Thank you for sharing your story. I was a teenage birth mother and my daughter is 21 this year. You’re right when you say that we often focus on the pretty parts of adoption, probably because they’re the easiest to look at.

I didn’t want to give her up but I thought my choice was between the two of us growing up together, unsupported, impoverished and hopeless, or cleaving my heart and my baby from my body and handing them both to a mom — who was old enough to be my mom —and crossing my fingers she’d have the wisdom to know what to do with them.

My daughter has scars. Both literal and figurative. I don’t know if I did the right thing. It all seemed so black and white back then but now I see so many shades of gray. She is hurt. More hurt than had I kept her? I’ll never know. I can only comfort myself with the knowledge that I did what I thought was best for both of us the moment.

I’m vicariously grateful that you have such deep regard for your birth mom. From your story “the ultimate act of love and sacrifice” sounds exactly right. She sounds like an incredible woman and it’s clear the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

I am so very sorry for your loss and I’m glad you got the opportunity to know each other, if only for a season.

Mama, writer, lover, fighter — I wear my heart on my sleeve because my pants pockets are too small.

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