Monday, February 22, 2016

Is Anyone Out There?: Finding Support as a Birth Mother

By: Nicole Strickland

Thirteen years ago, I left the hospital as a proud new mom. Unlike most new moms, though, I also left the hospital with empty arms and a broken heart, as I had just placed my newborn baby boy into the arms of his adoptive mom and dad.

I went home and, for weeks, just tried desperately to navigate this “new normal.” Having a baby is always a life-changing event, but most new parents are overwhelmed by around-the-clock feedings, diaper changes, and sleep deprivation. In my case, I was overwhelmed with grief, sadness, and solitude. Although my family and friends were supportive of my decision to place my child for adoption and sympathetic to what I was going through, most had no idea what I was really experiencing. I felt so alone, and for many weeks was struggling just to make it through my day-to-day activities.

Unlike many birth mothers, I did not place my child through an adoption agency. Instead, I placed through a private adoption attorney, who only provided me legal services. This meant I did not have a social worker or counselor at the agency to whom I could reach out.

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