I was attending college part-time, twenty-two years old and had just come out of a four-year relationship six months before our wedding date. On the rebound from this relationship, I began to date one of the local police officers in town. After a short time into the relationship, I realized that he was married and lived with his wife, regardless of what he told me. At that time, my self-esteem was so low that I really didn’t care at that point. After about two months into the relationship, I became pregnant. I didn’t tell anyone except for my best friend, and tried to hide the entire situation.
At the beginning of my eighth month, I told my mother, with whom I was living. She was very angry and disappointed in me. After she had time to digest it all, she told me that whatever I chose to do, she would support my decision. I realized that the child would be entirely my responsibility. I didn’t have the option of having my mother or the biological father there to help me financially, but I could always count on moral support from my mother.
During my entire pregnancy, I was lucky if I received 4-5 hours of sleep per night. All I could do was think about how I was going to care for a child. I was already living from paycheck to paycheck, and going into debt trying to finish nursing school. So, I decided to look into other options. I wasn’t comfortable with having an abortion, so the only alternative I had was to look into adoption.
I went to a psychologist who had suggested Golden Cradle® to me. I procrastinated about calling Golden Cradle® until the end of my eighth month. When I finally did call, I was pleasantly surprised to be spoken to as a real person. I then scheduled a meeting with a counselor. When I arrived for my meeting, the atmosphere of the office was very warm and pleasant. The counselor seemed genuinely interested in my situation and made me feel that I was important and not a piece of trash.
After being assigned a counselor, I had regularly scheduled visits with her. She helped me to see what was really in the best interest of my child and me. I wrote down all of the “pros and cons”, of placing my child and of parenting my child. Every once in awhile, I pull out that piece of paper with the “pros and cons” and they still come out the same. The benefits of placing my child into a stable two-parent family far outweigh the benefits of trying to raise the child entirely on my own.
I did let the father know that I was pregnant. His response was that the child wasn’t his, and he didn’t know who I was sleeping with. From that point on, he did everything possible to avoid me. He did not answer phone calls, letters, or even acknowledge me when I would confront him in public. Basically, he acted as if he never knew who I was. This made my decision to place that much clearer. The child would be better taken care of with a two-parent family. It is not that I didn’t love my child. I just wasn’t ready to be a parent; financially or emotionally. Things in my life were just too crazy.
One week before Christmas I was rushed to the hospital, due to very high blood pressure. At the time, I didn’t realize how sick I really was until they did an emergency C-section. On Thursday morning my son was born. He was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. I had three days in the hospital with him before I was able to sign adoption papers. For those three days, I spent as much time as possible with him, feeding him, bathing him, and changing his diapers. Those were the best days of my life. The most difficult thing I’ve done was to go to my father’s funeral when I was twelve; the second was to leave the hospital without my son. To this day, I still remember being wheeled down the hallway to the elevator as my counselor was taking my son to his new parents.
My son is now a very active and happy young adult. I met his parents and have had continual contact with them by way of letters and pictures. I even have videotape of my son that begins the day that they received him up to the present. I cherish every letter and picture. I sent him a baby ring as a symbol of the love I have for him. Now that he is getting older, I receive little notes from him. These are just the best!
There are some days that I am sad, like Mother’s Day and Christmas, but I know that adoption was the best choice at the time and I still feel this way. As time passes, these days become fewer and life goes forward. Many of the goals I had set for myself have come true, and I have Golden Cradle® and my son’s adoptive family to thank for helping me make these goals a reality.