Tuesday, November 9, 2010

9. A Birth Father's Story

If you went to the Regional FSA Conference this year and was able to go to the birthparent panel. My guest blogger was on that panel and he's a birthfather! I wasn't able to go to the conference this year so I didn't get to hear him speak. But I was so grateful to just go into the expectant parent group one day. I randomly decide to go when I have the day off. And it happened to be a birthfather panel. Jason was the only one who was speaking but I'm pretty sure the spirit led me there. I needed to hear his story. And I think he was also there to help move my awesome couch into my friend's truck afterwards. Haha! I probably asked Jason about a month ago if he'd like to tell his story for my blog. I'm sure I annoyed the CRAP out of him but I'm happy that he agreed and now here it is. It's seriously so motivating and inspiring. Get your tissues! For real! :) Thank you again, Jason!

My name is Jason Coombs and I am a birth father. Today, I am proud to say that when introducing myself, but I have not always been. A little history about me might help one of you to identify with similar feelings coming from a birthfather's perspective.

I grew up in a very loving home and was raised in a wonderful family. I had a very happy childhood and my life was beautiful. I got married at 23 to the most beautiful, wonderful woman on the planet (in my opinion). After I graduated college from the University of Utah, I got into the Television Industry making more money than I had ever dreamed of making at that young age. I was happy...so it seemed to the outside world. Inside I was seeking external solutions for my internal problems.

Needless to say, my life took a drastic turn for the worst. I began abusing pain pills which led me into a full-blown addiction. My addiction progressed at a very rapid pace...a pace that I could not manage. I ended up losing my wife, my house, and my job. I was caught up in a prescription drug ring and was charged 4 felonies and ran from the law. I spent the winter of 2006 homeless in downtown Salt Lake City. I finally landed in the Davis County Jail and stayed for six months, just long enough to get some rest, food, and gain some weight. Soon after my release from jail, I received the news that I was going to be a father...that news freaked me out! Of all things, I could not possibly be a father to a child. I could not even take care of myself.

My reaction was driven by fear and panic. The two options I felt inside were "fight or flight"....I chose the latter. Some birth fathers try to control the situation. I checked out. I left my son's birth mom alone through the pregnancy and all that went along with it. She asked me at one point what I thought about adoption and I respect her for thinking of my feelings (although I was never one to think about hers). I supported her feelings about adoption mainly because it was a sense of relief and a feeling that I would be off-the-hook, so to speak. I was a self-seeking 29 year old drug addict at that time. Inside, I was still a very scared little boy who hated himself.

Once Nathan was born, I was notified and paid him a visit at the hospital. The overwhelming feelings of love and joy were unlike any feelings I have ever had in my life. What I experienced inside was life changing. Nathan had some respiratory problems and remained in the hospital for about a week. During that week, I spent as much time as I could with him. I felt a strong bond and connection grow between us. Words will forever be inadequate to express the emotions that ran through me as I held his little body and watched him.

As I held him, I took some time to analyze my life and the path I had been on leading up to the birth of my son. I remember pouring out my feelings to him in a letter as I sat outside the hospital in my car. I cried for the first time in many years. The tears I shed that night were tears of joy, pain, and sadness. Joy because I felt unconditional love for the first time in my life. I could finally feel my Creator's unconditional love for me, regardless of what I had done in the past. Pain; because I felt that I was a worthless drug addict and was a despicable example of a father. Sadness; because I couldn't provide for my own son and we were about to place him for adoption.

It finally hit me that I had been burying my emotions and feelings throughout the entire process. My feelings always existed but I never allowed myself to feel them. Well, I felt them intensely that night out in my car. What a healing experience for me!

To fast forward to present day, I am very grateful that we placed Nathan in a home where he is loved, nurtured, and taught. He not only has a loving adoptive couple, he has two birth parents who love him as well.

My relationship with my son today is more beautiful than I ever imagined it would be. My relationship with his parents and siblings is absolutely priceless to me. I feel like I am "the favorite uncle" when I visit. Our open adoption has blessed Nathan's life, the Martin's life (his adoptive family), my family's life, his birth mom's life, and my life. I wouldn't change a thing!

My addiction led me into the darkness. My son's adoption led me back into the light.

I am a proud birth father and an advocate for adoption. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my story and to offer hope to someone who may be struggling with the reactions birth fathers often have. My message is a message of hope to those of you who still suffer.


  1. Wow! It's nice to hear from a birthfather. We don't get that too often.

  2. This is so great- you can't imagine how happy I am to read this! Thank you Stef (and Jason)! I hope our birth father will be able to say one day that the adoption helped him. :) Thank you for giving me hope!

  3. Awesome story. It's so nice to hear from a Birth Dad for a change. And what an inspiration in so many ways. Being able to overcome addiction is something to be incredibly proud of, but to come out of that darkness with such faith, and turn something so bad, into something so good....thats just awesome!

  4. I went to school at Westminster with a Jason Coombs... I'm curious if it's the same Jason. :)

  5. I'm not sure what school he went to. He's on the right in the first picture.

  6. It is so wonderful to hear a birthfather's story. Especially one as touching as this. It's not an easy story to tell and I'm so grateful that you did, I found it so uplifting. One thing I've learned: you have to feel the pain in order to know such great joy. I'm grateful that you know that joy.

  7. So great to hear things from a birth fathers point of view. Unfortunately, I don't think we get to hear them enough. How strong is he too! Love birth parents!!

  8. WOW is right! What a path you have been on, Jason. Thank you for sharing your story. I agree, it's comforting to hear from a birthfather's perspective!

  9. What a wonderful story! I love hearing about birth fathers! We also have an open adoption with our daughter's birth father (and birth mother) and it has been so amazing. :)