Dream a Little Dream

Amanda_before_flip.pngMy journey as a mother started when I was 14 years old. I went to bed one night with not a care in the world, little did I know a dream would change my life forever.

My foster mother woke me up one morning before she went to work, and the first words out of my mouth were "I need a pregnancy test." Luckily she had one on hand. When I got the results, my heart stopped. I thought my life was over, but little did I know, it was just beginning.

I had my daughter 5 months after I turned 15. I continued high school, played sports, was a full time single mother, and graduated high school when I was 17. Shortly after my 18th birthday I found out I was pregnant. At that point in my life I never thought I would end up pregnant again so it came as a huge surprise. Although I wasn’t alone this time I was so overwhelmed with different thoughts and emotions. Already having a child, my first thought was this baby is mine and I will do whatever I can to take care of my children. As the pregnancy went on I got very sick, in and out of the hospital and not able to work. Life with two children started to have a different outlook.

When I was 10 I was adopted by my step mother, my parents divorced and I went with my mom. I moved back with my dad when I was 13 and ended up in foster care. My adopted mom had the opportunity to get me out of foster care to come live with her, however, the opportunity was passed on. After my experience with being adopted I thought No way, I could never do that to my child. Until I really started to think about it.

I decided to explore my options and went to meet with an adoption agency. After looking through profiles and not finding a family I thought would be perfect for my son I could do nothing but pray. Chad (the father) and I decided to give it another try. After telling the agency the kind of family we were looking for, they brought us more profiles to look through. I immediately fell in love with the first profile we read! None of the others stuck out or really got our attention. A few days later we had a phone conversation with the Marin family, and it felt like we had known each other for years.

A few weeks after our phone call, the Marins came to visit, and we met for the first time over dinner, followed by breakfast the next morning. As we said our goodbyes I knew that God had answered my prayers and sent us the perfect family for our son and that our son had parents that could give him everything so that we could give my daughter everything. When I was 7–8 months pregnant my daughter and I went to visit the Marins at their home. From day one our daughters were like sisters and we were like a family. They got to see different stages of the pregnancy, feel him kick, and see him move around.

The most beautiful moment I have ever experienced in my life was the day I gave birth. Our son had all of his parents and both of his sisters there to welcome him into the world. While everything with the adoption was being finalized, we got to spend the first two weeks of his life, Christmas and New Year’s with our son. All of us in that little tiny extended stay room crying, laughing, crying, getting to know everything about each other, and taking turns with night duty with sweet Joshua Paul Alexander Marin. It was two weeks of paradise that I will never forget.

Watching him grow, seeing how loved and blessed he forever will be, making memories with each other, and securing a bond I never thought possible.

The day they left was so bitter sweet. It was heartbreaking not knowing where things would go from there and watching them leave with our son, but there was such a feeling of peace and happiness because I knew what we were doing was God’s doing and that I could trust it was all going to be okay. Since the day they left with their family complete, we have been to visit our son and our new family several times. Watching him grow, seeing how loved and blessed he forever will be, making memories with each other, and securing a bond I never thought possible.

I have days where I long and cry to just hold my son and kiss his angel face but I know he is a phone call away and that we will always be a part of his life and do all that we can to help mold him into the young man that God has planned for him to be. "I carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart.”

Read Carey’s—Joshua’s adoptive mother—side of the story: Hearts Wide Open, An adoptive mom talks about her son’s open adoption.

“This is open adoption. I am so thankful for the relationship we have with Joshua's birth parents. Amanda is the only other person who has the same fierce "momma love" for him that I do. She sacrificed so much for him. JP will always know his birth parents and that they love him to the moon and back! Many people cannot understand this big, brave love. But that's OK. All we have to do is keep loving and keep believing and hopefully others will see Christ through us.”