Sunday, October 4, 2009

Placement and Post Placement

I totally forgot in the last post when N and I were talking and he stayed the night. Before we stopped talking I said to him, "I just don't want it to be like how it was before." And he said, "I know." I'm thinking, You don't know. Haha. So I said, "When I was pregnant." He said, "I know what you mean."

My parents gave me and N time alone before we had to sign papers. We were sitting on the hospital bed and just looking at her and telling her how much we loved her and that's why we were doing it for her. And all the reasons why we loved her and the reasons why we were doing adoption. N and I were just bawling on the hospital bed and I asked him if he wanted pictures of being her daddy one last time, and he said yes. So we took one of him looking at her then kissing her forehead. And then he took one the same ones of me like that with her. N pulled me up off the hospital bed and we sort of did a hug with Olivia in the middle facing us. And he said to me, "This is the last time we're going to be a family." I asked him if he wanted pictures of us being a family and he said yes. So I grabbed my mom and we took pictures together of us like that. As a family.
Well, after my parents came back in the room it was basically time to sign papers. My caseworker (Loni), a judge/notary, and a girl interning at LDSFS. We all sat down and we had to sign in this book our name and our personal information. I don't really remember what it was for. N and I had to sign the exact same papers. I went over what some of what the papers said in a previous post. This one that we had to sign is a birth parent statement of understanding.

I'll just list a few on here:

1. I have the right to parent my child if I choose, even if I am a minor.
2. There may be services and sources of financial assistance in the community which could be made available to me should I choose to parent my child.
3. I have the right to consult with others, such as parents, an attorney, a physician or a religious leader of my choice, and I understand that their opinion is not binding on me.
4. When I relinquish my child to LDSFS, she will be placed with adoptive parents who are members in good standing of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
5. When I relinquish my rights to my child, I will have no legal claim to my child.
6. Future legislation may make it possible for children relinquished for adoption to obtain knowledge regarding their birth parents.

I was holding Olivia the whole time signing these papers. And I just would look down at her and cry. Because it's hard to hear those things like you have the right to parent your child. Services and sources may be there to assist you financially. My caseworker had to read the papers outloud to us and it's like those words go through your head. And basically take a knife to your heart almost. At the same time, through all the heartache, I could still feel peace and the strength to sign them. I could feel the love that I have for her and knowing that I love her was enough. And I could feel the love that my parents had for me while they were sitting across the room, crying with me. Knowing that how difficult it was for me, they also knew that it was the right decision. I have never felt so close to the Lord in the last year. I never felt His love so much. Even though, I could be so angry thinking that He made me choose this decision, that He made me go through all the heartache. I'm not bitter at all. I could not be bitter about giving my daughter the best life possible.
The Lord and I made this decision together. I know this or else I wouldn't have gone through with it.

Then N had to sign his relinquishment papers, I passed Olivia over to N. And he held her the whole time he signed.

His was practically the same but he had to choose 4 options.
I don't remember them all. He chose option 1.

1. I am the biological father of this child.
2. I do not agree nor disagree that I am the biological father of this child but I give my consent towards the adoption.

Yeah, I don't remember anything else.

After his papers were done, he passed Olivia over to me.

"I, Stefanie G (birth mother) being first duly sworn on oath, depose, and say:

1. I am the mother of a female child who was born at 9:36 PM on the 23 day of September, 2009, at American Fork city, Utah county, state of Utah.
2. This child was not conceived within a marriage.

4. I have carefully considered alternative plans for this child's future and have obtained the advice of family members, friends, professionals, or others I felt were necessary to help me make an adoption decision. I have decided to place this child for adoption because I believe that adoption is in this child's best interest.
5. I hereby irrevocably release and relinquish this child to the care, custody and control of LDSFS, for the purpose of adoption, and I consent all of my parental rights to this child.
6. I understand that by signing this Relinquishment of Parental Rights, Consent to Adoption and Consent to Termination of Parental Rights, I am giving up all of my parental rights to this child.
7. I understand by signing this, I am giving up all my parental rights to this child.
8. I consent to the absolute and final termination of my parental rights.
11. My decision to relinquish this child to LDSFS, to consent to the adoption of this child and to consent to the termination of my parental rights has been made freely and voluntarily, without any coercion, force or duress. I am signing this document of my own free will and choice. I have been told and I understand that I can have more time to think about this decision if I need it. I do not need any more time to make a decision."

I was emotionally drained all day. I didn't think I could produce any more tears up to that point. It almost hurt to look at her because I loved her so much and I wanted to be her parent. My tears were at the point where it was just warm streams coming down my cheeks. Those were the worst signatures I've ever done in my life.
I was definitely hurting, I just signed away the most important thing to me like she was nothing. Just a few signatures and she wasn't mine anymore? I almost felt like I had abandoned her. And I felt awful. It was the most awful feeling. Even though I had just done the best thing for her, I know that Satan was trying to take advantage of me in my weak state of mind. I didn't feel bad about the adoption. I felt bad about myself, more than anything.

Loni told me and N and my parents. N's parents weren't there for placement. That they were going to step outside and give us sometime. My parents were then going to leave and then it'd be me and N. Then to text Loni and tell them when we were ready.
Loni and the two ladies walked out of the room. My mom took pictures of me and N with Olivia. And then my dad wanted some pictures with her because he wasn't sure if he got some. After they took pictures. My mom went over and hugged him and broke out into huge sobs.
N and I couldn't control ourselves and cried. I was still feeling awful. At that moment, I felt like I disappointed my parents because me and N weren't together. We weren't a family. And my parents couldn't be her grandparents anymore. My mom brought her back over to us and she said, "I want you to know. I'm proud of the both of you."

My parents walked out and it was just us with her again. I don't want to say we said our goodbyes to her. Because it wasn't really a goodbye. N said to her to be a good girl for D and V. And to know what's right from wrong.
He and I both hoped that she wouldn't have to go through anything like this because it was so hard. We didn't want her to deal with this much hurt in her life, ever.
He told her not to forget us.
And I told her, that I hoped one day that she would be proud of me. And that I'll always be proud of her, no matter what choices she'll make and loved her with everything I had.

After that, I texted Loni and told them we were ready for them all to come back in. At this time, it's more symbolic of placing Olivia into the arms of D and V to join their family.
First, D and V gave N and I gifts. He and I both got a photo album and a teddy bear. V was explaining to us that while I was pregnant, every week I took a picture of my belly. And the teddy bear, what they were going to do is take pictures next to Olivia so we can measure with the bear how much she has grown.
Next, V gave me a gift that her dad made. I totally might be butchering this part but V's dad makes a music box for the girls in their family when they reach a certain age. He made the box and burned the design and added in the music and on the inside of the box, it has Olivia's name. And it also had some pictures from the day she was born and notes from D and V's family. I definitely had tears flowing. It was the most thoughtful gift I have ever recieved from anyone. I could not stop crying. I knew at that moment that D and V and their family were always going to be a part of my life.
After that, my mom gave me, V, and Olivia a gift. It was my sister Erika's idea and my Aunt Taunya made bracelets for us. It had a little heart charm and blue little stone, representing Olivia's birthstone, a sapphire. Which is by the way, my favorite stone. And on my bracelet it has a circle charm and stamped in it is Olivia's name. And Olivia's has a circle charm too with the initials OKJ (Olivia Kate J) on it.
Let's just say I cried the whole time. I'm not even exaggerating. It was definitely an emotional time for me.

From the agency, they made a blanket for me and Olivia. It's the same one and it's all flowery and stuff.
I gave D and V a card. I know. I'm weird. Ha. I don't really remember what it says on it but it says basically on the inside, no matter who she grows up to be. You'll remember the first time you held her in your arms and dreamed that she was yours.
So at that point, I put Olivia in V's arms. It was definitely a bittersweet moment.
But at the time, I just knew I loved her and I loved D and V. I loved knowing that they were the perfect family for her. Even though, I wouldn't be her parent. I could still be apart of her life.

N and I had to tell them kind of like how she was at night and what she likes and things. Olivia has been such a good baby. She hardly ever cries. She's very content with everything. It was the last time I was going to be telling them what she likes and how she's doing or what she's done. Everything after that, they were going to tell me what she likes, how she's doing or what she's done.
We were saying our goodbyes.
Right before I walked out of the room, I looked at Olivia, then back at them and said, "Take good care of her. And tell her we love her every night." And they said they would. I knew they would. But I just had to say it to have a peace of mind to know that we still loved her and want what's best for her.

I was then being discharged from the hospital. I knew N was going to be going home alone. I told him he could stay at my house in a guest bedroom because I couldn't imagine being alone and he said he was fine. I was pretty calm while being discharged. And then when we got in the elevator. I started crying again.
I just imagine being able to be the one who puts her in her car seat, and in the back of my car, and take her home with me. I imagine going home and sleeping next to her, and waking up to her little sighs. When we got outside N asked me what was wrong. I showed him my empty arms and said, "I want to take her home."
He said, "It's too late for that now."

We hugged and went our separate ways. When I got in the car. I cried so hard. I hold back most of my cries unless I don't really care or I'm super emotional. But right then, I couldn't hold it in. My mom got in the car and put her arms around me and cried with me. I told her on the way home that the hardest thing right now is looking down and not seeing her there, in my arms.
Man, and on the way home we almost got in a car accident. Right on. Ha. The guy swerved into our lane and almost hit my side. How great, to go back to the hospital after all of that.
Right before I got home, I stopped crying, I just said, "I feel really at peace right now."

We got home, and I got all the stuff out from the hospital and just looked at it. I would look at every little thing and it would remind me of her and I would just burst into tears.
I went to bed probably around 11 that night. I was very tired and I wasn't able to take any pain medicine, 4 hours before I was to sign the papers just so I couldn't go back and say I was under the influence of drugs or substances which would've impaired my ability to make the decision. When I was discharged they gave me two pain pills, at the time I was only taking 1, but I was in a lot of pain. So I was very sleepy.
Before I went to bed,
Around 10:30 I texted N and I told him, "Promise." I said, "I'll be thinking and praying for you." He said, "You too."
My friend Jess also texted me and asked me how I was. All I could say was, "Heartbroken."
I would try to fall asleep and I think I'd be half way asleep and I think I would hear her cry and I'd get right up. And that would make me cry to know she wasn't there.
It freaked me out and I texted N and I told him about it.
He said, "I know what you mean. I can't keep my eyes open, but I'm afraid to close them."
I said, "Me too :(" And I told him about the ride home with my mom.
He said, "Yeah."
I told him, "I have the bear that D and V gave me and wrapped it up in one of Olivia's hospital blankets. It freaks me out a little because sometimes I do think it's her."

I ended up crying myself holding that bear close to me like it was her. And I woke up in the morning, crying again because she wasn't there.
I let D and V have the whole next day with her to get to know her and bond with her. They emailed me and N the night that they took her home to the cabin. They were trying to send us picture messages on their phones but they couldn't get any service.
I wrote them an e-mail asking how she was that night. And they told me she was perfect. Which I wasn't surprised. She's perfect in every way.

My sister Katrina came down after she got off work and spent the whole day with me just talking about the hospital and talking about placement. We looked at pictures and posted them on Facebook.
I had a pretty good day. I mean, I thought about her the whole time. But I didn't cry until later that night. I was really starting to miss her.
Katrina, my little sister K, and I went to the movies and saw Surrogates.
I got home and I just wanted to hold her and be with her. I ended up writing like 3 e-mails to D and V and one of them just said, "Tell Olivia that I think about her. All the time." I wanted more than anything to spend one more night next to me. I wanted to just look at her and give her a million kisses and hold her close and tell her I love her. I knew I was going to see her the next day. But it felt like years from then. It definitely got a lot easier when I finally did see her. Which I'll talk about next time :)


  1. Stefanie,

    I am soooooo glad that I came across your blog! As a 23-year-old birthmom, I went through exactly what you're going through now--only five years ago. Reading your blog postings reminds me of what I went though when placing Deanna with her adoptive family. It probably seems like it will never get better, and the pain will at times be nearly unbearable, but the good news is that it will get better! Keep trusting in God and your faith to help you through, and you will have the amazing opportunity to see your daughter grow up and to be able to be a part of her life. Not to mention being able to see how happy she is and how much she has been given by her adoptive family.

    Can't wait to read more! And I love the pictures of Olivia Kate. Please email me if you you'd like to chat more:

    Looking forward to sharing stories with you and reading more about your experience.

    You are amazing!!!!!!

    Amy Hutton

  2. I love your posts! Your daughter is so beautiful! Thank you again for sharing. Tears well up in my eyes as I read about all that you are going through and can't imagine what you are going through. I am praying for you Stefanie!


    P.S. Nic looks a lot different then I pictured him- he is much cuter :) You two made a gorgeous daughter!

  3. I just don't know how you were able to sign those papers. I hope it's comforting for you to see pictures of her with Val and Dustinn. Olivia is so beautiful.

  4. She is beautiful! My eyes welled up with tears as I read this post. I know you made such a difficult heart wrenching decision and I am glad to hear that you felt peace after all of it (that peace can only come from God) Know that as you go through the tough times adjusting to your decision that you are never alone Christ felt all that you are feeling and have yet to feel. You are in my prayers.

  5. Amy- Pretty sure I think YOU'RE amazing. I'll be e-mailing you soon :)

    Cassandra- I think it's awesome that you're a convert to the church and stuff. I'm replying to the comment before.
    And also, I thought it was a little bit creepy that you posted Luke 1:37. That is my all time favorite scripture in the Bible! First, you saw one my favorite bands LIVE. Then the scripture. AMAZING.
    I laughed a little bit in the P.S. ;)
    You think that I date ugly men? haha.

    Erika- It is a comfort to see pictures with them all together as a family because that's the reason why I decided to place. So that they could be a family.

    Jeana- Thank you :) I'm very grateful for the knowledge of the gospel. And being able to feel at peace during the hard times. And having God there and others who are there to support me and keep me in their prayers. It means a lot.

  6. Came across your blog, hope you don't mind me commenting. We have two children through the miracle of adoption. Both of their birthmothers are amazing to me. I feel privileged to have a part of them with me always and when I read this post, it brought back all the gratitude I feel for them. As an adoptive mom, I know I cannot give my children more love than their birthparents would have given them, I can only give them all that I am and the love of two parents forever. I hope you feel how much God loves you, daily.