My mother had become pregnant with me when she was 16, and married my 21-year-old father. They divorced when I was 5. My father took custody of my baby sister and I, and the three of us lived with my grandparents. My mother moved half the country away to be with her family, and after limited contact and a visit or two, she completely stopped keeping in touch when I was about 10. I think I would have been better off if I had never known her.
When I was in my 2nd semester of my senior year I became pregnant. My boyfriend wanted to get married, but I was terrified to make that commitment at such a young age, especially after my parents’ example. I had ambitions and dreams, and one of them was to finish high school and go to college. My boyfriend had graduated high school and was working part-time, but was in no place financially or emotionally to support a wife and child. I also was not financially or emotionally ready to be a parent or a wife. My family was in no position to support us physically, financially, or emotionally; and though his could have, I could not accept being that dependent nor placing that much of a burden on someone else. Above all else, I was fearful of following in my mother’s footsteps.
Giving our son up for adoption was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was heartbreaking, and I felt empty for a long time afterwards and made a lot of bad choices. Eventually, I recovered and got back on the right path. As bad as my pain was for a time, I have never felt the sting of regret. I have always been able to take comfort in knowing that I gave him the best possible start in life, by placing him into a wonderful Godly family to love and care for him in a way that I was not able to at the time. My friend that aborted her child has never stopped feeling the pain and regret, though she eventually found a way to forgive herself.
The adoption was a semi-open one. We were allowed to choose one of three prospective couples, and then interview them. We felt they were a wonderful fit to our beliefs and how we wanted our child to be raised. We were not allowed to exchange any identifying information such as last names or cities. After he was born, we spent time with him in the hospital until he was released to foster care. The adoption agency made an extremely rare exception for us, since Rob’s dad had been away working as a camp counselor when he was born. They allowed us to pick him up from the agency for an afternoon about a week later and take him to Rob’s grandmother’s house, which was nearby. There, Rob’s dad was able to come and meet him, along with several other family members and close friends. I believe we went to court to sign the adoption papers shortly after that. It was very difficult, but I never seriously considered changing my mind because I knew I was doing the best thing for him.
We kept in touch with the adoptive family through the agency via letters and pictures, which we still have, for a couple of years afterwards. We also filed paperwork through the state giving permission for our names and contact information to be released to him, should he decide to come looking for us someday. Now he is nearly 20, and could look us up at any time. I am honestly nervous both that he could, and that he may choose not to. I do hope to meet him someday, and hope that he will not be disappointed in us. Our other children know about him and also hope to meet him someday.
Today, his birth father and I have been married for nearly 19 years and we have five more beautiful children together. I will graduate community college with my Associates degree in less than two months and my husband is two classes away from doing the same. We will both be transferring to a four-year college to earn our Bachelors degrees. We’re very active in our church, and I sing in two bands as both ministry and hobby.