Saturday, August 10, 2019

My Childhood Part Two

So sorry it took so long to update this, here's the next part of my story.

      I went to the principles office as soon as I got to school that day and asked to speak to an adult. I told them about the drugs and about what was happening at home. I had mentioned all of this to a counselor before but it took me actually bringing drugs to school to get anyone to listen to me. I told them I refused to go back home with my grandma, so they called CPS who came and took me to the main office downtown. I was scared, I didn't know what the future held for me and I was afraid that I would have to go back to Linda. I knew if I went home I would face her wrath, and that she might have killed me then.
      I spent most of the day in the CPS office, I remember I had my first ever Happy Meal from McDonald's (that I remember) for lunch. Finally, I met my caseworker and repeated my story to her and she worked on finding me a foster home. I was taken to a foster home full of other foster kids, I had nothing with me. I wasn't allowed to go home and get any of my belongings. The home had at least four or five other kids, all girls living there. I shared a room with one girl close to my age. It was a nice home, the family seemed nice and the new school wasn't bad. I only lived there for a few weeks because I was accused of stealing make-up, even though I hadn't. My roommate did and planted it in my stuff, and the foster mom found out and was furious. So off I went back to the CPS office.
      This time it was harder for them to find me another home because I had a "record", I spent the whole day there again. My caseworker eventually found me a home an hour away with an elderly lady who insisted I would call her "grandma". She was poor and had no job, she used the foster care system as a way to pay her bills, which meant the money intended to care for me was mostly used for herself. I didn't own much of anything, mostly hand me down clothes that were too big for me. I pretty much had free range to go anywhere and do anything in the neighborhood as long as I came home before it got dark. I quickly made friends with the neighbor boy and we used to go exploring all the time. Eventually, my foster grandma's grandson came to live with us too. He was much older than me and I remember he didn't have a drivers license for some reason. He used to pick on me all the time, and even one time he forced his way into my room even when I told him no. When I tried to get him out of my room by pushing him (he was a big guy, so I didn't do much) he shoved me down on the floor and made my nose bleed. I never told anyone because I was afraid of getting into trouble. The school I went to was a high school/middle school mix. I had never been in middle school before, it was so scary for me to go from elementary school in the middle of the school year to middle school with older kids. I didn't have many friends and the one friend I thought I had slapped me in the face one day and called me a bitch. I have no memory of why she did that but it was the first time it happened to me.
I stayed in that home for 6 months until CPS called again, this time they wanted to put me in a treatment foster home with my brother who had just gotten out of the group boys home he was in. Due to his behavioral problems, we had to be in a special home with parents who were supposedly trained to handle his behavior.  This home was probably one of the worst out of all the foster homes I had been in. The parents seemed ok at first. The foster mom smoked and the first thing I remember about being there is that everything smelled horrible. She also enjoyed smoking in the truck with us and when I sat behind her she would flick the ashes out the window, but the wind would blow them back into my face. I told her but she didn't believe me. My brother and I shared a room for a while which was really weird since I hadn't shared a room with him since I was 5. I eventually got my own room but I wasn't allowed to change anything about it. They made a decent amount of money but they kept most of the foster money and didn't use much on us. They liked to have lots of parties, and we would be forced to go to our room while they had guests over. They also enjoyed going to the bar a lot and would take us with them. while they drank we were put in a "kids" room with toys and left there for hours. The holidays where the worst, we were made sure to feel like we weren't apart of their family. 
       During this whole time, Linda was working on getting clean and getting a new home so that we could be in a reunion with her, that's the goal of foster care after all. After six more months in the treatment foster home, we were packed up and moved into our new apartment with Linda. We moved from Santa Fe to Albuquerque to a three-bedroom apartment. Linda even had a new car and seemed to be completely clean from all drugs. It was at the beginning of our summer off from school so it was the perfect time to get adjusted to life together again. I was nervous about moving back in with her, fear that she would beat me for everything I did but she did nothing. I think she was afraid of me reporting her again. We got all new clothes and a new bed for each of us, and toys as well. There was a pool at the apartment so I spent most of the summer playing in the pool by myself, where I taught myself how to swim. I loved the water, it was my happy place. I made a few new friends as well and even a "boyfriend". He seemed like a nice guy, but got very very aggressive with me at one point and lifted me by the throat and threw me against a tree. I sprained my wrist and had bruises, and he was giving a warning for violence. I never saw him again.
      Everything seemed to be ok for a while, but then Linda started neglecting us again. She stopped buying us groceries or making our food. She stopped doing our laundry or buying us basic hygiene necessities. When school was supposed to start she never enrolled us into school, by the time I finally got her to do it school had been going on for a month at least. I was picked on at school because of the clothes that didn't fit (they were donated to me) and my hygiene. I was also had started puberty but wasn't given any help (no bra, deodorant, or shaving like every other girl did). I quickly grew depressed and starting skipping school. I would pretend to be Linda and call the school to tell them I was "sick" and I would go hide under a camper trailer in the apartment complex or I would just stay in my room. Linda never noticed or kept track of me. I eventually got caught one day by a police officer hiding under the camper. He asked me why I was hiding and so I told him every that was going on. I explained how my grandmother Linda wasn't caring for us and I was embarrassed to go to school. Luckily this officer really listened to me and helped me. I ended up in a group hope that night.
      The group home felt similar to a jail honestly. When I got there I had to strip down in front of someone to show I didn't have any weapons. I was finally able to take a shower and was given clean clothes and a toothbrush. We had a very strict schedule, and I shared a room with a girl my age. I still went to the same school, but my depression was getting worse and I would find any reason I could to skip. I stayed in the group home for a month or so, through my 13th birthday. Shortly after my 13th birthday, I was told that some extended family members wanted me and my brother (who was still with Linda) to come live with them. My Grandparents from my mom's side of the family and an aunt came and picked up me and my brother from New Mexico. We started our nine road trip to Texas to start our new life with our new family. The whole drive there I felt a sense of relief wash over me, I wasn't going back to live with Linda. I was finally safe.

Monday, May 21, 2018

My Childhood Part 1

I was born in 1992 to a young couple. My mother was only 20 years old and my father was 17 or 18. For the first couple of years of my life, they raised me. I don't know much about what kind of parents they were, just rumors from others. Some people tell me my mother partied all the time and left me alone with strangers. I was told my father was a deadbeat abusive man, but I'll never really know. My mother passed away in 2011, and my father is an addict who is in rehab. I lived with my biological parents for only the first two years of my life until my paternal grandfather (Mike) came and got my brother and me.
Mike was a wonderful father to me, we were very close. Despite having Mike around he couldn't always protect me from my grandmother Linda, who from as early as I can remember had a heavy hand and harsh words towards me. Most of my childhood memories involve her beating me, or verbally abusing me. She was mean, and even though I was a good kid she always found some reason for me to be in trouble. Her favorite methods of abusing me were using a broom or a belt. Sometimes, she would hit me so hard with a broom I couldn't breathe. One instance I can recall her hitting me was when we were returning from visiting a family member. I guess I was too rowdy or something, but she was very angry at me. When we got home I got out of the van and she hit me over the head with a large rock that was sitting nearby. It cut my head open pretty bad, and I still have the scar to this day. I'm always reminded of it because the scar causes a crazy cowlick in my hair. Another time was on Halloween, and I was upset because we weren't going trick or treating like we usually did (this was right after 9/11) and I didn't understand why. Instead, we were moving two by fours for some reason and accidentally hit her behind her knees with the wood because I wasn't paying attention. She proceeded to hit me as hard as she could with the two by four she was carrying, knocking the wind out of me. There were many different times she abused me, but I think the worst time was when my brother and I made a deal to run away. I was tired of her hitting me all the time, I didn't think it was fair and my brother just went along with the idea. Our plan was to run away at sundown so that we could hide. I was too scared to go through with it though so I just hid in our property before finally coming home for dinner. My brother on the other hand actually ran off and headed for the gas station down the street. A cop found my brother and called my grandma who then turned to me angrily and cornered me by the front door. She kept yelling at me and asking me why he would run away, and I finally told her that it's probably because she hits us all the time! That sent into a rage and she kept hitting me over and over and over again. I was in a corner and there was no escape, the thought I was going to die. If it wasn't for my grandpa mike, she probably would have kept hitting me until I was unconscious.
He always came in a saved me from her when he was home.
I spent a lot of time with my grandfather, he was a water well driller and when I wasn't in school I was at work with him. probably to keep me away from Linda the best he could. some of the few good childhood memories I have was from moments with him. He taught me all about tools and would have me fetch him the things he needed while working and I loved it. We would have moments to ourselves where he would just hold me and I always cherished those times because it was some of the few times I actually felt loved as a child. When he passed away from lung cancer, I was more than upset. My whole world shattered, the one person who was good to me in life was gone and I was left alone with a woman who would abuse me. I was scared and depressed, and I didn't know how to go on with my life.
My grandmother Linda did not handle Mike's passing well at all, she went into a very deep depression and turned to crack cocaine for comfort. She was already smoking marijuana before Mike passed away, she just hid and lied about it. She sent my brother away to a boys home because he had behavioral issues. and that left me alone with her. After a while, she started inviting her drug dealer friends to come to live with us. I spent most of my time hiding from them or going to school. A few of them even tried to get me (around 11 or 12 at the time) to try some cocaine. At one point a man stayed with us in a living area just outside my room. Linda left the house and left me all alone with him. I stayed in my room, keeping to myself as usual when I heard a knock on my door and when I opened it there was the man standing there naked with an erection. I immediately slammed the door shut and moved my dresser in front of the door while he pounded it trying to get in. I was terrified. I told Linda about it and she kicked him out, but the damage was already done. I was tired of living in that kind of environment, tired of the abuse. So one day Linda left some drugs out on the counter, I snuck them into my pocket and took them with me to school that day.

To be continued......

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Brave, Courageous, So Selfless

Since starting on this adoption journey as a birth mother on many occasions, I have been told that I was so "brave" or so "courageous" or "selfless".  I always hated it, it always made me feel just gross. I can't think of a better word to describe it, it just always rubbed me wrong. I never really knew why until just recently when I decided to google the definition of Brave: 
                      
                        - feeling or showing no fear: not afraid
             -having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty :  having or showing courage brave soldier brave smile
(Mirriamwebster.com)

When I think of the word brave as an adjective, I think of a person who has no fear and doesn't stray away from possible danger. They face the unknown with courage and confidence that they will make it out ok on the other side. I don't feel like that describes what I did for my son. When I decided on adoption for my son, I  feel like I wasn't being brave or selfless or courageous about it. I was terrified of the unknown. Scared of not being good enough to parent him, and that I would do something to mess him up or lose him. I feel I was selfish placing him because I was letting my own fears and lack of self-confidence control our lives together. This is probably why I sometimes feel regret too, not because I regret choosing his family for him but because I let what other people told me control my choice. I relied too much on what others thought because I was scared, and I feel like I should have tried harder to at least give parenting a try.
I love T's family, I love that I can be confident in knowing he is well cared for and will have the opportunity to do anything he wants in life. I still don't feel like brave, courageous, or selfless ar good words to describe my choice. I broke down in front my husband today, I had gotten a letter from a sweet woman telling me again how brave, courageous, and selfless I had been in my decision for T. I just couldn't take it, this week in particular I have heard those adjectives way too any times.
 My husband then told me something, something that really made sense to me. He said, "You are brave, though, not because of your decision to place T for adoption but because you decided to continue on after that." This spoke truth to me, even though I don't feel brave from my choice, I am brave for having the courage to continue in life even though my heart was shattered. Brave enough to pick up the pieces of my broken heart, and put them back together to be there for my son. Courageous enough to keep this relationship open with his parents, to try and work on myself to be a better role model for him. Selfless and courageous enough to try and use my stories, my experiences to teach others about adoption and to help other women who are in the same shoes I was in.
 I don't feel like adjectives like brave, courageous, or selfless describe my decision on adoption. But I do think they are good adjectives to describe my life post placement, as a birth mother. I experienced a great loss, but I'm still here, still living because I was brave afterwards. 


citation:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brave

Saturday, January 14, 2017

My Adoption Story

March of 2014 was probably one of the lowest times in my life. I had just found out that the guy I had been dating and living with for the past 8 months had basically been cheating on me the whole time. I, of course, broke up with him but couldn't afford to kick him out of my rental. I was depressed and alone, and I turned to alcohol and sleeping with other guys in the hopes that I would feel better. That only made me feel worse. I was a hot mess. When my period was late, I tried to brush it off as just stress. It's happened before, so I didn't think much of it at first. Then a week went by and still nothing, I started freaking out. What if I was pregnant? I slept with so many different guys, there was no way I could know who the father was. I never thought I would end up in this situation. I decided to go buy a pregnancy test from CVS. I've taken one before, so I knew the drill and I was so sure that it was just going to be another negative. Not even one minute after I took the test, that two pink lines popped up. I figured it was just a faulty test so I went ahead and took another, again positive. That's when I started to panic, I took one more test and again it was positive. I went to my bedroom in disbelief, staring blankly at all three positive tests. I felt like I needed to tell someone, and the only other person in the house was my ex (one of the potential fathers). I then told the other two guys, one of them another ex who I had been love with for such a long time. I was still in love with him at that time, but he immediately started calling me, telling me how keeping this pregnancy was the biggest mistake of my life. He even offered to pay for my abortion and to take me out drinking afterward. I had already made my mind up, though, I was keeping this baby and I would find a way to parent it.
 The next step was to tell my mother, who as soon as I told her said I should look into adoption. She then reminded me of a brief moment in time (when I was younger and still a virgin) that I said that if I ever got unexpectedly pregnant I would choose adoption. That was true, and so when we went to the pregnancy center to confirm my pregnancy I tried to keep an open mind about adoption. The center gave me a whole bunch of pamphlets about how much it costs to take care of a baby, and also counseled me on adoption, and told me about how in an open adoption I could still visit and keep contact with my baby. I took everything home and thought it over, I tried to do the math of how I could raise a baby alone and nothing was adding up. I knew I couldn't do it alone financially, and none of the potential fathers as going to help me. My mother made it very clear that no one in my family was going to help me. She did offer some support during the pregnancy, but mostly it was encouraging me to make an adoption plan and shooting down any ideas I had for parenting. The pregnancy center offered me a free ultrasound, and at 6 weeks it was just a moving blob on the screen. It took me a few seconds to realize that the movement was the baby’s heartbeat. At that moment everything became real for me, I was having a baby. I told some of my close friends at the time who offered to try and help me out, we talked about getting a trailer and setting up on a part of my friend's property for me to live there. I knew, though, that nothing was going to come of it and I realized it was hopeless. I didn't know how I was going to do this on my own. The adoption plan started to sound more and more like my only option. So while I was still in my first trimester, I called one of the listed agencies in the information the pregnancy center gave me. The lady on the phone was very sweet and told me she was going to send out a person to talk to me at my home. I waited all day, but no one showed up. I felt really alone and lost that night, then I remembered a couple of old friends of mine who had been looking into adopting a baby. I messaged them on Facebook and they replied immediately and were very interested in working on an open adoption plan with me.
Over the next few months the couple kept almost constant contact with me, they were even at my ultrasound appointment when we found out I was having a baby boy. They really seemed like a perfect match, but in the back of my mind, I felt something was off. One of the biggest things I wanted in the adoption plan was to be able to help pick a middle name out. I had a name I had picked out way before I ever got pregnant. I knew the likelihood of them wanting it as a first name was very low, but I really hoped that they would at least consider it as a middle name. They didn't want anything to do with it and refused to even listen why it meant so much to me. Another issue I had with the potential adoptive mother was that she was very insistent on trying to breastfeed my baby herself when he was born. At first, I didn't really care, but as I thought about it the idea got even weirder sounding. I was already planning on trying to breastfeed and pump for him so that he would have the best start, but she didn't want me to do that at all. There were a few other quirks about them that I didn't care for, but the final straw came when I was about 35 weeks pregnant. I had been in and out of the hospital since the beginning of my third trimester because of an inflamed gallbladder. My gallbladder had been causing me a lot of pain and causing me to go into preterm labor. During each of the hospital stays the couple was more concerned about the baby, naturally, but had no concern for my well-being. I thought to myself "How can I trust these people to keep their promise of an open adoption when it seems like they don't even care about me as a woman who will give birth to this child?" I finally decided to call it off with them, I needed to be able to trust the family I was going to give my baby to if I was going to do adoption. I was still in the hospital when I called and told them, and afterward, I just laid there thinking "Now what?" I still was basically homeless, I had ended up moving in with a family friend who told me I could only live there if I was going to put my baby up for adoption. My job had basically cut my hours back to nearly nothing, so I didn't have very much money saved up. I was still living paycheck to paycheck, and I knew I had no one to turn to and nowhere to go with a newborn. 
The hospital sent a social worker to me, who then gave me a list of adoption agencies to call, I still wanted to parent but I didn't know how I could do it alone. As I looked at the list I recognized one agency, the same one I had called earlier but no representative was sent out to assist me. I decided to give them one more chance and called again, I thought adoption was my only choice to give my child everything he deserved. They sent out a caseworker right away, who met me at the house I was staying at after the hospital let me go home. She got to work right away, got all of my information and the information of the potential fathers. She then asked me what kind of adoption I was looking for and what I was expecting. I had already had a big list written up, I had done some research and read some stories about birthmothers who had very open and happy adoptions. I wanted that too, I thought if I had that much contact and openness it would be like I didn't really lose my baby after all. My caseworker though shot down all my ideas, she told me that I probably wouldn't be able to find a family who would agree to all of the openness, especially in such a short time frame. I was very devastated, but I was determined to find a family for my baby. She told me that they had a "contract" open adoption which meant I would get updates every three months for the first year, then two updates the second year and once a year visits and updates after that. I agreed to the terms in the hopes that I would find a family who would be willing to have more contact.
The next week she came by again, this time with a small stack of profile books for me to look at and read. Some of my terms I had asked for was that the family had to live in or near the state I was in, had to be a family with no other kids, and open to having an open relationship. The first two books were of families who lived on the other side of the country, and the last two were local. The first in-state family I looked at seemed very nice but they were too "sporty" and traveled a lot. The second in-state family really stood out to me the most. They seemed like a very down to earth family, the husband was an environmental engineer and the wife wanted to be a stay at home mom when they finally had children. They were exactly who I would have wanted to be my parents growing up. I decided to have a phone call with them. The call was short, they joked a lot and the wife and I talked about books and music we liked. I decided we needed to set up a meeting in person, I wanted to meet the family I would choose for my family before I made any decisions.
The day came for our first meet up, I was very nervous. I hoped that the family would like me too and wouldn't judge me for the mistakes I had made. My caseworker met me at the restaurant and told me that unfortunately the wife was very sick and wouldn't be able to meet me but her husband would be there. I was a little disappointed, but I was happy that she cared enough about me and the baby to not get us sick. She sent a very well-written letter and goody-bag full of snacks and music with her husband which I thought was so sweet of her to do. The husband was kind of shy but had a warm smile and talked highly about his wife. To me they were perfect, I finally found the family who would raise my baby boy and give him the life he deserved. It was a very profound moment for me, I felt like a weight had finally been lifted off my shoulders because I finally had a plan. A sadness sank in, though, I finally had a plan but it didn't involve me parenting my baby boy that I had grown to love over the past 8 months.
One week after our first meeting, I was sitting at home feeling very miserable and pregnant watching TV. I finally put my two weeks’ notice in at work, so I had spent a lot of time at home just being lazy, getting bigger, and alone crying over my belly, trying to soak up my last few weeks I had being pregnant. I was at almost 39 weeks at that time. I went to stand up and when I scooted forward I felt a  warm wetness. I thought had lost all control of my body at that point, and I went to go clean myself up when more wetness was felt. I then realized that my water had finally broken, I called the hospital and told the nurse what had happened. She told me to come into labor and delivery, so I then called my mom to come pick me up because I was too scared to drive myself.
I labored through most of the night and even got a little sleep after I got the epidural. My mom and sister slept on the pull out couches in the same room as me. The next morning it came time to finally push, my mom and sister had to help because I couldn't feel my legs. At 10:07 in the morning, after 45 minutes of pushing, I finally gave birth to a 10.7 lbs baby boy. I cried, he cried and when the nurse finally placed him on my chest an overwhelming feeling of love rushed through my body. I just laid there looking at him, at his perfection. I couldn't believe that my body created this perfect child and that the baby that had been playing soccer on my bladder just days ago was there in my arms looking at me with his beautiful blue eyes. That whole first day I held him and loved him as much as I could. In my mind I saw a ticking clock, I knew my time was limited with him. In my state, a mother has to wait 48 hours after birth before she could sign her termination of parental rights papers. That wasn't nearly enough time for me. I knew the agency wasn't going to give me much time after that before asking me to sign my rights away. The day he was born, I emailed the family I picked out attaching a few pictures of him. They immediately emailed back about precious he was and hoping that I was recovering well. We agreed to have a call the next morning so that I could just talk with them and also so they could tell me the name they had picked for him. I had been calling him C (for privacy I won't disclose his name) during that time, but I knew the family would probably change that name. The next morning when they called the first told me that they decided on a name that started with a T (for privacy I won't disclose his name), and then they told me that they had decided that they loved the name C and that they wanted to keep it as his middle name. They told me they knew how important that name was to me, and wanted to keep it to honor my connection with T. I was so happy for that, at that moment I knew I had picked the right family.
That last night in the hospital was probably one of the worst nights of my life. My mom had been staying with me but decided that she needed to go be with her husband, who at that time was very jealous that she was spending so much time with me. I was alone with T for the first time, and I didn't want to put him down. I held him and cried over him while feeding him a bottle of formula, a few nurses offered to take him for me but I didn't want to let him go. It was my last night as his mother and I wanted to soak it all up. Some other nurses heard about my crying and how I was placing him for adoption. They offered to get me a car seat, so baby clothes and formula so that I didn't have to give him up. It was a nice gesture, but it hurt so badly because I knew even if I had that stuff, I still didn't have a place to go with a newborn. We would have been homeless if I had decided to keep him. There's a song by Maroon 5 called "Daylight", every time I hear that song it brings back those memories of that last night with him and how the morning came too fast.
That morning I begged for one more day with him, I just needed a little more time but my insurance wouldn't pay for another night, I was getting discharged. My caseworker came by, she met my mom and baby T. She explained what forms I was going to be filling out and how it would all happen. She warned me that the language in the parent rights papers was harsh, and she was right. The wording made it sound like I didn't want my baby at all and that I was basically abandoning him. It was hard to sign because I knew none of that was true. I had to write the reasons why I was signing my rights away as a parent, so I simply put "I want my son to have a better life than what I capable of giving him at this time." The last few signatures were so hard, I had to stop and cry. I didn't know how I could continue, so I ask my mom to pray for us at that time. I'm not religious, but at that moment it was the only thing I could think of doing. I sign my last signature and I felt my heart break into a million pieces. The nurses brought T back into the room, and I dressed him in a going away outfit that my caseworker brought for me. I held him and cried. I kissed his forehead and told him how much I loved him. My mom watched over him and took videos of him sleeping while I packed my things to leave, each step felt like I was walking through mud. I kissed him one more time and grabbed my bags and started walking out of the hospital. Leaving without you baby from the hospital is probably one of the worst feelings to ever experience as a parent.
I didn't want to have placement (giving baby T to the family I chose) with his new parents at the hospital, I felt like having him in transitional care (temporary foster home) for a week would give me some time to get my emotions under control so that I could try and enjoy the placement itself. We planned on doing the placement at the agency the Monday after we left the hospital. I spent my first night without my baby at my mom's house, and I remember walking around feeling numb and empty. I was highly aware of all the moms and babies when we went to the grocery store for dinner. The next night I spent at my home, even though I wanted to stay with my mom her husband didn't want anything to do with me. Three days after signing my rights away, and leaving the hospital I was by myself. I was washing some clothes I had bought for my son before he was born, I was planning on giving them to his new parents on placement day. An overwhelming feeling of regret washed over me, I wanted my baby back. I had made a mistake in signing those papers, and I wanted to take it all back. I felt my heart breaking, even more, I knew I had made a mistake of not trying harder to parent him, but that there was nothing in my power that I knew of to get him back.
That whole week leading up to placement day was so hard on me, I constantly worried about T and how he was doing. When placement day finally came I was so excited to get to see T again, I got to hold him and feed him for a couple of hours before it was finally time to introduce him to both of his new parents. I had never met the wife before this moment, so I was so nervous. I hoped that she liked me and trusted me since I was trusting them to take care of T and raise him. As soon as I walked into the room holding T I saw two people with huge smiles on their faces. They came up and hugged me first, and then I handed T over to his new mom. She just stared at him with love in her eyes and hugged me. His new dad got a turn to hold him for a bit as we sat and talked, I gave them the clothes, a baby blanket I made for T, and his mom a bracelet that had a blue baby shoe on it with a cross. I had matching one as well. They gave me a bouquet of flowers a couple of necklaces, the first necklace had a circle with the letter C stamped into it with "One in a million" engraved in the back. The second necklace had two little gold and silver heart charms that represented my heart and baby T's. I started crying because the gift was so thoughtful of them, I still wear the charms today that I eventually combined into one necklace. T's dad then handed him back to me, and I held him while we talked more. We took a few pictures together, and then it was time for me to leave. I was still holding T, so I just stared down at his perfect face as my eyes welled up again. I stroked his cheek, and he smiled. I finally kissed him on his forehead like I did at the hospital, and handed him back to his mom. We hugged some more, and I left the room with my mom. I barely made it down the hallway before I completely broke down, I could hardly walk to the car. I didn't know when I was going to see him again, I didn't know if his parents would keep up on their end with the open adoption agreement. There was a lot of unknowns in the beginning, and still are a lot today two years later.
I've experienced many changes since then, and I have many battles with depression and anxiety. I've started working on college and met the perfect man whom I married. My adoption hasn't turned out the way I hoped it would, but I did have a lot of big expectations that I didn't make known to his parents. Getting pregnant with T was probably one of the best things to happen to me in my life, his presence in my life really made me who I am today. My experiences with adoption are still shaping me, I've lost friends and family but I have also gained new people in my life who truly care about me. I still get updates about T, and currently, we have two visits a year which I am very grateful for.  Even though I may sometimes still regret signing those papers because I didn't try harder to parent, I still love his family.  In the end, they love T and that's all that matters to me now. I can't change what happened in the past, I can only learn and grow from it. I hope that this honest telling of my story may help other mothers who are experiencing the same journey as me, realize that they are not alone. Adoption is hard and messy. It's full of complex emotions from everyone, and it's a learning process as you go. 



My Childhood Part Two

So sorry it took so long to update this, here's the next part of my story.       I went to the principles office as soon as I got to s...