I Gave My Daughter Up for Adoption
© by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved.
The Beginning of Her
I was only 18 years old. I was staring at the test results and sure enough, I was pregnant. Again. At the time, I was still with her birth father, and he seemed happy about the news. Despite my young age, she was born out of love. There was one problem, though. He was still legally married. I thought his divorce was about to be finalized, but I discovered it had never been filed.
When I was almost three months along, he decided he was going to leave me and go back to his wife. Had we not broke up, I would have definitely kept her. But, he left me. What was I going to do? I already had one baby in diapers, and as easy of a baby as he was to care for, I was not way ready to raise two children alone.
Abortion was not an option, as I figure if you kill your baby, you are never going to see him or her anyways. At least with adoption, my daughter had a chance at a good life, and maybe, someday, I would be able to have a relationship with her. Needless to say, I spent a couple months begging her biological father to get back together with me, but he refused to do so. I gave up and decided it was time to make alternative plans.
The Adoptive Parents
My heart was shattered, and I had no idea what I was going to do. I was living in a tiny one-bedroom apartment with my son. As a teenager, I attended a church for a few years and was heavily involved in the church. I did not come from a very loving family, and I had attached myself to a woman from church who was amazing, all the way around. We were close for several years prior to my daughter's conception. I knew she had been trying to have a baby for several years, since the birth of her first child. She and her husband were well-to-do financially, and I remember the love I felt from her as a friend. She was like the mother I wished I had had growing up.
Something inside me said I needed to talk to her, but I was afraid she would not want any part to do with raising someone else's child. So, I went and spoke to our pastor about the situation, explaining that I was not in a position to raise another child, but I also did not want to give my baby up to complete strangers who I did not know. I asked him to talk to my friend and her husband to see if they would be interested in adopting my baby. At first, they refused, because they felt like they would be "taking my baby away from me."
After a week of crying, talking to the couple, and praying about it, we unanimously decided that adoption was a good choice for all of us. On one hand, the adoption was a relief, but at the same time, the sacrifice was the beginning of a long heartache.
Waiting, Waiting, Waiting...
The next six months were difficult for me. I had so much love in my heart for this child, just as I had for the adoptive mother. It was a perfect match, her and my baby girl. The impending adoption caused a never-ending heartache. People have no idea what it is like to be a birth mother and waiting an entire pregnancy to give up your child. As the pregnancy progressed, we continued to talk daily. She was a huge part of my pregnancy, and I made sure to include her in as much of it as I could. When I felt the baby kick for the first time, I called her to share the news. I included her in my doctor's appointments and the birth process. She was present for our daughter's birth, as was her husband. He missed the birth, though, because he went to buy sodas for himself and his wife. The end of my labor happened so quick, she had just been born when he came back to our room.
The adoptive mother did not leave me while I was in the hospital. She was my coach, my anchor, my hope. She was so excited, and I remember her saying to me while I was in labor, "If you change your mind about this when you see her, please do not hesitate to change your mind. We will understand." How could I change my mind now? This woman had already invested thousands of dollars in clothing, furniture, and baby supplies over the last six months. And I had no money and nothing to take my baby home to.
I was so scared. I wanted my labor to stop. I wanted to stay pregnant with her forever, but that was not going to happen. She was ready to join the world. I remember when I was pushing, I looked at the adoptive mother, and it was at that moment I knew I made the right choice. She stood their crying hysterically as she watched our daughter be born. Afterwards, she was holding our daughter like the proud mother that she was, as she sat there with wiping away her tears. As I watched them, my heart broke. I tried not to ask to hold her right away, but they were not selfish about it. We all spent the evening together, the new mother and father, our daughter, and me, the birth mother. When visiting hours were over, the adoptive parents left and went home. I told them they could stay, but they felt I needed time alone with the baby.
That night was a long night. I did not sleep much. Because the adoption was an open adoption and had not been finalized yet, I was able to keep her in my room with me while we were in the hospital. I did not put her down, except to use the bathroom or for the nurses to check her. I spent all night rubbing her head and cheeks and kissing her, telling her how much I loved her. The next day, they released us both at the same time. I was really hoping they would keep us in the hospital for one more day, but I did not get that lucky. It was in the middle of winter and our cars were all parked at the entrance. As I was wheeled out of the hospital to be released, with her in my arms, I kissed her one more time. As they put her in their car to take her home, I sobbed. The tears would not stop. They were crying too, and hugged me good-bye and promised they would take good care of her. And they did exactly that.
Our daughter is turning 18 in January. The only request the adoptive parents had of me was to wait until she was an adult to establish a relationship and reunite with with her. In three months, she and I will be meeting once again. I have waited her whole life for this. There has not been a day that has gone by that I have not thought about her. She owns a piece of my heart and does not even know it. The pain of the adoption and the break-up from the biological father was unbearable, and I never had my heart back 100% since.
Here is another beautiful story by a fellow hubber, The Woes of Adoption: The Birth Mother's View.