Shelley understands adoption. As a birth mom herself, she encourages other birth moms and shares her valuable insights about adoption, the process and life post-adoption.

“I feel 110% I did the right thing,” said Shelley. “I know they love him as much as I do.”

 

When did you place your baby for adoption, and why was it important to keep a relationship with Destiny post-adoption?
I placed my son for adoption in April about three years ago. I wanted a good relationship with an agency so I could track my son’s progress and make sure he was with a good family.
What is open adoption and would you recommend it?
My adoption is open. I’m lucky enough to have very understanding and generous people as my son’s adoptive parents. I would recommend it. I would also recommend having good boundaries. I get visits and pictures and letters, and they respect my time with them, and I respect their time. It’s a give and take.
How are your baby and his adoptive family?
I see the progress he’s making. He gets to do all sorts of things he would not have been able to do with me. He’s growing in a more well-rounded way.
How do you feel today about your choice to place your baby for adoption?
I feel 110% I did the right thing. When I see him during visits and it comes time to leave, I feel like kicking myself. But then they send me more pictures, and I know they are giving him a life I couldn’t give him. I know they love him as much as I do.
What has post-adoption been like? What are your future plans and dreams?
Post-adoption was difficult at first. It felt like a long time until that first visit. Now, they pretty much let me visit whenever I request, but I’m respectful to the adoption family. For myself, I can only see him a few times a year for my emotional health.
My goals for my future are to have a good job and relationship.
What is the birth mother support group and how does it help you?
The support group is a group that has birth mothers and birth fathers or birth mothers that have already placed their baby for adoption. It’s a combination of a therapy group and an activity group. Through the group, you develop support and make friends. For me, it helps me to talk about my adoption, and I can help other mothers through their adoption plan.
Would you recommend post-adoption counseling?
Yes. Personally, I use the support group as my counseling. I regret that I didn’t reach out for help right away. I would absolutely recommend counseling to other girls. The last three years would have been a lot easier if I had started counseling right off the bat.
Was it important to keep a relationship with Destiny post-adoption?
I was lucky enough to be a Destiny’s birth mom. My relationship with Destiny is really close. My adoption advocate, Malia, has helped me through the last three and a half years of my life. She’s been a constant rock for me. She has been, besides my son, the one constant positive in my life.
What’s the #1 piece of advice you’d give a mother considering placing her child for adoption?
My best piece of advice is during post-placement, whether it is closed, semi-open or open, do not shut out the supportive people in your life. Between the adoption and post-partum stage, you will need support. If your family is not your support, Destiny Adoption is the best support there is. It doesn’t matter when you need them; they will be there for you.

 

Author: Destiny Adoption Services

Destiny Adoption Services is proud to support and guide birth parents and adoptive families on the journey of adoption. We’re a state licensed nonprofit adoption agency with four decades of adoption experience, and our professional team of experts includes moms, adoptive moms and birth mothers who provide compassion combined with trusted resources and skills.