This guest post is by Courtney, a birthmother.
When I discovered I was pregnant, I was not new to motherhood. I was 26 years old and already parenting my 2 1/2-year-old son, Jack. I wanted more children, and was actually missing having a baby in the house.
The day I found out, I hadn’t even missed that time of the month, but something in me told me to test. In my gut, I knew. The line was so faint I could barely see it, but oh, it was there.
I was a mix of so many emotions.
Happiness, because I knew how much I loved Jack; fear, because I didn’t know how I was going to take care of the new baby; and anger, at myself for allowing it to happen.
Originally, I intended to parent this baby.
I loved and wanted him from the very start.
The idea of adoption popped into my head around 20 weeks. I was having a hard time parenting Jack. I was exhausted. I was living in a tiny one bedroom apartment that was so small we could barely fit us and the furniture in it.
However, I decided at close to 30 weeks that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bear it. I would cry and hold my belly every time I thought about placing my baby. I was convinced nobody could love him like I could.
Once I was there, however, I was terrified. I realized how ill equipped I was to provide what he deserved.
It wasn’t until he was 3 1/2 months old and we were about to be homeless that I realized I just could not give my sweet boy what he needed and deserved. I could give him just enough to get by, but for him that just wasn’t good enough.
I knew that this baby was meant for another family. I couldn’t avoid that fact anymore. I spoke to a case worker the next day, and by that night the boys and I were in a hotel room, safe and fed.
I still didn’t feel at peace with things because I had no idea how I was going to do what I needed to do.
I started looking through online adoption profiles.
I put in some criteria. I wanted a mostly stay-at-home mom to take care of my Benjamin so he wouldn’t be raised in daycare and an educated father who could provide for him all that I couldn’t.
I wanted an LDS family who would raise him with the values that meant everything to me. I put all of that in, and about 30 profiles came up. None of them felt right. Nevertheless, I sent emails to a few to see whether they might work out.
Although one of them answered right away, I wasn’t at peace with them. I felt myself struggling. As I started to fall into despair, I slammed my laptop shut and literally looked to the ceiling and hollered “if You are so sure this is right, then help me find them!!”
At that moment, my phone rang. I thought it was my case worker so I answered it. It was a woman from the hospital. She told me that her niece and her niece’s husband were looking to adopt. She asked could I just take a moment and look at their adoption profile.
I agreed but was angry at first so it took a bit. But that night sitting there, I kept feeling a nudge to keep my word and look. So I typed in their names, Drea and Jason. The INSTANT their picture popped up, I felt it. A tug, a certainty that they were people I needed to contact.
What set them apart was love.
I nervously sent out a generic email and within a couple of hours, Drea wrote back. From that very first message, Drea told me about about how much they cared and were praying for me, how they acknowledged my pain and the trial of placing for adoption a child that I’d spent all of those months loving and raising. It felt so nice to feel like someone expressing compassion for me.
We continued to email, and I asked to meet them for lunch the next day. When I met them at the restaurant, the connection was instant.
But he let them hold him, and they soaked him in. He slobbered all over Drea, and she loved every minute of it. I knew they were right, but I just wouldn’t let myself feel it just yet.
Two days later I made my choice. They invited me and the boys to Peter Piper, and I still remember God darn near yelling in my ear “Tell that woman that she is your son’s mother!”
So I did. She was telling me about a full time job she’d just applied for. I stepped away and called my caseworker, telling her I’d chosen them. I came back and sat with Drea. I looked her in the eyes and told her “Don’t take it”.
I told her they were the ones I had chosen to adopt Benjamin. I’ll never forget the look on her face. I have never seen such joy. It was like she was just glowing with it. It made me feel so good, and so sure I was making the right choice.
Sometimes I wish that I had allowed Drea and Jason the privilege of being present for Benjamin’s birth and that they had been able to take him home with them from the hospital and begin their family then. But I just couldn’t do it.
Funnily enough, I later discovered that if I had considered adoption during my pregnancy, my bishop would have introduced me to Drea and Jason. It was one more thing that made me realize that choosing them to adopt Benjamin was really meant to be.
Read Part Two of Courtney’s story here.
Courtney is a 28-year-old single mother, birth mother to an almost one year old little boy, and adoption advocate. She is attending college in hopes of becoming a nurse and has a blog where she shares her story to help others in her position.