Adoption isn’t easy, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, but I know I made the right decision for my baby.
I had always wanted to be a mother. I had my first born at age 25. I was with his father for 7 years. When our son was 3, I was tired of his father’s drinking, drug use, and neglect. My son and I left him. I handled the break-up the way I handled everything, by stuffing it deep down and just pretending nothing had happened. I began looking for love in all the wrong places and with different men. I got involved with a married man and when that ended, I started dating a guy I knew from school. About two weeks in we got married. A few days later I found out I was pregnant. I knew who the father was, but I never told my husband it was not his. Maybe a month into our marriage, he became abusive and extremely controlling. He had made me quit my job and was doing his best to isolate me from everyone. I left him and moved in with my mom. My relationship with my mom was not good and I only lasted a month there. I was a couple months pregnant, raising a 3-year-old, homeless, jobless, and lost. So, my oldest son and I ended back at his father’s house. He still drank and did drugs, but I was hopeful he would change. I planned to raise the baby. My mom was suggesting abortion, a lot. My boyfriend’s parents were adamant that he does not give the baby his last name because the baby was not part of their family. The baby’s father was in and out of jail. I researched abortion, as much as I could, but I kept stopping myself from going any further than research. I could not have an abortion. So, I started praying.
I was not raised in church, I never read the Bible, and I did not know God, but I prayed every day. I started looking into adoption. There weren’t any adoption agency’s or adoption attorney’s close to where I lived so I contacted an attorney’s office over 2 hours away. The attorney flew up to meet with me. He went over everything with me and answered all my questions. After the meeting, I continued to pray and a week later I decided to move forward with adoption. The attorney’s office sent me profiles and I looked online. I knew one thing I wanted in adoptive parents was that they had tried everything, and this adoption was their last chance. I went through so many profiles, but there was one I continuously came back to. I setup a meeting with them. My mom went with me, and she was supportive. She agreed adoption would be the best option. The couple was amazing and, I knew in that moment that I would choose them, but I waited so I could pray about it. I had a few stipulations that were deal breakers if not done. I wanted the adoptive parents to be at every doctor appointment no matter what, they had to be at the hospital the whole time when the baby was born, and the baby went with them at birth.
The AP’s agreed to everything, and so began our journey of semi-open adoption.
They came to every appointment and always made me feel cared about. They even met my oldest child. My delivery was a scheduled C-Section, and the hospital had a room for the AP’s. The adoptive mom was in the delivery room and received the baby boy after birth. I had my boyfriend in the delivery room with me for support. Unlike the birth of my oldest, there weren’t pictures or celebration for me. I was completely sad and devastated. But I knew why I chosen adoption, and I knew it was the correct choice for both of my children.
The hardest decision I ever had to make was also the most loving.
I was able to say goodbye to my sweet baby boy. I told him how much I love him and care about him, and even though I wouldn’t be directly there I was always thinking of him. I wasn’t abandoning him. My oldest and I had picked out an outfit and a teddy bear for him, I am told he still has his bear. He is 11 now. After leaving the hospital, my mom changed her mind and was very angry with me for choosing adoption. She told me she could never understand how a mother could just give away her child.
Adoption isn’t easy, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, but I know I made the right decision for my baby. I put his needs before my own and chose the best I could for both of my children.
I have always been open and honest with my oldest son, and we speak openly about his younger brother being placed for adoption. The AP’s have also been open and are raising my birth son to know he is adopted. I receive an update and pictures every year around his birthday. I am grateful and thankful for these, but at the same time it breaks my heart. I still know I made the right decision and I do not regret it.
Adoption is not for everyone, but with every adoption story told there is the possibility of another life to be saved.
I did not receive any pre-adoption counseling, I didn’t have a client advocate, or anyone to thoroughly explain all my options. My post placement counseling and care only happened a couple of times over the phone. The closest support group was over 2 hours away.
So, I handled the adoption the way I handled all my trauma, I pushed it down and pretended everything was fine.
My relationship with my oldest son suffered the most, because I pushed myself into work and school. A couple of years after placement, I went to counseling, but I never spoke about the adoption or any other past traumas; we focused on the present. But I learned how to work through my emotions in a healthier way. While counseling helped immensely, I found more comfort and healing as my relationship with God grew. For years I was ashamed and scared to talk to people about placing my child for adoption. Every time someone asked me if I had kids, I would always feel guilty, sad, and a lump in my throat. Explaining the situation and feeling judged was awful. No one understood and I never met any other birth mothers.
Now, after 11 years, after processing all my grief and trauma, I can tell my adoption story without having those feelings. I began looking for other birth mothers in my area. I joined support groups on Facebook, I did lots of research, but still could not find support in my area for birth mothers; everything is 2 hours or more away.