I was pregnant at 16, a sophomore in high school. My mom was raising me on her own, working as hard as she could to put food on the table. I had just ended an abusive relationship, filled with cheating and manipulation. I took the last $10 my mother had for the week to buy a pregnancy test. It was positive. I felt hopeless. How could I provide for this child? How could I give the baby a stable life with such an awful father? Would this baby keep me in the cycle of abuse? After I had processed this overwhelming truth in my life, I focused my energy on making sure the best decision was made for my baby.
A trustworthy mother-like friend from church asked me how I felt about adoption. I was open to talking to someone about it. She knew of a family who had been trying to conceive for years. I met with them a few months later. It felt right. They were warm and genuine. They did not look at me as most adults had been looking at me lately. We got to know each other and I knew they would be the family for this baby. I trusted them and we chose an open adoption plan.
Adoption is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. When the baby was born, I spent two days with her in the hospital. I bonded with her and loved her to pieces. In Massachusetts at this time, a birth mother must wait 48 hours after being released from the hospital before they can sign adoption papers. Those 48 hours were the most trying hours of my life. My mind and body felt crippled as if I had just experienced death. I reminded myself of why I wanted the baby to be adopted. The life I wanted her to have. Even through the pain, there was hope.
Twelve years later and I would not change my decision. I am married, with a career that I love, and our first baby together on the way. I have a beautiful relationship with the baby’s adoptive mother. She gives me updates on the baby who has grown into a beautiful pre-teen. We get together when we can. I have not seen the baby since I left the hospital. I knew after we parted that I needed time to heal. If thinking about seeing her led to pain of having to let her go again, it was too soon. Now that I am fully healed, the plan is to wait. Wait until she is ready to meet me, when and if that day comes.
Adoption is not always perfect. Not all stories are as beautiful as mine. Nevertheless, it is worth being considered. Adoption has the ability to bring life and love to the baby, the birth mother, and the adoptive family. In my darkest time, adoption was my life saver.