I was pregnant at 19 years old, freshman in college, scared, nervous, and alone. I didn’t realize I was pregnant until 7 months along, leaving 2 months to figure out the fate of this child.
I was far from ready to be a parent; I still had college to finish, career goals to achieve, and places to travel.
I didn’t have the money to raise a child. I begged the biological father to consider adoption because he wanted to keep this child, even though his life was very unstable and we were not together. I spent every other day calling him, listing reasons why adoption was the right choice. I wanted this baby to have two married parents, good educations, and good careers, raise him with good values/morals, and experience everything life can offer him.
I put my own feelings aside and only thought about what was best for my child in that moment. I hand-selected these amazing, loving, and caring adoptive couple to become his parents through a local adoption agency. The minute that I met them in person, I could feel their joy to be parents, and ultimately felt how much love they would provide for this child. I told myself there was no turning back on my decision.
I was induced at 39 weeks and delivered via C-section after 21 hours of labor. The minute I saw that sweet baby’s face, my whole life changed. My life did a complete 360 turn, even though I did not decide to parent my child. I was forced to grow up and be mature.
Because my life did a complete 360 turn, I lost a lot of friends along the way because I was done with that phase of my life. I have a part of me in this world now — my choices have to be different now.
Every decision, no matter how little or big from then on was always geared towards what is best for this child, not what do I want?
This wasn’t a moment to be selfish, it was a moment to be realistic about this child’s future.
Five days after the C-section, I was back on my college campus walking around like nothing had happened. Less than five people knew what was going on in my life. Even if I told people, no one would truly understand what internally is happening. The loneliness and pain filled my body. I didn’t tell anyone except a few people that I was pregnant, had a baby, and chose adoption until he was a year old. Such a daunting secret to keep for 365 days because of pure embarrassment, until I realized this is a positive experience. This is a good thing! I get to watch a couple live their dream of being a family!
From that day on I never covered this secret again.
I realized there are other women out there who might be considering adoption but don’t know anyone who has experienced this. So this is my mission to educate the public on how positive and life-changing adoption can be for birth mothers out there.
This is a hard experience to hand your own DNA, a piece of you, and a piece of your heart over to someone else, but it’s all worth it when you see the joy and bliss as they take their first family photo together.
Here we are almost four years later, I get to see pictures and videos, have visits and be a part of my son’s life knowing that everything he needs and wants will be fulfilled. This child did NOT deserve a split-parent home, average education, and living paycheck to paycheck — he deserved an EXTRAORDINARY life. He deserved the amazing childhood that I got to experience.
As a child, I never worried because I had two parents who were happily married and college-educated. They took my brothers and me on amazing trips around the country and made sure we got top-notch educations.
My son deserved that same chance — that same life that I got to experience. I got a second chance at life to better myself and be a role model for him as he gets older. I chose a better life than I could have given him because that is what he deserved.
Because of one decision I made, I graduated early with a Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college, got accepted into a rigorous graduate school program, and am one semester away from graduating with a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology. Because of one decision I made, I get to marry the man of my dreams in November and continue to watch my son be raised by the most amazing parents.
There is not one day that I regret my decision. Because of one decision almost four years ago so many lives have changed for the better.
Shelbi is a friend, daughter, soon-to-be wife, and birth mother. She enjoys spending time with friends and family and ultimately looks forward to her career as a Speech-Language Pathologist. She enjoys being involved in the adoption community, meeting and speaking with other birth parents and adoptive couples. She couldn't have made it through this adoption journey without the amazing support of her family, her soon-to-be husband, and her son's parents.