1. What emotions did you experience when you initially found out about the pregnancy?
I was scared out of my mind. I was nervous. I was mad that I had those feelings just because I always imagined when I found out I was pregnant that I could surprise my husband and we would be so giddy and so excited. But this time it was different. I didn't know what to expect at 18. And as of two weeks prior to finding out about my pregnancy, I was newly single. I had no one to share this "excitement" with and to tell me that everything was going to be okay. I had to tough it up all on my own. And that was scary to know that I wasn't just in charge of my life but this new little life. I made enough mistakes, I needed to make this one right.
2. Did you plan for single-parenting or marriage?
I thought for the first little while that marriage could possibly be an option. My boyfriend had only broken up with me for two weeks and maybe he still had feelings for me? When we broke up he told me about getting married to me and raising a family. So what would be different now, besides the fact that it's all backwards? When he told me that he didn't want to get married, I wanted to try to make single parenting work. I was going to LDS Family Services at the time for counseling and I was able to look at all of my options. Marriage, Single Parenting and Adoption. I made pros and cons lists of everything and what would be the best for everyone involved.
3. Why did you consider adoption? Did you consider abortion as an option?
I considered adoption because at the time, I was going to school for dental assisting and trying to finish that up. I was living with my parents. I wanted my baby to have the best and I wanted to be able to spoil my children (hey, gotta love kids and spoil them a little bit). Not just financial. Being LDS, I knew it wasn't right to deny my baby a sealing covenant. I was sealed to my parents and I knew my baby couldn't be sealed to me unless I was married and sealed to my husband. I wanted to have that eternal family. I didn't know when I would be married or if anybody would marry somebody who has had a baby out of wedlock. I knew my little girl needed a mom and a dad. I couldn't be both and I knew she needed them both in her life.
I never considered abortion. Someone may have asked me or I may had just thought about it if I could ever go through with it. But the immediate answer was no. I already knew this special spirit that I was growing and that I loved her more than anything. I could never take the life away that she deserves.
4. What were your major concerns when considering adoption?
A lot of my major concerns, previous to counseling, was that I was never going to see my baby ever again and that she wouldn't know that I loved her. After counseling, those fears were cleared up. With having an open adoption I am able to receive pictures, go on trips with them, and I would watch her grow up. Her parents would let her know how much I loved her and that this was a huge sacrifice for me. I'm sure my fear after counseling was that the adoptive parents wouldn't follow through with their promises or just cut off contact. They wouldn't have to respond to my e-mails or my phone calls. They're not under legal obligation to do so. It's all based on trust and honesty.
5. Did you have any specifications when searching for your adoptive couple?
I don't think I ever did. I didn't have a list written out. I wasn't very picky. I wasn't looking for a famous billionaire to take my child in as a charity case. She isn't that. She is worth more to me than anybody could buy and I wanted someone to feel that same way about her. I did specifically want somebody I knew. That's a long shot. Or at least someone that knew the person. I couldn't just pick a random couple from a pile and say they're the parents. I don't know anything about them and how do I know they'll treat my daughter with respect? I was determining my child's life and future, I can't mess this up. I also wanted a couple that lived out of state. I didn't want them to live down the street so I could stop by and co-parent. I wanted them to be the parents. Not me. And I was able to find those people.
6. How long into the pregnancy did you wait before selecting a couple?
I found out that D and V were looking to adopt about the week before my birthday, the end of April. I was due in September. D is my brother in-law's best friend since they were about 8 years old. They have grown up together and I knew them when my sister was married and D came over to hang out with them. D and V met at BYU and it all started from there so I've known them since I was about 14 or 15 years old. They were so nice to everyone and love to play board games. My family is big on board games. They moved away to go to school in Virginia. They were able to have one biological son and they haven't been able to have any since. V found out through my sister that I was pregnant and I was still looking at my options. She e-mailed my sister letting her know they had recently put in their adoption papers to be approved and to adopt. My sister let me know and my heart broke for them. They are both loving and caring people. I know they adore their little boy and I knew they were already great parents. I grew up with all sisters and no brothers and that sort of was a blessing in disguise because on May 7th. I found out I was having a little girl. I had been e-mailing V back and forth and I just think the moment I found out they were looking to adopt, that's when I knew that they were the ones. I sent them a package that night with little girl things and a letter letting them know they were the parents. They called me the next day and were so giddy and happy. That's the reaction I was looking for in myself, but I found it through them.
Visiting them in Virginia before Olivia was born.
You know, I don't disagree with anything. They are so patient with their kids and they never raise their voices with them. They teach them Gospel principles, daily. I just see her in pictures and that smile on her face, lets me know that everything was worth it.
8. Is there anything you would change about your current placement?
I don't think I would change anything. I think it's perfect the way it is. I wouldn't pick anybody else to raise my daughter. They do a perfect job doing it and they're great in informing me what's going on in their lives. They make me feel like I'm apart of their family and I'm just so grateful for that.
Olivia's sealing day
Left to right- V, Olivia, me, Tayler, D & B
Left to right- V, Olivia, me, Tayler, D & B
I love them. They're like my best friends. I can e-mail them when I'm having a bad day. I can ask them for pictures if I just want to see her cute face and they're more than willing. But it's not just that it's revolved around Olivia (my birthdaughter). We talk about other things like school and jobs. The relationship is VERY open. I don't think I would change it. I'm sure over time it will change because our lives will be busier. I recently got married about 6 months ago and just even that, I haven't been able to contact them as much as I usually do. We used to call and such but now it's mostly through e-mail.
Placement day with birthfather, N.
I know it wasn't just me losing my daughter in my life. It was my parents losing their granddaughter. It was my sister's losing their niece. My nieces and nephews losing a cousin. I could never replace that hurt that they have gone through from my own personal decisions. It wasn't just me effected by it. My whole family was. I remember my sister telling me at the hospital when V's sister came to visit and she was going to be Olivia's aunt and my sister's heart hurt knowing that she was going to love on her new niece that somebody else was going to. Let me tell you a little about placement. Placement is sort of just symbolism of me placing her in the arms of her new parents. So at placement, I placed her in the arms of her new mom. That's why I prefer the term, I PLACED my baby for adoption. I didn't give her up or give up on her. I didn't put her up for adoption/I didn't put her up on Craigslist for someone to buy from me. I willingly and lovingly did that act for her. But no one could've ever prepared me for the moment to do that, no amount of counseling would've taken the heartache away from me. Two days after having her with me in the hospital, I relinquished my rights as a parent to the consent of adoption. After two whole days of being her mom and watching her and taking care of her. I was now to put myself to the test of if I could really trust D and V to watch her and take care of her. My heart broke into a million pieces. Over time, I have been able to pick up some of those pieces and have peace in my hear that I've made the right decision. The first year was the hardest and unforgettable. But I know if I didn't have the open adoption I had now. I'm sure I would question a lot of what I did. If it were closed, I wouldn't know if she was okay. If she knew that I loved her or if she was ever going to know me or if she was adopted. But I know that D & V will protect her and let her know where she came from. What's wrong with having 2 moms, 2 dads, 8 grandparents- to me that just equals endless amounts of love for her.
Placing Olivia in V's arms
11. Do you want to have more children?
I would love to have more kids more than anything. You know, since placement there will always be that space in my heart that I will miss her and want her. Not that I regret my decision, because I don't. I look at the grief as if someone close to me has passed away (I'm not trying to belittle anybody by making this comparison. I've lost a few people in my life). That's the closest I can compare the loss to. They were apart of your life, you will always love them and miss them even if they're not in your life now. You're not just going to forget about them. Life will go on but you will never forget the one child that you didn't take home from the hospital.
I would feel just like any other infertile couple. I would be sad. I would be mad. I would probably question my faith like most people do when they struggle through infertility. I would be mad just because I went through the hardest thing that someone could do for their own child and I would question why I went through that and not be able to have my own kids. I know it would probably feel like hell. But God doesn't give us a trial that we can't overcome. I'm sure I would consider adoption because I would love to have a family with my husband.
Feel free to ask me more questions in the comments section.