September 2, 2017, changed my life forever. This was the day I found out I was pregnant.
My boyfriend took me to CVS to get a pregnancy test, and deep down we both already knew I was pregnant. There was life growing inside of me, but I was so scared and tried to ignore the fact that this had become a reality.
I went to my best friend’s apartment and cried to her. I knew I wasn’t ready to raise a baby, but I also knew I didn’t want to have an abortion. She asked if I’d ever thought about adoption, and I hadn’t. We found Lifetime Adoption online, and the next day I called them. The Adoption Coordinator I worked with, Veronica, talked with me about adoption and what I wanted. I still wanted to be in my child’s life if at all possible. She said that what I was asking for was very possible and that I could be picky about who I would choose to raise my child. That’s when I made the decision to put my baby up for adoption.
After I found out exactly what I was looking for in adoptive parents, Veronica mailed me profiles of ten different couples. The first few just didn’t have the “spark” I was looking for, so I was getting discouraged. Once I saw Matt and Jessica’s profile, I smiled. Veronica told me to take my time looking at profiles, but I’d decided on Matt and Jessica the moment I saw their faces. I wanted to talk with them as soon as possible to see if they were as great in real life as on paper.
As soon as we spoke with each other, we knew. We spoke about what we hoped our relationship would look like, and we talked about our girl. I knew they were meant to be her parents. I sent them a sonogram photo, and it meant the world to them. We were all so in love with this baby who wasn’t even born yet.
The adoptive mom, Jessica, was next to me and was my best friend at my side during labor. She held my hand and encouraged me the whole time. I don’t know how I could have done it without her there. I asked for Matt to cut the cord, and even though I couldn’t see, it was emotional. It was such a beautiful experience.
At 10:02 pm on February 7, 2018, Olivia was born at 6 pounds 4 ounces. We cried together and stared at our girl. We’d brought her into the world together. I breastfed Olivia during the day, and Matt and Jessica bottle-fed her at night so they could also bond and I could rest.
The moment when a birth mother hands her baby to an adoptive mother is one of the most sacred and heartbreaking experiences a person will ever go through. I handed my firstborn and most precious gift to another woman, trusting that she would care for and love her unconditionally, and she didn’t take that for granted. We were mourning and celebrating at the same time; I won’t ever forget that day.
The night I signed off my parental rights was very emotional. I held my daughter the entire time and told her how much I loved her. I told her I was doing what was best for her and that one day she would understand. When I got to the last paper, I stopped and stared at Olivia to make sure this was what really needed to be done. I was going back and forth in my mind for what seemed like forever, but was in fact just a couple of minutes. I signed.
Afterward, Matt and Jessica came back into the room. We all cried. I was mad with myself for not being able to take care of my child. If I’m honest, I was mad at God, too, for giving me such a perfect gift just for it to be taken away.
But I had chosen adoption for my baby because she deserved everything, and I wanted her to have the best life possible. I made that decision because I trusted Matt and Jessica and knew they’d be the parents my daughter needed them to be.
The first four months after placement were hard. I was asking myself if I did the right thing. Then I would see them together as a family in one of the video updates they sent me. I knew then that they were meant to be. We called each other, texted and Facetimed frequently, and they posted updates to a private Facebook account.
Matt and Jessica make an effort to ensure that I know almost everything that is going on in her life. I was there for the adoption finalization, for her first Christmas and her first birthday. I don’t want Olivia to have to wonder about me, why I decided for adoption, or if I love her.
Matt and Jessica are so fantastic. Whenever I visit, they make sure I’m comfortable and they honor me. I appreciate them for allowing my daughter and me to have the relationship that we have. They love Olivia so much that I have never regretted my decision to place her with this adoptive couple.
These past few years, I’ve learned patience and how to love someone else more than myself. I found my faith again. I get to see all of Olivia’s milestones and to watch her grow into a sweet little girl. I knew I would always be in her life, but I’d never pictured it looking as beautiful as it does.
That’s not to say that adoption is all sunshine and rainbows. It is hard, it can be wrenching, but it’s so worth it.