My adoption story is a beautiful one, although it didn’t start off that way. I found out I was pregnant when I was 21 weeks along. This was in August of 2012. I was working at a summer camp and had been complaining to my female coworker about not getting my period, but was coming up with every other logical explanation for why that was happening. Finally, she gave me a pregnancy test to “calm my nerves,” but what it did was help me face reality.
I found out on a Friday afternoon. I remember rushing home from camp and trying another test. Again, positive. No one in my family was home at the time, and since I was in such a panic, I called my mom sobbing. She was with my sister in New York at the time, and once I told my mom the news, she decided she would fly home from New York early to help me figure things out. We told my dad together, and after the initial shock and anger, they were very supportive and loving. At this point in time though we did not know how far along I was until I saw the doctor. I didn’t have many options at this point in the pregnancy. After telling the shocking news to the birth father, a close friend from my old school, we decided that adoption was the way to go. Both of us are still in college and it wouldn’t be fair to our daughter to grow up with one parent at a time who couldn’t even be with her all day because of work and class. We wanted to find a family that would give her all the love and attention we just couldn’t give her at this time in our life.
Life works in mysterious ways sometimes. Before finding out about the pregnancy, I had been babysitting for a family friend who had adopted their son the previous year. Their birth mom had been in contact with Family Formation, so I decided to reach out to them. After talking to Megan Cohen, my nerves were totally calm. It was weird how similar our life stories and adoption stories were. Megan sent me three pamphlets after meeting with me over the phone, and one of the couples seemed oddly familiar, as if I had met them before. Their smiles jumped off the page and warmed my heart. Then when I talked to them on the phone, they seemed like people who really cared about me and my baby. We decided to get brunch one Sunday, and I left that meeting knowing they were the people I wanted to be my daughter’s parents. It’s a feeling that no one would understand unless you are a birth mother. My parents especially didn’t understand. They were angry and scared how quickly I had chosen a family. They wanted me to see other options, which I did. But none matched what I felt about this couple.
After deciding they were the couple I wanted to raise my baby, we met for lunches, and they even brought me dessert one night when I was pretty far along. I could tell how excited they were, and it made me excited for them. Knowing I would be making a family gave me comfort through the entire process.
I went into the hospital on December 17, 2012 for an induced labor. The labor was quick and relatively painless thanks to my good friend the epidural. Grace Amelia was born after 4pm on December 18, 2012. She was perfect. I held her in my arms and couldn’t believe that she was mine for a short time. Her parents came into the room crying with the biggest smiles on their faces. I won’t lie that after seeing Grace I was a little bit jealous, angry, and sad that they would get to see her firsts and be with her everyday. I also knew that I loved her too much to selfishly take her home with me where she wouldn’t get the love and attention she deserved. Saying goodbye was terrible. The worst day of my life. But, I had amazing friends and family to support me through my emotional and physical recovery.
Grace’s parents send me pictures every so often, and she is growing up so fast. I’m so happy with my decision because I know she has the best possible life, and it is something I’m so proud of. I am looking forward to seeing Grace and her parents at the end of this month. I am now on the Dean’s list at the University of San Francisco, working a few jobs, and living at home with my parents. I get together with Megan Cohen for coffee once in awhile or with a group of birth mothers to process and share our stories. I am thankful for Grace and for this experience, as difficult as it is. I know Grace is happy and healthy, and that’s what matters.