|Emily and her husband and 2 daughters on the left. |
The adoptive couple and Emily's Birth son on the right.
"When a Birth Parent decides to make an adoption plan they are in fact parenting their child. It takes a great parent to put the needs of their child above their own desires."
Today Emily shares her placement story with us.
So many thoughts in my head, no real way to get them out except this. I remember when I first found out I was pregnant. It was the middle of June. I told “SD” on Father’s Day 2007, “You’re going to be a Daddy.” A string of curse words and shock followed my short but meaningful statement. We both sat in silence for a long time. Then finally he told me that we would “have to get married now.” Being the young and inexperienced person I was, that seemed like a wonderful option at the time.
After all was decided, it was time to tell my parents. Oh crap…I didn’t want to do that. I love my parents very much and this would disappoint them. Maybe if I just had an abortion my parents wouldn’t have to know and I could tell “SD” that the test must have been wrong. This was such an easy out. No one would ever have to know, I wouldn’t have the added stress and responsibility, I wouldn’t have to go through 9 months of being pregnant, and I could just live my life as I wanted to in the first place. Yes this would be good. The only thing was, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I have seen my sisters when they were pregnant. I have felt their babies move inside them and felt the love they had for their unborn children. I knew they were real inside there. I knew that they deserved to live just like anyone else did.
So now comes the real test. How do I tell my parents? I debated for a few days over how to do this. One morning my mom came in my room to wake me up. I just started bawling. I told her I was expecting a baby and that I was going to marry my boyfriend. She did her best to be supportive and loving, and she did very well. I could feel her pain and disappointment though. I knew that she was upset at me. I knew that I had just lost all faith she had in me. I was a terrible daughter. And what was even worse, is that I hadn’t even told my dad yet. My ex Air Force dad…would kill my boyfriend. I just knew he would. He would rip off his head and shove it down his throat. So luckily my mom showed mercy on me and told daddy while she was on a trip to Utah with him. That gave him lots of time to cool down.
As the wedding came closer, my anxiety got worse. I knew that it wasn’t right. Marrying this man would not make me happy. It had to stop. I had to break up with him. So I did. But now what? I could keep the baby for my own. I could share custody. I could go back to the abortion idea. I could give it up for adoption. None of these options sounded good. Single mom? I don’t think so, that is too expensive and my dating life would be non-existent. Shared custody? No. I wasn’t too fond of the guy and he was pretty much trash. I didn’t want to torture a poor helpless baby like that. Abortion? Never. I don’t think my heart could take knowing that I had a baby…and lost it that easy. Adoption? I’m thinking no…if I have a baby, I want to keep it. They can just get their own!
Well…then it was decided. I was lost. I had no options and was running against the clock. What to do now? My parents and I talked and thought it best for me to move in with my sister in Utah. A new environment may help change my lifestyle a bit. Maybe I’d get away from the bad influences I was around and hopefully change.
Still there was the problem of what to do now. My sister had been talking to me a little about adoption. It was out of the question, but I listened to be nice. Then one day she pointed me in the direction of their page on LDS services. They had been married for about 10 years and couldn’t have children. They had been trying the whole time. Finally after finding out about some problems with infertility they had given up hope of having their own, and prayed that someone else could give them a child. Weeks, months, and soon years had dragged on. So many people wanted babies, what were the chances of them, a middle class couple in grad school, to get a baby?
After looking at their page for hours on end…I started to cry. These seemed like wonderful people. Why couldn’t they have children? That night and many to follow I prayed about it. I couldn’t do it. This was my baby. I created this child. Giving it away would hurt so much. I don’t know how someone could ever do that. Then one night, after A LOT of contemplation, I decided to do it. This couple was to have my baby. I had no money, no job, no husband, and no college education. I hadn’t even finished high school. I couldn’t give this child the life it deserved.
I started talking the LDS services, trying to find out how everything worked and how to go about this if I picked a family, (which I already had.) Well, with all the advice and counsel they gave me, I didn’t listen very well. My sister was really good friends with this couple and so I called her and asked for the number to call to get to them. They had just barely finished reading scriptures, now was a perfect time. I didn’t really plan what to say, it wasn’t until I heard a voice on the other line that I realized it was my turn to talk. The first words out of my mouth were, “Um…God has told me that I am carrying your baby.” Well that’s a shocker of a first line to start out with! Following that comment came about 20 minutes of explanation and excitement. I can still hear to this day Adoptive mom’s giggle over the phone and how she mentioned that Adoptive dad had a look that she, “just couldn’t read.”
Well, I was only 3 months along at this point, so I wasn’t too nervous. It was only when I started to gain weight that it really sunk in I was pregnant. And it was only when we found out it was a boy, and that boy was moving in me, did I have second thoughts. This child was alive. He was my child. I couldn’t do this. But how do I tell AM and AD that I changed my mind? I couldn’t. I saw how happy they were. So months dragged on and the due date got closer. Appointments came and went, I called them after every one to tell them how things were going. Near the middle of January we were really feeling that the baby was going to come sooner. AM decided to move in with my sister and I until I had the baby.
AM living with me was in a word, wonderful. It was the best support I could have ever asked for. Any cravings I had, she would help find them for me. I always had someone to talk to and she was always there for me. Sometimes I would give her my car while I went to school so she could actually go places. Things were going really well. Then 10 days before the baby...
“Knock Knock Knock” We answered the door. A short man who looked in his twenties stood there, papers in hand. He asked who "Birth mom" was. I said it was me and he told me that he was serving me papers. “SD” wanted the baby for him and his new wife. He was going to sue me. It was there my whole world crashed down. If we didn’t win I was back to square one. The idea of abortion was out this time because I was too far along. I was 9 months for heavens sake! I couldn’t let them have the baby. The most logical thing would be single motherhood, unless we could somehow try and still adopt. We went to a paternity lawyer who pointed out that some points were left out of his papers. A loophole! We quickly rushed to one of the best adoption lawyers in Utah. We went to his Salt Lake office and things got started. We could adopt him out anyway. Then “SD” contested the adoption. This would never end. I’ll just keep the baby. I’m going to have to anyway. I love him. I could do it right?
I decided to live at my uncles in for a while. “SD” now knew where I lived and I wouldn’t feel safe. He was trouble, and he had already caused me enough. At about noon my stomach started to hurt. At about 3 we realized it was contractions. I was in labor. When 7:00 hit, I was dying. AM and I hopped in my car with my sister and mom right behind us. Every contraction I had, I would painfully wave my arm out the window so she could time me.
We reached the hospital and right away I begged for an epidural. I was in SO much pain. It was like someone had gotten a sword, stabbed it in my uterus and twisted slowly. I was at 3 centimeters by then. After 30 minutes of IV sticking and epidural, I felt pretty good. My pain had gone away and I was just sitting there. Contractions felt more like little tingles. The scale was going pretty dang high for pain though. If I didn’t have the drugs I’d be screaming bloody murder. 6 centimeters…7…8…9…I’m bored. And finally at midnight, I hit 10 centimeters. At 12:23, a beautiful boy was born.
7 pounds, 8 ounces, and 20 inches of pure joy was finally here. AM held him while I took a long awaited nap. In the middle of the night I woke up. AM was sleeping on the chair and Baby must have been in the nursery. I carefully got out of bed and started my trek down the short hallway that never seemed longer. I hurt so badly. I asked for Baby and the lady helped push him into our room. I climbed in bed and she handed him to me. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t give this baby to someone else. He was so cute. I sat and cried. I must have fell asleep with him in my arms. I woke up to AM holding him. AD was finally there too. They looked so happy. I had never seen 2 people feel so good about life. So much love and devotion was in their eyes. This moment, watching them finally have their baby they waited for 10 years for, made every bad day, every contraction, and every second of pain, worth it. I just made a couple happier than any other I’d ever seen.
Since court cases weren’t done yet I got 2 weeks-ish of breastfeeding, bonding and Baby love. My heart was breaking, but at the same time calm. This was so hard, yet felt so wonderful. I remember one night just watching AM sleep with Baby on her stomach. She loved him so much. She was going to be such a wonderful mother. Finally everything was over and it was time for AM and Baby to join AD in half way across the country. We dropped AM off at her sister’s house. We said our goodbyes, and I cried the whole way home. That was one of the hardest, yet easiest things I had ever done. I guess one can’t really understand, unless they have been there. It was hard cause I grew that baby for 9 months and really had a strong bond with him. It was easy because of the results. I wasn’t ready to be a mother, and I wasn’t forced to be.
Baby is now 5 years old He has taken his first steps, rode a bike, started school and became a handsome little boy. As time went on, things got easier, and honestly…they got better. I was able to go on with my life, and they were able to improve theirs.The adoptive parents and I keep in close contact and see each other often. I won’t lie, it’s hard sometimes having another kid out there in the world. Yet the joy they felt is unexplainable. They had been trying for 10 years to get a little boy. And now they had one. I can never know how happy they were, the joy to finally hold their little boy in their arms, to finally start their family. And if I could, I would do it all over again.