This guest post is by Crystal Byrd, a birthmother.
I was 20 years old when I found out I was pregnant. When the doctor came in and told me I couldn’t believe it. I was in complete shock.
That day changed my life forever. I remember thinking, am I ready to be a mother? Am I ready to raise this sweet little spirit?
As I asked myself these questions and further evaluated my life and circumstances, I knew from the bottom of my heart that I wasn’t.
Emma’s birthfather was a drunk and abusive, and it only got worse when I was pregnant. When I was 12 weeks into my pregnancy, he threw me into a wall and started choking me.
That was the game changer. I knew at that moment that I had to leave him and place my baby for adoption.
I didn’t have a job and I couldn’t financially or emotionally support and raise Emma to give her the life she deserved.
I wanted her to have two loving parents and a good stable environment which I couldn’t provide.
I already knew a lot about adoption. When my mom was 21 she got pregnant and did a closed adoption with her son.
She was very supportive of my decision to place my baby and informed me about a lot of stuff.
I also talked to a friend who had an open adoption who helped me, and so did the adoptive parents that I ended up choosing for my daughter.
I found Emma’s adoptive parents, Ben and Nicole, after I started looking at online profiles of hopeful couples, and was instantly drawn to them.
I barely read their profile. I just saw their pictures and I kinda just knew. I was drawn to Ben first, then Nicole.
I knew he would be a great father just by looking at him and that he was exactly what I wanted Emma to have.
I’ve heard people say that when you see the parents you want for your baby, you will know it right away, and that’s how it was with them.
I sent Ben and Nicole an email and we made a date to meet for the first time. As soon as I met them I knew for sure that they were meant to be the parents of my daughter.
Ben and Nicole and I talked pretty much every day until placement. Because I found them so early in my pregnancy, I had a lot of time to get to know them.
They would come to my house and visit every couple of months and we would go out to eat. Nicole bought me a bracelet related to the adoption and she got me charms so I could add them to my braclet.
It was like a “We will always be with you” type of thing. She also made Emma a book about her birthfather and me with pictures and a story about us
The day after I gave birth to Emma I signed my rights over to Ben and Nicole. I was actually very calm and not too emotional at that point.
But Nicole was tearing up because she was so excited and so grateful for Emma. When I got home, I cried a lot too because that’s when it finally hit me that I wouldn’t have Emma with me.
It was a very hard time for me, but Nicole and Ben were such a great support system and they still are today.
One of my biggest fears going into the adoption was that the adoptive family would slowly close me out of their and my birth daughter’s life.
I was worried about how hard it would be to sign papers knowing I was placing my daughter in someone’s hands and worried that my birth daughter would think I didn’t want her.
But Ben and Nicole have been there every step of the way. I feel so blessed to have found them that whenever I think about it I find myself crying.
Knowing that Ben and Nicole are giving my daughter the best in life has given me so much peace and made me feel like I made the right choice.
I couldn’t provide her with all that she needed but they can, and have been ready and willing to do so.
Nowadays, I talk to them every day. Nicole sends me pictures of Emma and videos sometimes, too.
We see each other every couple of months, which is awesome. I couldn’t be happier with my open adoption. I think it’s perfect.
If you’re pregnant and considering open adoption, my advice is to research it as much as you can. Open adoption is a great thing not only for the baby but for the birthmom as well.
Honestly if you have the instinct that open adoption is right, go for it. Pray about it. It’s such a selfless act that God will bless you for it.
If you’re a hopeful adoptive parents who’s trying to make a connection with an expectant mom who’s looking at adoption for her baby, my advice is to always be honest about how you are feeling. The same goes for the birthmom.
Communication is the key to a successful open adoption. Be supportive of each other and love each other.
An open adoption relationship is such a special bond I can’t put it into words.
I’m so grateful for my open adoption and all the blessings that have came with it.
Open adoption is love. Open adoption is beautiful.
Crystal Byrd is a 21-year-old birthmother who lives in South Texas and plans to return to school to study phlebotomy.
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