer their questions so they aren’t left to wonder. I can share with them their story and my love for them. I am not here to be your rival. I’m here to be your ally in helping this child grow up happy and healthy.
Open adoption won’t fix everything. I will still grieve for my entire life. Not a day will go by that I won’t miss the child I placed. Your child may still have feelings of anger or frustration about their adoption story. Sometimes the relationship might get complicated. It’s a hard situation for everyone, and there is no perfect solution- but open adoption is often the best one.
Your family and I, having contact after I place my child with you, will help me so much. I hope we can build a loving friendship. If I placed with you, it’s clear that I think you are wonderful people. Keeping your promises to me will help me heal and continue on to build a great life for myself, and it will help your child to know they are loved by both of their families. Open adoption can really be a win-win for all involved!
I hope this letter helps you understand that I am so much more than just an incubator. I hope you see me as a person who has hopes and dreams for my baby, just like you. I hope you will consider the healing power of an open adoption. Together, we can build more than a family tree- we can plant an orchard.
Your future friend
Guest blogger- Annaleece Fairbanks, a birth mom
Find her on Instagram at: @annaleece.fairbanks