When I first realized I was pregnant, I didn’t want to believe it.
‘NO! This cannot be happening!’ ‘I can’t take care of me right now, let alone another person.’
I was not a person that had a strong desire for children. I was broke, depressed, had just moved back in with my family, and was failing out of college. One day, I did go to my women’s biology class. The teacher spoke openly about the options with an unplanned pregnancy.
I was going to abort but was too far along, and I just couldn’t make that choice. The teacher gave me the name of an adoption agency. I contacted them. My contact from the agency set up a time to sit down and talk with me. She let me know what open adoption could look like, what the procedure is, and that this was my choice. I selected three families to meet. Right away when I met the adoptive family, I knew that they were the family for the baby that I was carrying. They were tall, from big families, and had similar interests that I did. Also, they had a daughter that was looking as forward to this baby as they were.
It made me think that she had everything she needed and enough to share.
She was happy. They were a happy and loving family. Everyone with the agency and the adoptive parents were so supportive and helpful. I didn’t feel alone anymore. I had gotten myself into this mess, but I had made a good choice for everyone.
I had hope that everything was going to be ok.
When I told my family, I was kicked out. I had younger sisters, and my mother didn’t want them to see all of this. We lived in a very small and conservative town. Mom didn’t want everyone to know. A friend knew of a place where I could stay in the city. I didn’t know anyone there, but it was somewhere to go. I was able to find a good job. I let them know that I had chosen adoption and wouldn’t need extended time off. Things were looking up. I had a job, a place to stay, and a plan for the baby. The adoptive parents came with me to doctor’s visits. They were super supportive of me, and wanted to make sure that I was ok. The agency helped us plan, and get ready for whatever may come. They offered a birth mother counselor for me.
There was hope. Things were going to be ok.
Once the day came, the adoptive parents stayed at the hospital. They were in the delivery room. I wanted them to be able to have the ‘the day you were born story.’ Also, they were really the only support system that I had. It was great to have built that connection, to know that I made the right choice. I was so excited for them to be able to take him home. It seemed like it was over. I was so relieved. I saw him a few times after that. Then I moved away and lost touch. I didn’t want to deal with that.
I made the right choice, it was over.
Except, I kept wondering how he was; how the family was. I knew in my gut that he was ok, but didn’t know for sure. I wanted them to know that they could ask me questions; that I was available if he wondered where he came from and why I made the choice that I did.
Over 13 years later, I wrote the letter. I heard back recently. He is great! In music, sports, doing well in school. She sent photos, the family being silly, and loving each other. Such a wonderful confirmation that it was the right decision for all of us.
I had an amazing and wonderful experience. I was surprised about the feelings of sadness, and grief, and what almost felt like trauma. Everything has been exactly what you want an adoption to look like. I had the picture-perfect story.
One of the things that I am the proudest of in my life was also one of the most difficult.
I was confused about these feelings. I hadn’t wanted to and wasn't able to be a parent and they were. It was an experience that forever changed who I am. The fact that I had a right to have emotions around the experience is something that I want to share. As wonderful as adoption is, it's normal to have feelings of loss around who you were before the experience. To admit to yourself that it was hard and that you are strong enough to make it through it. You didn’t give up and pick the easy way out.
There is no easy way out.
While adoption is not an easy decision, there are no easy decisions around an unexpected pregnancy. I do wish more people knew about this option. I am glad there is an organization getting the word out. I had support through my pregnancy. The son I carried has wonderful parents and more choices than I could have ever even thought of being able to give him.