I Did It- Adoption 19 mos. later

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      I want to make myself available to any woman who wants someone who has been there. Lord knows I needed someone when I was where you are now.

      During my freshman year in college I found out I was pregnant. I was very naive and had a boyfriend who…well, "crazy" just doesn’t do him justice. Regardless, I decided not to marry him and went home to live with my parents-I got lucky I had a home.

      I got two jobs and went to school online to keep insurance. I did the whole thing alone…no, fighting the "father" the whole way. He lived in another city so we didn’t have to meet face-to-face…but he wasn’t happy that I wasn’t willing to marry an abusive boy.

      I worked through all the stares and the questions and the relentless comments from strangers, friends and (worst) my family. I listened to their suggestions about my "options." Abortion just was not for me-in fact, I have opposed that horrible choice my entire life. That was an oppertunity to prove it.

      Several months before my daughter was born I met a couple through a Christian adoption agency. I had been going to counseling through the agency to decide which was best-and they were very non-biased about it (yea). I decided that I would explore it deeper and found a local couple that would be interested in an open adoption. Before I chose them I made sure they fit all my criteria for ideal parents…for me and for my baby.

      Of course, getting the ex-boyfriend to agree to such a thing was the source of most of the fighting. I witheld most of the information about my pregnancy and the baby (including her sex) as an incentive for him to go to free counseling with, or without, me. He didn’t care enough to and we eventually had to set the agency back a grand to have paperwork served to him. Only a week or two before she was born he signed his relinquishment papers and the decision was mine to make.

      Oh, what a terrible decision! I would have just as well decided whether or not to take my own life! How could I possibly make a decision like that for my daughter? Now, leaving out tremendous detail, blood, sweat and tears I chose a plan of open adoption for my daughter. After countless hours of counseling, crying, thinking, praying, researching, working and worrying I knew that was what was best for her.

      After 17 hours of labor, 3 hours of pushing and one eventual c-section she was born into this world-and what a beautiful girl she was. It was all too soon she was gone from me again…but I had 3 glorious days as her only mother before that.

      Not many people know what open adoption is. I didn’t. With the family I chose for my daughter, we visit quite often. When I’m not off away at school (yes, I decided I had to finish sometime) I visit them at least once a month-and when I’m in town during school terms. We have phone calls and picutres and emails. Believe it or not (I still can’t believe it), the adoptive mother and I are becoming close friends. While I do feel that I lost a daughter, I also gained a family. I am the stand-in birthmother to their older adopted son whose birthmother is choosing not to be involved for her own private reasons. I am my daughter’s birthmother. They are both growing up with an extra set of loving grandparents, a new loving uncle and a birthmother who could not give them more even if she wanted to!

      One post, one paragraph…one sitting does not do this justice. There is simply too much information out there and too many different stories. I wanted to let you know what I chose for my daughter. It is possible to live through an unexpected pregnancy-even when it seems absolutely hopelss. If you can’t give your baby everything that you want to (like me) then there are ways of providing for your child-even if it has to be through adoption. People may say that adoption is something you’ll regret forever and "I could never give my baby to someone else…" but it simply isn’t true in a lot of cases. Sure, I regret it some days. I’m entitled to as a mother who has no baby to cuddle. Others, wow…I know that I gave her more in this lifetime than ANY other person ever could and that I will be there for her to watch her grow up and help her understand how much she is loved-not that she was "given away." Lastly, placing a baby isn’t the easiest thing you’ll ever do. I dare say it will be the hardest. Even so, you are giving your baby life, a home, 2 loving parents, stability, a family…whatever your reasons for it.

      I don’t want to sound like I’m preaching (and I realize that I do)…but I wanted to let you know of an option you may not have known about. Adoption and Parenting- 2 options worth knowing about. With enough research, prayer and heart you will figure out what is best for your baby. After all, who would know better than Mom?



          Have to say that I think it was the hardest thing I ever did. It has been 15 years and it still hurts. Not all mothers that put their child up are lucky enough to be able to see them.


            Dear Amy

            I hate to say it but the decision is ultimately yours in regard to the baby. You have a long life ahead and what if the boyfriend and you break up or parents pass away? You will be left looking after the child. It’s yours and his life especially when you are still so young. I was your age when I got pregnant and friends turned against me etc when I made my own decision. I decided that I wanted a better life for myself and in the process give my baby a life that I could not give him (a stable relationship, money etc). I met the adoptive parents and have minimal contact and it’s up to my son to look me up when he’s older if he wishes.

            It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. You have to grieve and try and get on but it does get easier.

            Take some time out and think about it. When you have made your decision stick to it. When you deliver the baby it’s easier if you have no doubts. Not saying that it’s easy but you have to love that baby enough to do what is right and best for it.

            I can safety say that I did the right think and for whatever reasons, I’m proud of myself for having the courage to give a little soul a good life.


              hello all,

              The decision to parent or to make an adoption plan has got to be one of the most difficult decisions one can make. No matter which way you decide to go, there will be difficulties as well as joys. It is so important to get as much information as you can and to get a group of people around you who can support you no matter what you decide.

              We have 3 open adoption relationships with our children. Each situation has been different, but we have relationships with the birth grandparents as well as the birthmothers, one birth father and siblings, cousins, etc. Our middle son also has a full birthsister. He is graduating high school next week and his birth sister, birth grandfather, birthmom will join all of our family to celebrate.

              It has also been my observation that the grandparents have a more difficult time than anyone else with adoption (don’t know why). It is helpful to know that openness does not remove the pain of adoption and also to acknowledge that openness adds to the joy, creating a richness that we have found to be absolutely wonderful!

              If you decide to do an open adoption, make sure you interview families and make sure everyone is clear about what kind of relationship you want for now and for the future.

              All my best,
              Sandra Lenington

              Post edited by: pharmon, at: 2005/06/06 02:31


                Sometimes it is possible to have an open adoption…and with the right couple you can find a suitable relationship for your parents, his parents, yourself and your boyfriend within the adoption. Unfortunately open adoption has really only had it’s major milestones within the past 10 years, so it’s not widely publicized or accepted yet. However, there are agencies that specialize in open adoption-I would reccomend that.

                Here’s some advice for you as you decide what to do:
                1. Be a mom too. You can’t do that after an adoption is finalized, but while you’re pregnant and for those few days in the hospital be your baby’s mom. Keep visitors away at the hospital and enjoy precious time.

                2. Find an agency right away! It sounds like you’re looking for a fully open adoption where you can get adoptive parents who will also accept extended family into the relationship. There are lots of Christian agencies out there…be sure to ask them specifically if they do FULLY open adoptions. Sometimes they can be misleading…I was almost mislead! I also found a Baptist NON-PROFIT agency to go through in my home state…and I wouldn’t have done it differently. Non-profit meant they weren’t looking for a baby to "sell", the adoptive parents were of the same faith as I was and we were all in the same general area (which makes having an open relationship much easier).

                3. Get counseling at the agency regularly. A good agency will help you explore your options of parenting and adoption. Having an agency that does only fully open adoptions will help you realistically decide what is right for you in the way of the amount of contact, etc.

                4. When your pre-placement counseling is drawing to an end you’ll be asked perhaps to sift through parent profiles or a book. Before you do it have a list or a mental image of who you want your baby’s parents to be. I had an impossible list….and to my amazement only one couple in the book matched all my criteria. They lived close, had similar beliefs, couldn’t have children of their own…etc etc etc…you’ll find the perfect parents…just know what you’re looking for.

                5. Spend as much time as possible before placement with your adoptive parents. They’ll be trying to impress you the whole time, but just encourage them to act natural..get to know them, become friends. It’s good to have trust before the baby is born and things get crazy. Don’t forget to take time just for yourself to be mom…and, I know this sounds selfish…don’t share everything. I regret sharing some of the things that could have been just for me and my daughter…only because they were so few, but I’m glad that I got to share other parts of my pregnancy with them, like ultrasounds and most of my labor.

                6. You can decide whenever you want to. It might be easier to have decided before you have your baby, but I don’t know. I didn’t have the option of deciding beforehand…the birthfather didn’t sign his relinquishment until a week or so before she was born and I was extremely ambivelent about the whole thing for the whole pregnancy (as I planned for 2 outcomes). Just keep in mind…the laws in your state might say you have to wait 48 hours before signing the relinquishment forms…but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it in 3 days. Take your time, think and pray about it. It is the hardest decision you’ll ever make and it can’t be reversed. It’s worth the extra time, trust me. I didn’t know (or realize) that until afterwards.

                7. Be mom while you can. If you choose to place you’ll be glad you did. If you don’t then you’ll already be doing what you should be. :o)

                Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions. I strongly suggest open adoption to anyone. You can always taper off contact if it isn’t right for you as a birthparent but it is virtually impossible to open up an adoption and start contact once you’ve placed in a closed one. In most states it isn’t really even legal (to an extent). Open adoptions can be tailored to fit anyone- it’s a new and extremely healthy type of adoption for the children and adults alike- so lets take advantage of it!

                And that other birthmom is right. The pain never goes away after placing a baby. It gets a little better every day, but some days are just like that first moment you watched your baby get strapped into someone else’s carseat and drive away. It’s the truth, don’t go in expecting roses…cause you have to get past the thorns first…and the scars will always, always be there. At least with an open adoption you can have some sense of relief watching your child thrive in a situation you might not have been able to provide at the time…and your baby will know you…but it’s still hard.

                I applaud all the birthmothers of the closed system, their strength, faith and hope.

                I encourage all future birthparents to invest their time in an open adoption-it’s worth the work.


                  hi, i am 16 years old, and 3 weeks ago i did the hardest thing i will ever do. i placed my beautiful daughter up for adoption. me and her father, (we are still together, and getting married soon) were in perfect agreement and had both decided from the beginning that we wanted to adopt out. i was adopted myself, and agreed it would suit her best. it was the hardest thing i will ever do, i have never cried so hard in my life. the adoption plan is very open, and i have a wonderful relationship with my daughter’s parents, so i will be seeing her often. i feel that i made the right decision, and i am very proud of myself. adoption was NOT easy, but i am not parent material, and neither is the father. i am not a fan of abortion and never considerd it at all. i feel that if you are not ready to parent, and are also not ready to parent, adoption is a wonderful, blessing option. thank you for reading.


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