Many different people from all walks of life are affected by adoption. I had never really had experience with it, nor planned to...until July of 2008.
At the time, my husband and I had been together for 9 years, and were happily raising our three children as best as we could. Things were tight, but we both worked full time, and managed to get by from month to month. Despite the birth control I was on, somehow, during the fabulous events of his birthday weekend, there I was...pregnant. Our way of handling it was ignoring it, convinced it wasn't really happening. Word of advice...just because you tell yourself "this isn't really happening" it probably is anyways. At least it was in my case. Abortion was never an issue. Partly because we are not big supporters of it, and partly because by the time we accepted what was going on, it was too late. We went back and forth for days that seemed like weeks and weeks that seemed like years debating what to do. My husband removed himself from the situation, mentally. He never said anything for months.
I began talking to agencies, one after another and was getting so frustrated. Prior to this, I had carried with me the stigma of what I thought birthmothers were. It was strange to have a prejudice that I had never even realized, and then to be placed in the same situation. I guess ignorance is bliss. Me being me (and a true Aquarius I might add), I decided that Adoption was my Option, and nothing would sway me from it. I gave up on the agencies, hopped on Craigslist (CRAZY-I KNOW) and found my Aparents. They were wonderful people, I was comfortable, and my husband left all planning to me. We did not use an agency, instead I honored their wishes to use the Maricopa County Attorney's office. This was very, very cost effective for them, and since I figured everything was going to be fine...why not? Bad choice.....
They went to every doctor's appointment with me, emailed regularly, and we really built a great relationship. There were times when it was tense...I often sensed bitterness or jealousy (if even only a bit) from my amom, but I always wrote it off to her own issues of nervousness. My goal, throughout the entire pregnancy, delivery, and placement, was to show them how amazing this whole process can be and let them experience every little bit. I never at any point though about my own feelings. My little inner voice was calm and peaceful all during the pregnancy. I felt I was doing a good thing. I gave them all of the little parenting tips I could, fun books, anything to tell them about the realities of raising a baby. I told them everything she did in my tummy, showed them the wonders of Babycenter.com, and answered every weird question they came up with. I never picked her name, wanting that to be solely their choice. And until the last month of pregnancy, I really didnt even think I'd want visits or need couseling. That's where an agency would have come in handy, I think.
Now for some reason, I technically have 4 children, but have never really "gone into labor". I have always had to be induced. The night before she (who was still not named at that point) was born, my husband finally broke his silence. He screamed and cried and yelled, "What have we done, What are we doing?" over and over and over and over again...perhaps trying to snap me out of whatever trance I was in. I told him to shush, and that everything was fine. At this point I was still in LaLa Land. I got up early the next morning, and hopped in the car to go have THEIR baby. I never identified with her as mine. From the minute I met her Aparents, I switched into "surrogacy mode" and that never shut off. I always referred to her as "their" baby, to my family, to them, to my friends, to anyone who would listen. I was not ashamed, I was proud to be helping them. I always read about coersion (sp?) from lawyers and agencies...but in our experience, I was the one that did all that. I must have told them a million times I wouldn't change my mind...and never once did I think about doing so. I was CONVINCED moreso than anything else, that she was meant for them.
My fingers are sore and this is pretty rambling, so I will finish tomorrow.