Hello, my name is Maggie and I am 31-years-old. I had a childhood filled with unsafe situations, neglect, and uncertainty.
I haven't seen my mother since the age of 12 and she actually passed away in 2019. I had a dad who was lost on how to help me and although we have a healthy relationship now, he did not offer much guidance on how to live a productive life. I have birthed four children in which my two middle children were placed with the same birth family at birth.
In 2016, I was lost, and on a continuous search for acceptance and love. I was struggling with addiction along with mental health disorders that were made even worse from the substances. I was in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic. It was just all around an unhealthy situation. The day I had found out I was pregnant and told the father of the baby, he abused me for hours and told me I was not having a baby. I left him that day and ran! This was such a dark place to be in and I had no idea what to do or where to get help. I knew that I had options I just was not sure what I wanted to do.
I was already struggling to care for my son who was enduring these traumatic events from abuse and addiction as well. I ended up making the call for an appointment at an abortion clinic. As the day came for me to go to my appointment I was in complete misery with what I was doing.
I feel in my heart that any woman should make their own choices but that abortion wasn't the option for me.
So three appointments later of me sitting in the abortion clinic parking lot and "chickening out" I googled "adoption agencies near me". To my surprise there was a local office. I was under the impression it would be 1-800 numbers only to get a hold of adoption help I thought it was secretive and not local and common. I thought the process would be long, hard and demeaning.
The first call was answered on the first ring and instantly the lady on the other end of the phone was able to offer me reassurance and understanding. I felt comfortable to tell her what I was going through and she walked me through the process.
The process started a couple days after that. Choosing a family felt like the biggest decision I ever had to make in my life, but I had to choose. The first family I was interested in ended up adopting the day they were going to be told they had a baby. That led me to the Hammocks. They looked friendly and already had two biological kids of their own which is something I wanted for my child to have. I met them awhile later and got close to them as my pregnancy progressed. The birth of my daughter was beautiful but there was a lingering cloud because of my choice I was making. The adoptive family offered all the support and communication to make this transition as smooth as possible.
Leaving the hospital without a baby was weird, gut wrenching, and just flat out not a natural feeling. I dove back into unhealthy behaviors, just masking feelings that I didn't want to feel.
About six months later I was arrested. I spent time in a behavior modification program. And then I chose to go to a sober living house. And this is where my life started to change for the better. I was surrounded by people that wanted better for themselves and I needed that door to open. The adoptive family supported me through everything I went through and never once did I feel judged. I needed an unconditional love and they provided. While in the sober living house I got pregnant with my third child. I was embarrassed. I felt shameful. I couldn't believe I did this to myself. A couple weeks went by and weighed my options and decided that adoption was going to be the best choice for me, again. There was no question in my mind that I was going to offer for the Hammocks to adopt this child as well. I know it was a lot to put on them but I just felt like I didn't have another choice. The day that I text Mrs. Hammock and told her what was going on, we met up and talked for hours. And she disclosed with me that they had opened their file up with the adoption agency to adopt again but was not going to tell me until something was set in stone. That day, while we were sitting there, Mrs. Hammock called the adoption agency and told them to pull their file and that I was pregnant again and their heart was with me.
They went on this journey with me again this time being more involved in the pregnancy and offering even more support.
When I gave birth to my son it was even harder than I remember with my daughter. I was sober and on a path of recovery. There was a part of me that felt like I could parent him now. But when I looked at the reality of the situation, I was still living in a sober living house, I didn't have custody of my oldest and I just was not stable. It didn't make it any easier. I could go on about my story but I think this hits a lot of the main points.
Since my adoptions I have continued to grow as a person. I have been blessed to be an active part of my birth children's lives and to watch beautiful human beings become their own person and be loved.
All I ever wanted for them was to live in a home full of love, opportunities, and safety. And that's exactly what they got. I had another child 2 years later in which I chose to parent. My daughter I chose to parent saved me. I really dealt with feeling like a woman and a mother after choosing adoption, but she gave me an opportunity to prove to myself that I am capable. She has changed me in ways that I didn't know I needed. I have grown closer to my oldest son and have built a relationship with him that I never thought was possible considering everything that I put him through.
Open adoption is not for everybody, but it can be beautiful.
If the adoptive family and the birth parents work together to offer the children answers and love, there's no other relationship like open adoption.