I'm so humbled and excited to share some very special birthmother stories this month, starting with this one...I hope it touches your heart as it did mine.
I was living a charmed life in spring 2009. I was a resident assistant for USU On-Campus Housing. I was three semesters away from my PR/Communications degree. I had great friends, and in January I began dating a guy I met in band. We’ll call him B. We were both geeks, but considered ourselves “cool” geeks. Our relationship moved fast, and we started talking about marriage early.
Three months into our relationship, I began to get very jealous. B would hang out with other girls, which I felt was inappropriate. He had also expressed his discomfort that I had had a serious physical relationship with a boyfriend in high school. Our relationship was unhealthy and crumbling, but I refused to give up on it. When we moved away from each other for the summer, I saw it as a chance for me to get myself back on track and for our relationship to heal.
On June 14 2009, I found out I was pregnant. My initial thought was that B would come to my rescue, take me in his arms, and we would become the family we had been planning. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be the case.
B and I knew that there was little chance of a relationship between us working out. It was decided that a wedding would not happen, and I needed to make a plan. My mom had decided to take me to LDS Family Services for counseling, and that was what changed my life.
I was never pressured into placing for adoption. In fact, when I told my caseworker that I wanted to place for adoption, she told me to wait on my decision. It was advised that I make a parenting plan and really think through my options. The decision to parent or place is very individual. I fought myself for months, going back and forth between parenting and placing. The further into my pregnancy I got, the more my heart began to change. Each day it became less about me and more about the little spirit growing inside of me.
When I was barely three months along, I started looking at parent profiles on www.itsaboutlove.org . I wanted to know more about adoptive couples and see what this “open adoption” thing was all about. I emailed five couples. One couple replied and let me know that they were already in contact with a birthmother. One didn’t write back at all. The other three wrote back, but only one really stuck out to me. We started emailing back and forth regularly, and I soon found I wasn’t just writing to a hopeful adoptive couple – I was writing to friends. I shared everything about my pregnancy with them, and they responded with questions about me. We discovered that we had crossed paths many times in the past ten years, but had never actually met. The only concern I had about them was that they lived 2,500 miles away from me. Basically, as far from me as they could possibly be and still be in the continental United States.
By November 2009, I was pretty sure I wanted to place with them – if I placed. They decided to visit their families for Thanksgiving, and suggested meeting while they were in the area. I loved the idea, and knew that I needed to meet them before I could make a decision. At the time, I felt there was about a 60% chance I would parent. I couldn’t imagine placing this baby into the arms of someone else.
When B and I met Dave and Amy for the first time, I felt peace. They were amazing, and just as nervous as I was. My confirmation came within moments. When we sat down, I looked at Amy. In that instant, I saw myself placing a child in her arms. My heart broke and was healed at the same time. My Heavenly Father was giving me my answer.
Over the next few weeks, I fought as hard as I could. I felt excitement when I thought about parenting, but I was unsettled. When I thought about placement, my heart ached but I felt peace and comfort.
On Christmas Eve, I announced to Dave and Amy that I would be placing with them. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RGIXSZ8tFM) I knew it was right, even though my heart was heavy. The joy I heard in Dave and Amy’s voices when they called me that night was all I needed to know for sure. They had been waiting over 8 years for this.
January was a rush of preparation. I talked to my unborn son, sang to him, and made promises. I promised to make him proud. I promised to do things right in my life. I promised that he would always be loved.
The second week of February, less than two weeks before I was due, my step-father fell into a self-induced coma. He was the man who had supported me through my entire pregnancy. He had given me fatherly advice, love, and support at all hours of the day. We thought we would lose him that first week, and I prayed harder than I ever had before. I didn’t know that I could make it through placement without him.
I was induced on February 20, 2010. That same day, Dave and Amy were flying to Utah in case I went into labor. The timing would be perfect, as Dave could only miss one week of school and had spring break the second week. They would need to stay in Utah until they were given the OK to fly back to Florida.
B and my mom were present the entire time I was in labor. I breathed through my contractions, and the closer I got to delivery, the more uncertain I became. I wasn’t ready for this. I wanted to meet my little boy, but as soon as he arrived my countdown would begin.
At 5:31 pm, David III was born. He weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces. He was perfect. When I first held him, he stole my heart completely. I spent the next two days loving on him, singing to him, and memorizing him. My perfect little boy. The more time I spent with him, the more I knew I had to give him the world. And the world he deserved was more than I could give him by myself. I was breastfeeding in the hospital, and it was a comfort to me that Amy would be breastfeeding after placement as well. Together, we were giving our little boy the best start.
Placement was the most spiritual experience of my life. Although my heart was breaking, the peace I was praying so hard for was there. As I placed David into Amy’s arms, she embraced me. We held our son between us, and I knew it was right. I ached, I wanted to run, I wanted to scream, I wanted to take my little boy back. But I knew I couldn’t, because he deserved more.
Since placement, I have completely turned my life around. My step-father passed away in May, but I know he is still watching over me. I also had the incredible opportunity to be present at the court finalization in August in Orlando, Florida. I was outside the LDS temple later that day when Dave, Amy and David were sealed as an eternal family. I shared their joy that day, and I have shared their joy many times since. We stay in close contact and consider ourselves family. Amy and I have become very close, and I recently returned from a one-week visit. I got to love on that sweet little boy, nicknamed Bo after me, and was able to again see the beautiful family I was able to help create. My broken situation was transformed into a perfect family. I am so grateful for adoption. I am so grateful that I have such a loving, wonderful relationship with my baby’s parents.
David will always know who I am. He will always know that I placed him because I love him. He will always know that he was meant to be part of his family.
Families are ordained of God. Families are forever.
I love you, little one.