I had the opportunity to present at the UAC Spring Conference last Wednesday. I was nervous about filling the hour and half time slot, but I am thrilled with the way it turned out and I would love to share parts of my presentation with you all.
My first thought when I was assigned this class was, "Defend your decision? I don't have to defend my decision to anyone." beacuse that is my personality :) This kept me from preparing for weeks. I couldn't wrap my brain around the title to even put an idea down. Until, I added 'Defending your Decision... and why you don't have to." Never feel like you have to defend your decision to place your baby for adoption to others. Instead, own your decision!
What do I mean by own your decision? Own means to admit or acknowledge. I'm sure all of us (birthmoms), spent countless hours stewing over our decision to place our babies for adoption. It was not a knee jerk reaction. I know, I spent many hours asking for guidance from above. I know, without a doubt, I put effort into this action and owning that is reminding myself that it wasn't a last second decision.
Owning your decision with confidence is big. In many situations I have to ‘fake it ‘til I make it’ and that’s ok. Energy is contagious and that includes confidence. When I hear negative comments, when I’m speaking in front of a big crowd, when I am answering questions from my 8 year old daughter on adoption… I speak with confidence. The more confident I am when I answer questions from people who are not educated on adoption, the less criticizing their words become and the more understand they seem to be.
Tips for Owning your Decision:
We are all responsible for everything we do. We are also responsible for our behaviors, our emotions and our moods. Owning your decision is also taking responsibility for that decision.
Set boundaries for yourself and those around you. Be self aware of what you can emotionally handle on a day to day basis. Don’t say or do more than what you feel you can handle.
Face the emotion; good or bad allow yourself to feel each emotion and then move on. Don’t dwell on your bad days. There will be hard days. Accept them, feel them and grow from them.
Bumps in the road; I’m sure we have all experienced changes in what we thought our adoption plan would be. The relationship with the adoptive couple, the level of openness or how you communicate. If you hit a bump in the road, it does not change the reason why you decided to place.
Owning your decision to place your baby for adoption, to yourself and to others can be difficult, but it’s your choice when and how you decide to own your decision. You don’t have to always answer or comment when people approach you about adoption. There is a time and a place. Stay confident. Use the time to educate people when you are feeling up to it and when you’re not, remember you don’t have to defend your decision to anyone.