The fourth thing on my list was "I'd write more letters to my adopted (released) daughter and her family..."
This one is really pretty self-explanatory. Some details: When I was 17 I had a baby. I knew I wasn't ready to take care of a child properly, so I decided the best option for her was to release her for adoption. It was 1987. Open adoption was a pretty revolutionary concept. The agency I worked through used a semi-open approach. That means no last names or addresses, no visitation, but scheduled letters and pictures from the adopted parents to the birth mother and open access to records when the child reaches 18.
I also had the option to write to her, and to her family. There was no schedule for me to follow. Really I was kind of a mess in my late teens and early 20's so I didn't write often and I fear what I did write sounded borderline crazy. Maybe I was.
I look back on it now, the HUNDREDS of letters I wrote but didn't send, and I just wish I had sent them. Maybe they were crazy, or sad, or lacked interesting content, but still... she and her family would have had a better understanding of who I was/am, what my struggles were, how much I loved her and them, and how hard and how long I grieved the loss of my beautiful baby girl. I absolutely do NOT regret the decision. I still believe with all my heart I made the right choice. It is, however, still a loss.
I'm rereading this post and I realize it has a far less personal feel to it than many of the others I've written. I think I've been negatively affected by some recent anti-adoption groups I stumbled upon. I am definitely pro-adoption. I think it's a loving, intelligent and selfless choice. I think it's a great option for girls too young, or just plain not ready to care for a child. And, most importantly, I think it is a kind, loving option for the babies involved. I don't understand the hatred toward birth mothers who chose or will choose this path. I don't understand the disdain for adoption agencies, the outright aggression specifically aimed toward Christian Crisis Pregnancy Centers. I don't understand the rage directed at those of us who think this is not only a viable option but a good one as well. I don't get the name calling and accusations of child abuse toward birth moms and adoption agencies. What I did was done to protect my baby from unnecessary hardship. I did it to try to give her a better and more stable start than I could have ever given her at 17. I don't get the childish name calling. Seriously. I. Don't. Get. It.
I don't get why I let it bother me. I don't know why I am always somehow hurt by people who carry opinions so rigid they promote hate, anger, and aggression toward those who don't agree with them. I believe everyone has a right to their opinions and beliefs. I believe you should have the right to express those opinions. I just wish people could be more compassionate to those whose beliefs differ from their own. I believe you change more minds and hearts with compassion and mercy than you ever will with rage and hatred.
Hmmm... seems I went off on quite a tangent.
I guess I'm playing this one close to the vest. Hope you don't mind.