Photo Credit: Oxygen
When you're a birth mom, the most important decision you make for your child is who will become "mom and dad." The fourth episode of Oxygen's I'm Having Their Baby focused on the relationships between birth moms and adoptive families.
The first birth mom we met during this episode is Brandalynn (above), a 20-year-old mother of one with a daughter on the way. Her adoptive parents, Kim and Brian, came to all of her prenatal appointments with her and ever came to the hospital for the birth. Brandalynn even said that she knew "from the second I saw them that they were going to be the people I was going to choose." But despite truly loving the couple and not wanting to disappoint them, she still worried about changing her mind, saying, "I hope I don't look back."
Mercedes, the other birth mother in the episode, had a similarly close relationship with her prospective adoptive parents as well. They all seemed exceptionally close during a meeting with Mercedes social worker -- Pamela (the adoptive mother) mentioned that she and Mercedes would text every single day, even if it was just to say good morning. But since Mercedes and her boyfriend/father of her baby, Mikey, were still incredibly close to one another, she too wondered if she would come to regret her decision to place her soon-to-be-daughter up for adoption with her adoptive family.
I met my adoptive family about two months before my son was born. I had a "Brandalynn" moment as well -- I knew when I looked at their profile that I wanted that family to be my son’s family. The day I met them, I knew adoption could work. But that didn't keep me from going back and forth once my son was born. Due to the laws in my state, I had seven business days to change my mind once the adoption papers were signed, and those were the longest days of my life.
In the episode, Mercedes was asked how often she wanted contact with the parents right after her baby was born and she said "every day." I remember saying the same thing…but then the desire to keep my son kept me practically silent for the first week after his birth (probably scaring the daylights out of his poor adoptive parents) simply because I didn't want to disappoint them if I did end up deciding to keep him. But eventually, I reached out to my son's adoptive mother with everything I was feeling and she reassured me in a way that made all the difference, proving that a solid relationship with the adoptive parents could prove to be the most important decision maker of all.
The episode highlights the wonderful relationships that can develop between birth moms and their adoptive parents. When Mercedes meets with the parents and her social worker, her social worker says, "Once the baby is born, you [and your boyfriend] will be thinking about her every five minutes. But you have to remember that that [Pamela and Richard] will be thinking about you every five minutes." Brandalynn's adoptive father Brian alludes to the same kind of love and care: "We love you just as much as we love Syndey [Brandalynn’s newborn daughter]."
Those are the best types of relationships -- the kind where birth moms and adoptive parents fall just as in love with each other as they do with the baby -- and a whole new sense of family opens up for everyone. That's the kind of relationship I am lucky enough to have.As Mercedes said, "My daughter is getting the best of everything and I won't disappear from her life. I'll always be there for her."
You can find more on the show on the I'm Having Their Baby Facebook page or follow Oxygen on Twitter for access to exclusive content.
Birth mom Renee Hartwick writes letters to her son at Letters to Little Man.