It was something I will never forget, something hard to talk about, something I can barely find words for. In just 3 days I said my hello and goodbye to my beautiful, sweet newborn baby girl. How did I cope with the heartbreak and temptations to keeping her all to myself? Maybe it was watching my other two beautiful babies struggle with one parent, maybe it was the pure joy in my absolutely amazing adoptive couple’s faces, maybe it was the support and love I received from my family and their family, or maybe it was looking into her beautiful face and knowing she deserved more than I could ever give her.
My choice wasn't easy, it’s not something I wish upon anyone to go through. But I know my choice was the right choice.
"I loved her enough to break my own heart, and that is bravery."
My name is Jessica and I choose to place my absolutely perfect baby girl for adoption while I was pregnant with her. The heartache felt from saying hello and goodbye to my baby girl was unreal and is still very real to me today. The joy and happiness I’ve seen from the amazing couple I chose was beyond words - a couple who’d been waiting years for something so little and perfect, finally holding their blessing. Experiencing this was bitter-sweet to be a part of. Seeing that joy and love from them for our baby assured me this was the best choice for my sweet baby.
Let me take you back to December 2016 and finding out I was pregnant, immediately dropping to my knees knowing at 23, parenting two kids on my own already, having a full-time job, and attending college, there was no way I could have another child. I knew at that time adoption was my only option. I knew this baby deserved more than I or her father could ever give her. I ended up moving to another state closer to family and away from a struggling life.
In February, I met with a local adoption agency and was given an amazing coordinator who was always so supportive and encouraging. I was given 12 books for me and my mom to look over. I wanted my mom there to help me pick a family, to help me deliver, and to help me cope because she is the strongest person I know and my biggest supporter. In the books, there were 6 couples who had been waiting for years and 6 more couple who had been waiting for a little while. We decided to go with a family who had been waiting longer. With the advice from my mom we picked 2 families and met with both over dinner.
Out of the two couples I chose the first couple who I felt an instant connection with. I felt loved, and all my nerves went away.
I was given the opportunity to meet the couple’s family and what a wonderful family they have behind them. The mother I chose for the baby is beautiful inside and out. She went to almost every appointment with me and stood by my side in delivery. She was there for me to encourage me anytime I needed it and she showed me the type of life my daughter would have. I remember the father of my daughter being so excited yet so nervous when I first met him. He is an amazing man and I just knew he would never let anything happen to our baby. The strength in his mind and his heart will never let her get hurt.
Everything I want for my child this family can give her, and much more.
In 4 months, the family and I bonded and became close. All my fears in adoption were covered by their actions and reassurance. My biggest fear was that my daughter would resent me for my decision but the mom I chose always told me she would never let that happen. Before getting induced my mom and step father had breakfast with the baby’s new mom and dad too. We were all so excited sitting around that table. Getting induced seemed to take forever. Once my water was broken active labor began. I began contracting and dilating. The contractions became unbearable; I began screaming and crying. My mom and my baby’s mom stood to the left and right to me holding my hand, rubbing my back, running to find the doctor, and encouraging me that I didn't have to be as strong as I wanted to be. Moments later our baby girl was born. For about an hour I had this amazing little person to myself. I held her in exhaustion, I let her listen to me, I let her feel me, I told her about 40 times that I loved her. It was quite apparent how tired I was from the delivery. Throughout the stay at the hospital we got to visit and bond with our baby. I am a naturally strong person who doesn’t cry in front of anyone, not even my mom, who stayed with me my entire stay.
I took about 2 showers a day which is where I let all my emotions out.
These were the moments where I could literally feel my heart break.
In the hospital, we played card games with her mom and dad, we laughed about stories, we shared memories as we made new ones. Eventually it was time to say goodbye to my baby girl and her amazing new mom and dad. My heart pounded as I held her, the emotions covered my face. The couple took me in their arms already knowing I was on the verge of crying.
They kept assuring me of their gratitude and respect for me.
They told me she will never love me any less. They were beyond grateful for the blessing I gave them. Their joy filled their room. My heart was so heavy leaving her. I remember the silent car ride home with random tears falling. I remember even weeks after having her, feeling empty and weak. Feeling like something was missing, feeling like I let her down.
The sleepless nights aren't easy, seeing a newborn baby in public without having the urge to break down will get easier, and questioning that I made the right choice will always be in the back of my mind. But I know for a fact she is going to have a life I could not possibly give her.
That is what she deserves. She is loved. She is perfect. She is beautiful. She deserves the world.
On the days when I fall apart from missing her, I remember how much stronger this is making me.
I know I am brave, I know I am a good mom, I know I am loved, I am proud of myself. I'll break my heart a million times for my children, because I love them that much.
This is my story.
Update from Jess (as of 2023): I am working with Children & Family Services. I’ve remarried and am still active in my daughter's life (the one I placed for adoption). She is now 6 and is so fun, beautiful, and silly!
She attended my wedding last year, and I couldn’t hold back my tears seeing her there on such a special day for me! Her parents are so kind, gentle, and have been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life! I am so thankful for them!
I am settled in my life. I have had another child and still have no regret for the decision I made. I would not be where I am today without that decision and the family she has is truly the best thing I gave her!
I had to put my heart aside because I knew at that moment in my life, in our life, that decision was the best option for her. She is and forever will be a blessing in my life and her family's.