What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Nobody Tells You



Photo by Carbon Arc on Trend hype / CC BY-NC-SA

I have told some of the story of how I gave my first daughter up for adoption. But today, I want to share with you a bit of how I felt in the days and months and years after I handed her over; about the agony and the hope and the eventual reward.

When I went home without her, all I knew was that I felt unspeakable pain and loss and confusion and a tiny, distant flicker of hope. There was a lot nobody told me, a lot I didn’t know.

  • I didn’t know it would get way, way worse before it got better.
  • I didn’t know it would eventually become a point of pride for me to tell my story to new people.
  • I didn’t know how much good it would do me to give talks to pregnant teens about the adoption process and what it was like to come out the other side.
  • I didn’t know how comforting those talks would be to the girls who heard them, and how much comforting them would comfort me.
  • I didn’t know how much I would love acting as birth coach for teenagers who came after me. I was unprepared for how cathartic that would be, and how intensely painful.
  • I didn’t know that on my darkest days, it would be the thought of my child out in the world that would keep me going.
  • I didn’t know that eighteen years after I gave up my first daughter, the phone would ring, and it would be her. I didn’t expect to be bizarrely disoriented by hearing her voice because in my heart, she was still three days old.
  • I didn’t know that after the initial instinctive closeness, we’d realize how little we actually knew about each other. I didn’t know what a long road it would be for us to build a real relationship. And I didn’t know how wonderful it would feel when we got there.
  • I didn’t know that she and I would eventually get each other in ways I don’t think anyone else ever could.
  • I didn’t know that our future would be filled with very good days and very bad days and would be messy and real and hilarious and heartbreaking and frustrating and perfect and all the things I wanted it to be and much, much more than I had any right to hope for.

I knew two things in those first terrible days:  I knew how unspeakably painful it all was. And I knew it was the right decision. I never expected to be rewarded with that daughter again in this life, but here she is. And she is magnificent.

Happy birthday to my first baby daughter, my very first love. Thank you for all the life you have brought into my life.

XOXO Baby Girl.

All my love, DonnaMom

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

27 thoughts on “Nobody Tells You

  1. Happy Birthday indeed! To both of you…


  2. I am 78 years old. I never got to meet my mom. I was placed in a foster home a couple hours after birth. She was than adopted. Back in those days TB had no cure. She dies when I was three years old. I have a picture of her holding me and that is all I have. I have done my best to find my grandmother on my mom’s side but never could. Often I wonder how many relatives I have on her side of the family. hal

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hal, I’m sorry you never found your people, and I’m sorry you lost your mother so young.

      I was adopted, too. I’ve tried a few avenues to find my birth mother and family, but no luck. I even tried a DNA relatives search, but only found some distant cousins who never heard of my mother. It makes me sad that I couldn’t give her the gift of absolution that my daughter gave me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Donna….I had no idea. Bless you for going the adoption way. Your heart ache would have been so much worse if you had taken the other road. I am so proud of you and your daughter. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy Birthday to you daughter and much love to the both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an amazing and beautiful story, Donna. Thanks for sharing and, truly, happy happy birthday to both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Donna. I have friends who are adopted mums and they both give thanks for the brave and painful decisions made by their childrens’ birth mothers. How marvellous that your daughter contacted you have a fabulous birthday together. Mxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. An amazing story, thank you Donna.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! That is some piece of writing. I may be an adoptee and have heard the stories of many on this side of the relationship but it is so informative to hear such honesty from the side of the birth mother. I particularly love how you have turned a negative into a range of positives. This is so important in ways many people cannot even begin to understand. Go you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a beautiful and touching post. I love that you’ve always found ways to share your experiences as an adoptee and as someone who gave your child up for adoption in ways that really reach out to and make a difference in people’s lives. It really is wonderful that you and your first daughter were able to reconnect and build an authentic relationship.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Love to you, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. How lucky you are to have been able to have your daughter in your life and to develop a relationship with her after all those years. I’m so happy for you. And sad that although I was not adopted I never was really able to develop a real relationship with my mother. It was only years after her death that I finally came to terms with who we were together. I wish I could have her back so we could start over.
    I wish you and your daughter and grand children many happy years together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Alison. I have been very lucky with both of my daughters. They grew up to be wonderful, understanding people, and they developed their own close relationship, too.

      My relationship with my mother was complicated at times, but we were lucky enough to be close when she died. I can only imagine the pain I would have felt if we hadn’t resolved our conflicts. That must have been so hard for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I didn’t know any of this, Donna. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Such a Cute Age… | My OBT

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