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Published Friday June 12th, 2009 at 9:15pm

Original Article by Amanda W.

Susie G. is a birthmother.

About Susie as a Person....
What I would like you to know about me as a birth mother: The fact that I chose to give my child up for adoption does not mean that I would have been a bad parent. I would have been a wonderful mother to my son. I have always loved my son, and I always will!

What I would like you to know about me as just "Susie": I am happily married to a wonderful man, we celebrated our 26th Anniversary yesterday! We have 3 children, one son-in-law, one almost daughter-in-law, and 6 grandchildren that live within a mile of us. I was "reunited" with my first born son in January, he is happily married with one son, a daughter that will be born in August. I am the office manager in an elementary school and I LOVE my job there. My hobby, actually more of a passion, is quilting. I also enjoy cooking & baking, photography, and hanging out with my girlfriends - some of us have been friends since grade school, the rest since high school.
Susie Shares Her Experience as a Birthmother.....
I grew up in a VERY unhappy house. Parents fought all the time, dad always angry, mom was an undiagnosed manic-depressive. I was 15, let hormones take over ONE night. "He" was 19 or 20, had just moved to town to stay with his friend that was dating one of my friends. After that one night, I never again allowed myself to be alone with Tom, as I knew I had made a mistake, did not want to give myself away to anyone until it was for "real" love. About a month or so after that night, Tom & his friend decided to move to Colorado - I never again heard from him, did not know at the time that he was going to be a big part of my future. (If I had known, I would have gotten more info so that some day I could tell my son about the other half of his dna.)

When I found out I was pregnant, it was 1979. At that time you could not attend the public high school once you started to show, so I had to attend school at Florence Crittenton Center for the 2nd semester of my freshman year. I refused to raise an innocent child in the hateful, ugly household that I was living in. I knew that if I moved out, I would never be able to graduate high school, so that was never an option either. From the beginning I knew that I would have to give my baby up for adoption. I wanted him to have a mother AND a father, wanted him to grow up in a house of love, not hate.
I asked Susie to Give a Message to Anyone She Wanted....
I could give a message on many issues with adoption! I guess my main message to anyone considering giving up a baby for adoption would be to think long and hard about your choice. Giving up your child is FOREVER, not just for 18 years. You give up your grandchildren along with your child. You will NEVER stop loving, missing, wanting, your child. Given that, you will go on, be happy again, learn how to live this life that now includes being a birthmom.

To anyone that has chosen adoption, instead of worrying about all the bad things that might be happening with your child, put out positive thoughts. Pray for the adoptive parents to be the best parents for your child, pray that your child bonds completely with his/her parents...

My message to adoptive parents would be to always let your child know he/she was adopted, to avoid a sudden "telling". If your child is ever in reunion, be accepting, ask to be a part of the reunion. Adoption after all does not just effect the mom that gave birth and the child, it does involve the adoptive parents. Just as a parent can deeply love more than one child, one child can deeply love more than one mom or one dad. Be happy for your child - after all, is there such a thing as too much love?
Should Adoptees Have Access to Their Records?
I do feel that adoptees should have access to their birth information, including birth certificates. Everyone should be able to know their heritage, their medical info. Unfortunately, this will cause as many problems as it will give help though. It will cause as many bad, unhappy reunions as it will cause happy ones.
Susie Shares Her Reunion Experience...
The day I got the email that my son was looking for me was the happiest day of my life, second only by the day I received my first email from him! The most beautiful words I have ever heard in my entire life were "He is healthy, yes he is happy, and he has wonderful parents."

When my son turned 18, I put my basic information on an adoption reunion website so that if he ever looked for me it would be possible. I did not feel that it was my right to look for him, but I wanted him to be able to find me if that is what he wanted. I did not want to "intrude" on his life if that is not what he wanted. My son started looking for me, but posted on a different website. Thankfully, there are adoption search angels out there, and for some reason my son's posting got an angel's attention, she decided to see if she could find his mom for him. On Friday, January 16th, I checked my email to find 3 emails from the search angel, one from my son. 2 weeks had passed from the time Kim (our search angel) found my posting. She listed her phone number so I immediately called her, then emailed my son. He was out of town, didn't get the email I sent him until Sunday, giving me a dose of what it felt like for him waiting 2 weeks for me! For the first 6 - 8 weeks we emailed each other several times a day, now it is a few times a week. Right now he is not ready to meet in person or talk on the phone, but I am hopeful that the day will come that he wants "more".

I sent his mom & dad a letter in April, telling them that I was so happy to be able to get to know Chad, how thankful I was that they were such wonderful parents for Chad, and to also let her know that I had no intention of becoming a "mom" to Chad, that I was so happy that her and Chad were very close. (No matter what relationship Chad & I will have in the future, I will not be his "mom", his mom is the person that got to hold him every day, take care of him, teach him....) I received a beautiful letter and card from Chad's mom for Mother's Day. She is happy for both of us, she wants to be a part of this "reunion". I am SO happy that she is supportive of this, I am looking forward to hopefully becoming friends with the woman that gave so much to my son, and by that - to me. I would love to know about her and her husband, hear their stories about being a mom & dad to Chad.
Have You Ever Been Made to Feel to Blame or Shameful?
There always was, still is heavy shame that I felt for becoming pregnant at 15. I was a "good girl", but becoming pregnant implied that I was "slutty". People judged me more heavily on that one mistake than they did on any good things that I did. Society then looked at teenage pregnancy as much more shameful than it does now. The fact that girls had to go to a "special" school added shame to the situation. The way we were "herded" to the clinic together, made to wait in line in a hallway for our turn in the exam room, standing there in our medical gowns, how humiliating, shameful. The doctors looked at you as just another pregnant kid, not as a person. When in the hospital in labor, the nurses were so "clinical", not personal at all. The way they made sure I didn't see my son when he was born. The way he was "hid" from me during our stay in the hospital, kept out of the nursery so when I walked down there to try to see him I was not able to. When walking back to my room on the day I was going home, I went past a little room of some sort, there was a lady in there dressing a baby, I wondered if the baby was mine, going to his new home, and the lady saw me, quickly went to shut the door, telling me that yes, it was him, and god forbid that I actually see my own baby.

Thank you so much Susie, for sharing your story. I truly believe that it is when we can see the faces, hear the pain and the joy and read the words from Triad members themselves that we'll truly be able to remove the stigmas attached to women, adoptees and adoption in general.