This guest post is by Megan, a birthmother.
I found out I was pregnant with my fourth child at one of the hardest points in my life. I was struggling to keep a roof over my children’s head, let alone clothes on their back and food in their stomach.
On top of that, my second son was diagnosed with severe autism and was so severely developmentally delayed that I hardly had time for my two other children, not to mention a newborn.
I was so lost, confused and overwhelmed. I had my IUD in—how could I have gotten pregnant again? I knew I wasn’t ready or capable of handling another child, but abortion wasn’t an option.
So I laid my options out in front of me and talked to my fiancé, who is the father to all my children, and told him what we were going to do.
Because he is half native American, I was scared to tell anyone we were even considering adoption because in his culture adoption was considered a crime.
But I knew I couldn’t possibly raise another child. So I went ahead and contacted an adoption agency and set up a meeting to see what it would be like to place my baby.
The following day a caseworker came to meet me and explained how open and closed adoption worked.
I was so scared that I was even considering adoption for my baby. I kept asking myself how can I carry my own child, give birth to her, and place her in another woman’s arms?
But I kept moving forward with my decision, and the following day she brought us the adoption profiles of 15-20 possible adoptive parents that matched our needs and wants.
When it came time to look at the profiles of families that wanted to adopt I broke down and cried and held my three children close.
That’s when I realized how selfish it would have been of me to try and keep my unborn child.
My special needs son, who was three at the time, needed me 24/7 and I was also raising a six-month-old daughter and four-year-old son.
When I started to view the parent profiles I was like, “No, they are too old.” “No, they look nothing like what our child will look like” etc. I had every excuse in the book not to pick any of them.
But then I came across one couple named Sabrina and Jim, and I bonded with them from the moment I opened their parent profile.
They were a beautiful middle-aged couple with their own real estate company who were very successful, stable and compassionate.
I was in awe of everything they wrote in their adoption profile—what they wanted for their child, how open they were, and how nice, caring and informal they were.
I felt as if I had known them forever even though I hadn’t even met them yet.
When we did meet them two days later, I knew the instant I saw them that I had chosen the right profile. They were perfect.
They both stood up and gave me a hug and told me how much this meant to them.
Over lunch, we talked about so many things and when we were done I knew that I was making the most loveable and unselfish choice I could—not only for my unborn baby but also for the children I I was struggling with.
I couldn’t imagine bringing a child into the world that I couldn’t care for, but after that visit I looked at my pregnancy as a blessing from God.
From that meeting on, Sabrina came with me to every doctor’s appointment and got to experience my whole pregnancy from the time I was seven weeks along.
She was like a member of my extended family. She knew everything about me and my children, and I never felt like there wasn’t anything I couldn’t say around her. She was like a sister, a best friend– my biggest supporter
She made me believe in myself and opened my eyes when I needed it most.
She always made sure that I was okay, my kids were okay , and my relationship was okay. She was someone I never had in my life—like the mother I always wanted.
Long story short, I grew up in foster care and group homes until I was 18 so I never had a stable life until Sabrina came into it.
I was so happy to know that she would be my daughter’s mother and that my daughter was going to have the life I always dreamed of.
When my daughter finally entered the world, Sabrina was there with me. She experienced everything as if she just delivered her own daughter.
She heard MagDaleena’s first cry, held her first, and most importantly, cut her umbilical cord.
When I met MagDaleena for the first time, I was full of emotion. I was also in a lot of pain since I had just had a C-section and my tubes tied.
She was so tiny and beautiful that I was scared I wouldn’t be able to sign the adoption paperwork. But I swallowed my pride and knew I had to think about MagDaleena and not myself.
I breastfed her for her first 8 days of life since we were in the hospital together. That made the process harder but I wanted my daughter to have the best of everything .
The whole time Sabrina was there with me. We shared a room so she woke up for every feeding, while Jim had another room in the hospital learning how to be a dad.
They didn’t let the nurses take MagDaleena away without one of them with her as I had asked and respected all of my wishes and decisions.
They even followed Native American traditions after MagDaleena’s birth. I couldn’t have asked for better parents for my daughter. They make me feel like I made the right decision in choosing adoption for her.
Today, MagDaleena is two and my relationship with Sabrina, Jim and her is closer than ever.
We talk, we text, we email, we visit. They include us for holidays, special days, and milestones.
I tell people who end up pregnant unexpectedly and are in a tough situation to give adoption a chance.
If you feel it’s not the right decision then you have that right to say so.
And if you do choose adoption and have concerns about your relationship, speak out about them or you’ll never accept your child’s placement.
And always remember, no matter what, you are your child’s birth parent and you always will be 😉
My personal experience with an open adoption has been amazing.
It’s not like the movies or books show. It’s been our own story, our own experience, and it has made us who we are today.
Megan is a birthmother and stay-at-home mother to three children.
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