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  #16  
Old 06-22-2007, 10:12 AM
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taramayrn taramayrn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh1788smom
You have gotten a lot of great advice and perspectives here. But keep in mind - you are on a pro-adoption website. Not that there is anything wrong with adoption, but you are not going to find adoption bashing here.
.

True on the fact that we are a "pro-adoption" website, however, I think if you looked around you'd find that alot of the birthparents (and adoptees and adoptive parents as well) who post here aren't singing the joys of adoption. We try very hard here to balance the positives and the negatives of adoption and to portray them equally.
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  #17  
Old 06-25-2007, 06:05 AM
lisa914 lisa914 is offline
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Heart Wow

I am sorry that so much drama has been going on for you. You have already begun the journey as a parent by taking the role as primary caregiver for your partner and your unborn child. I truly commend you for that. First, of all both my husband and his sister were adopted from different families into a wonderful, loving home. Their parents were unable to have a child, after many attempts and losses they decided to adopt. They both were grateful that God had blessed them with 2 wonderful children. My husband actually met his birth mother a few years back and now he has 2 unbelievably fantastic families. You must do what feels right in your heart, no one not even your parents can make your decision for you. You could also consider an open adoption which would provide you with an interest in the child minus the responsibility. Pray on the matter, seek advice from your pastor or a licensed counselor.
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  #18  
Old 06-25-2007, 04:14 PM
JC_in_VA JC_in_VA is offline
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Your Options are heavy on your Heart

I know exactly where you are coming from. I want to first tell about myself before I make further comments on your situation and I'll understand if you choose not to read any further afterwards.

I am now 33 years old and my partner is just a few years younger. We've been together nearly 11 years nows and married for two of those 11 years. I'll make this short and sweat and hope to not be as lenghty as you were so as not to bore you.

In any case yes he and I are a same sex couple. We bothe have very large supportive familes and both of us are well set in our careers and secure in our home and family life. We have fantastic relationships with both sides of our families.

On the flip side of that, before I really came to grips with who I really was and before I cam out of the closet, I was with a girl for roughly 4 years. Towards the end of our relationship..(I was turning 19 at the time) she got pregnant with my child. I knew at the time I was just way too young to be a daddy but at the same time my parents were extremely excited and offered any help that we needed. Long story short, the family started preparing for what I was hoping to be a baby boy. Well, she went and had an abortion without telling any of us. I must tell you that I was completely devistated and so was my family. Till this day nearly 14-15 years later it haunts me. If she wanted to put it up for adoption I would have been totaly supportive in her decision.

We have been trying to find an adoptee for some time now so I can imagine your heartache right now.

Nevertheless, your decision will follow you for the rest of your life. Your girlfriend has done some pretty stupid things it sounds and unless she has cleaned her act and stopped with the drugs she is taking a huge chance in the baby being not only premature but it may also have some pretty serious medical problems. You have decide if you want your parents to take on that burden because if it does have medical problems, those bills can get pretty expensive very quickly. If the two of you decide to put the baby up for adoption, you need to be very open and honest with whomever the adoptive parents are.

One thing to keep in mind is how you will feel about your decision long-term. I don't want to sound like I am pushing you to give the child up for adoption as we are seeking to adopt versus I am sympathetic to your situation.

I hope that whatever you decide that you do it in the best interest of the child and do exactly what your heart tells you to do and not what people tell you to or try to persuade you in doing. I would like to hear back from you and what you have decided to do. In any case, you should also be very supportive and emotionally stable for your girlfriend. Yes she has made some bad decisions, but if she is truely wanting to be clean, than you being constantly by her side will be good for her.

Its a very noble thing you are doing. Stay strong and keep your head on. Only you know what to do. We wish you both all the best.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BewilderedZach
Hello,

I'm stressed to the absolute max. My brain is in a fog and I could use some honest opinions and advice. Knowing myself (and the situation) this might be a bit of a long post, so I'll apologize in advance (and thank those who still choose to read it).

First I'll try to give a (relatively) brief description of my situation.

I'm 22 years old, just graduated from college (a month ago), and my girlfriend is 21. We've been seeing each other a little over a year. We've had amazing chemistry and our relationship has been incredible in nearly all aspects with only a few exceptions (major ones), most notably ... trust. She has deceived me, and continues to. She's truly what I feel is a compulsive liar (lies to the point that she probably believes her lies about some things). I know she had some rough experiences as a child, and I feel she has projected a significant amount of her pain onto me. Until now, I consciously chose to take as much of the pain and give as much of my love as I could until she/we were either fixed or I was completely burnt out. So, what is THE situation? She's 34 weeks pregnant.

About 2-3 months ago I first noticed that she had gained a little bit of weight in her stomach. I decided it was too important to ignore and I asked her (as nicely as I could) if she was pregnant. She went into a lengthy explanation of how she wasn't pregnant and would know if she was. She told me that she gains weight in her stomach and not in her breasts or butt like other girls ... and it made a bit of sense as I knew her to be an active girl, always playing sports, until recently when we had been a bit lazy and eating lots of fast food. Anyway, about a week passed and it was still on my mind, so I asked her if we could do a pregnancy test. I'll spare the details of exactly what happened over the next two months, but many fights, discussions, faked pregnancy tests (about five of them), lies about birth control/periods/etc, I finally put my foot down and essentially expressed that she needed to take a test with me in the room or we were through. This might sound harsh, but please take my word in that I've been nothing but supportive, appreciative and loving of this girl since day one, and nothing else. She took the test, and of course it was positive.

The most disturbing aspect of the deception is that after I first brought it up to her and she told me she wasn't pregnant, she continued to consume alcohol, take prescription drugs (Valium, Vicodin, Tramadol, etc).

Once her pregnancy was out in the open, I spoke with her in length about the pill-taking and she gave me several teary-eyed promises that she felt horrible that she had taken pills and consumed alcohol while she was pregnant and that it wouldn't happen again. Needless to say, I found Percocet (or, as she explained, vitamins her mother gave her) in her purse a few days later. I told her we needed to talk to her doctor about the pill issue so that she could get help and be taken care of. In-patient care options soon became few and far between, so now I have taken the role of 24/7 supervisor, more or less. I have to watch her and have her with me at all times, for the baby's sake.

So, that's a bit of what's happened, but the bigger issue is what to do with our child. She wants adoption, but says she might be "okay" with my parent's offer (which I'll explain in a moment). Initially I was very in favor of adoption. It all came on so fast and I am definitely not ready to raise a child. I confided in my parents what is going on, and at first they offered their support. They were pained to see how badly I've been hurt and am hurting, and told me that whatever decision I make will be the right decision. Soon, though, they expressed their desire to adopt the child (legally adopt, largely for the child's protection, but also with the intent of giving the child the vast majority of its care). The expression of their desire has soon turned into EXTREME pressure to let them do this. They want it very badly. They're trying to paint a pretty, simplistic picture for me, featuring, more than anything, "you'll be able to be as involved or not-involved as you want" and "family is best" and "if you're going to give the child for adoption, we should be allowed to be the ones to adopt it." I do not resent my parent's desire to raise (or help raise) the child, but I absolutely resent the pressure and their unwillingness to acknowledge that their adoption of the child is vastly different from a third party's adoption of the child. I am responsible and will need to be around for the child. The child is a person and will soon be able to ask on his own where Dad is, and I'm not the kind of person that will be able to live an uninvolved life and pretend this child isn't asking for me, loving me, and missing me. I feel as though my parents will (almost already do) hate me if I choose adoption by a third party for the child.

So ... I understand that I need to make the right decision for this child for the right reasons. I don't want to be pressured into something, act out of guilt, or make a rash decision. The problem is, time is running very short, and between the tremendous amount of stress, my depression, the extreme pressure from my parents, I'm finding it harder and harder to clear my head and think straight. I feel rather hopeless and lost. I'm having to be strong and watch my girlfriend and see that she's taken well care of and gets to her appointments and whatnot, but largely I feel immobilized. It's hard to remember what day of the week it is or what my last meal was, anymore.

I brought in a counselor to meet with my parents and me in hopes that she could help my parents understand what they're doing, but it was a pretty useless session.

So, for those of you who put up with my long-windedness, I could use some advice. I know I need to relax and clear my head, but what do you (honestly) think of the situation? Please don't hold anything back. I take any and all opinions as just that -- other people's opinions -- so don't be afraid of wording something in such a way that it's going to influence me more than it should. If you think something, say it ... I'd appreciate it. What concerns should I be considering with the idea of my parents adopting the child (which would likely be more of a helping me raise the child -- especially at first -- situation than a true adoption)? I worry for the child in this situation, and I worry for me. The child will know it has a father and need that father, and I will need to be around for him or her. I will be responsible and do that, but I fear that it will have drastic implications for my other goals and needs (finding mental stability, finding myself, traveling, learning, working, falling in love, etc). My girlfriend says that she too wouldn't be able to pretend the child isn't there and would be involved -- which could be bad for the child, either because she's irresponsible or that she's so irresponsible that we have to get a restraining order to protect the child ... from its own mother. I suppose I could survive this type of ordeal, but it's not something I look forward to. My parents are 57 and 52. When the child is 18 they will be 75 and 70 (assuming they're still alive). Clearly this is something that would be very hard on the child, and would be even more indicative of the fact that I will need to step up as Dad (and probably sooner rather than later ... taking my time to figure myself out and then jumping into the father role at whatever age the child is at when I'm ready seems pretty unrealistic and irresponsible. The real kicker is that my parents have been acting more "together" on this issue than anything I've ever seen throughout their whole marriage. They're acting like everything will be perfect, but I spent the majority of the past 22 years believing (with good reason) that my parents were about to divorce at any moment. My mother is very close to me because my father "never talks," and I do, and yet suddenly now she understands him and he understands her and they're ready to help with this child? Part of me fears (I'll state it rather bluntly) that my parents are feeling the empty nest, the lull of their "okay" marriage, and think the child (whom they'd love and would treat well) will be a great thing to focus on and bring meaning back into their lives. I don't think this is okay -- I think they're great people, but I feel like there might be selfish motivations in their offer. A child isn't a solution to a void in a marriage or people's lives. A decision to keep a child needs to be made because it is the right decision -- not just an emotional one.

I'm scared to keep this child, but I'm also very scared to give it up for adoption and then spend the rest of my life regretting it (or not being able to have peace with the decision). My thoughts are clouded, and my horribly pessemistic/stressed/obsessive mind is making it all so much more difficult. As you can tell I type way too much, but this is a complex issue and I wanted to try to get as much of it out as possible. Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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  #19  
Old 06-26-2007, 04:16 AM
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Zach, how are things going???
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  #20  
Old 06-26-2007, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa914
IYou could also consider an open adoption which would provide you with an interest in the child minus the responsibility.

I have to address this Zach because I don't want you to get the idea that being a birthparent in an open adoption is without responsibility. In many ways it can be a more difficult job than parenting. There is the loss and that sometimes makes it difficult to be consistant. Yet consistancy is important to the child. They need consistant contact and there may be times this responsibility is difficult.

It is also important to know that there are no guarentees that the adoptive parents will hold up their committment to an open adoption. Even in states where there are laws concerning open adoption contracts, enforcement is spotty at best. I always tell expectant parents to make the decision to place a child for adoption based on whether or not they have the ability to parent... not to base it on the promises of contact or what the adopting parents can provide that you cannot. So many times open adoption is used as this carrot.. this "see you can have contact without the responsibility of parenting" kind of lure. But open adoption is so much more complex than that. I don't mean that it can't work, that all in adoption cannot benefit. What I am saying is that the decision to place should not be based on the promise of it because that promise can be broken.
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  #21  
Old 06-26-2007, 06:26 AM
KarynB KarynB is offline
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Hi Zach,

I also wanted to agree with one of the above posters who said you can travel with children - we travelled around Southern Africa with our 7 year old daughter for 6 months, and have done several smaller trips (such as drive across Canada), etc - and we are anything but financially well-off! (I was a single mom working at an outdoor store for about 3 years!). In fact, because of my decision to raise my bio DD (I was 19 when she was born) I put off my university dreams - but went back a few years ago and now have one year to go until graduation...we also now have two more kids through international adoption...

Amazing things can be done with very little money, Zach, and honestly, financial instability is for a short time, adoption is forever. Now, obvioulsy I am pro-adoption as I have two of the most beautiful kids in the world from the amazing gift adoption is, but that doesn't mean it is right for everyone.

I sure hope you find the strength to make this decision soon, for your own sanity. I don't think your mood shifts signify any serious problem (although I'm sure you would benefit from talking things over with a disinterested third party) - I recently had a HUGE decision to make to and my moods went crazy for a few weeks in almost exactly the same way...hang in there!
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  #22  
Old 07-06-2007, 04:32 PM
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Zach - i think you need to take some time to really think about what is best for your little baby. if you can get along with everyone and things will be fairly calm between all of you then i think it would work. but if there is going to be fighting and turmoil then your baby will suffer from that. what is best for your baby is the most important thing.
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  #23  
Old 07-06-2007, 05:51 PM
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Zach,
When I read you last post I was concerned about you. Depression can be debilitating. I hope that you have found a counselor that you can talk to about your whole life... including but not limited to the pregnancy issues. I hope you have taken advantage of Brenda's offer.

I am a birth mother who still believes that placement was the best choice for my firstborn, even 35 years later. That said, there is a price to pay. It is never easy. (Unless you're better at denial than I am... and I'm pretty good!)

I will keep you in my heart and in my prayers as you seek to make the best decision for your child!
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  #24  
Old 07-08-2007, 03:22 AM
BewilderedZach BewilderedZach is offline
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Cool

Hi everyone,

I'm sorry I haven't been able to reply to your posts lately. Things have been SO busy around here. I can't express enough how much I appreciate all of you investing the time and care to understand my situation and offer me such excellent advice. I truly feel that discussing my situation on this message board has allowed me to put things in perspective and arrive at what I feel is truly the best decision for me and my child.

When I first found out my girlfriend was pregnant I was freaked out. I was scared out of my mind and terrified. I wasn't ready, financially or otherwise, and I saw all of my best laid plans for my life slipping away from me. Since then I've become more and more attached with the child (who is still about a month away from popping out), and I've come to realize that the life I had envisioned for myself is no longer here. I have a son now (yes, we found out it's a boy) and nothing will change that. Adoption is the best choice for some people in some situations, but I believe that I can keep him and make it work. My parents frustrated me with the way they approached the situation -- seeming to try to pressure me into allowing them to adopt -- and after posting here I realize why that frustrated me so much. They never really talked with me about whether I could or would keep the child. Now that time has passed, though, I'm more able to put their offer in perspective, and after a few discussions with them I feel quite satisfied that we have a mutual understanding of the situation. They are not adopting my child -- I am keeping him and choosing to parent him -- just with a lot of their help. They're happy with this, and I feel satisfied with it as well.

Again, I really can't say how much I appreciate all of the advice I've been given here. I value all of the different perspectives and opinions -- they helped settle the fog that was enveloping my brain from all of the stress and allowed me to think objectively again. I'm still scared (mainly about the baby's health), but overall I am confident that I've made the right choice and I see positive things in the future. If anything this experience has taught (and is teaching) me to let go of my control (or illusion of control) a bit -- something that's always been hard for me to do.

As for my depression, it's still here and still challenging me considerably, but I have an appointment in a couple weeks and am dedicated to figuring it all out. Thanks again, everyone. :-)

Last edited by BewilderedZach : 07-08-2007 at 03:24 AM.
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  #25  
Old 07-08-2007, 05:59 AM
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Congratulations!!! You will make a great Daddy. Come back and let us know how it's going.....
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  #26  
Old 07-08-2007, 06:42 AM
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Hi Zach,

I tried to send a PM to you answering some of your questions about kinship relationships. My network has been acting up so I am not sure if you received it.

Congratulations! Try to enjoy the last days of the preganancy as much as you can. I hope that your parents are now on the path of happily anticipating being grandparents and having fun helping you to prepare for your little guy.



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  #27  
Old 07-08-2007, 07:03 AM
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I'm so happy for you!
Good luck with everything and you are so lucky to have your parents support!

Take care and keep in touch.
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  #28  
Old 07-08-2007, 06:35 PM
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I'm glad you were able to post and update us. Your decision shows maturity (IMO!) You know the path you have chosen will not be easy, but it sounds like you're lining up your support. Please know that you have a support system here too. I'm glad your're going to work on your own depression. Your son will need you to be as healthy as possible!
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  #29  
Old 07-08-2007, 11:31 PM
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Zach,

I'm truly happy for you. 18 yrs ago, when he himself was 18 yrs old, my husband found himself in the same spot: girlfriend pregnant which did not seem to jive with finishing high school, going to USC, etc. But, he decided that it all had to either take a back seat to or work along with being a father to the child on the way. He decided to parent, with plenty of help from his parents at the time as well. He stayed home and worked and took community college classes for the first two years until everything was truly stabilized and then managed to fulfill his plan for graduating from USC, and be a good dad all along the way. The only difficulty (granted a big one) was that the baby's mother was not ready to parent, and so he became the sole custodial parent when he was only 18 as well.

Now our son (I did a stepparent adoption of him) just graduated from high school and it all was SOOO worth it and I don't think any of us would change a thing. I am so proud of our son who's heading to college, but frankly, I am more proud of my husband for being willing to step into fatherhood even though it was unplanned and he was so young. And I'm so grateful to his parents for helping him until he could do it on his own. Everyone who knows him will tell you that he is what a man should be, what a father should be and no one gives a flip how young he was when it happened or what the plans were "supposed" to be.

It's been fun being young parents and the good news is, we'll still be young when our kids and grown and moved out! We have lots of fun plans....:-)

So, I don't mean to talk about my own life as much as to hopefully give you a peek ahead to your happy ending. You can do this and thank God that your parents are willing to help you. I wish for you all the happiness and pride that is now my hubby's because of the choice he made and the commitment he carried out. Its SOOO worth it!!!

My one piece of unsolicited advice is to NEVER sell yourself short as your child's PARENT even, and especially, in this situation. Accept your parent's help, because you'll need it, but never for one minute think that it means that you are under their authority or under obligation to them as your child's father. Hug them, love them, tell them thank you all the time, but NEVER abdicate your authority, your importance or your responsiblity to your child. They will teach him about family love and support and being fantastic, supportive grandparents, but only you can teach him what it means to be a father and a man. And you might have to teach others what it means that you are your child's father and you should never be afraid to do that.

I hope that you keep us updated.

Congratulations, Dad!!!
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  #30  
Old 07-09-2007, 09:19 AM
StacyKelly2 StacyKelly2 is offline
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I am so happy for you!! A little boy how exciting!! I am sure everything will be okay. You seem very responsible and only want the best for your son. Just knowing you are coming on this board to seek information is wonderful. You are right adoption is not for everyone and should be something nobody is ever pressured into. Being the happiest adoptive mom to a beautiful adopted 2 year old little boy, I can tell you the love is just unbelievable!! A child can bring so much love into ones life...and you will see soon, how blessed you are!!! Keep us posted...It is so exciting being a parent, and your heart will just explode with such love!!! God Bless
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