I was in my late twenties when I was blessed with this experience, though she wasn’t conceived in a loving
marriage, but rather as a result of a violent rape, didn’t take away from my love for the innocent child, even before
she was born. I quit smoking, and quit eating junk food and I took my pre-natal vitamins to do everything possible
to have a healthy baby.
Though I chose a Christian family to adopt her, my maternal instinct didn’t end the day we parted ways at the
hospital. I received pictures from the adoptive mother when their (my) baby was three and six months old. At six
months the contact stopped, but not my love and prayers for her to be happy, healthy and loved unconditionally.
Being a mother means different things to different people. To me a mother is a woman who puts the
emotional and physical welfare of her child above her own. Putting her dreams on hold. Some people may say or claim that a woman is only considered a mother if she raises a child whether her own or adopted. Others say that if you give birth to a baby you are a mother even if you place him or her for adoption. What makes me angry are
mothers who reproduce like rabbits because they get more money from the government, but are emotionally
bankrupt and neglect or abuse the children. There are teenagers who get pregnant from a one night stand. The girl doesn’t want the baby because it would cramp her social life.
There are Safe Havens that girls like this could take the baby with no questions asked. The baby would be cared for and hopefully placed in a secure home. Unfortunately instead they wrap it up and throw it in the dumpster along with the trash. Neither of these are good examples of being a mother.
Here’s my personal story.
I was in my late twenties when I was blessed with this experience, though she wasn’t conceived in a loving marriage, but rather because I became pregnant after being a victim of a violent rape, didn’t take away from my love for the innocent child, even before she was born. I quit smoking, eating junk food and I took my pre-natal vitamins to do everything possible to have a healthy baby. I considered all of my options: carry the baby to term then give the baby to a safe haven or raise the baby myself. Raising the baby wasn’t an option since I would be moving to Florida to live with my sister and didn’t have a job lined up. I did not want to raise my baby on welfare. Abortion was not an option either; I don’t believe in it. After much contemplation and prayer, I chose to carry my baby to term and place her in a Christian family for adoption. My maternal instinct didn’t end the day we parted ways at the hospital.
I received pictures from the adoptive mother when their (my) baby was three and six months old. At six months the contact stopped, but not my love and prayers for her to be happy, healthy and loved unconditionally.
My mother wanted me to have an abortion, which I refused to do. I don’t believe in abortion. She said, “I’ll set it up, I’ll tell people you are visiting family out of state.” I felt like a dirty secret. I refused her plan; she threw me out like I was garbage. She also disowned me and took me out of her Will (not that I believed I was ever in it-no matter).
Being an unwed mother was too much of a shock and took her back in time when she was pregnant with me and unmarried. She was always distant and emotionally bankrupt where I was concerned as if it were my fault that she got pregnant. I went to live with a close friend for awhile. Eventually I found a Home for Unwed Mothers in Chicago. I was the oldest one there. Most of the girls were still in their teens who didn’t practice safe sex. It set up like a Dorm and there was a Dorm Mother on site at all times. I baby sat and did temp work downtown to make the required weekly fee of $75. I went to a clinic for check-ups from October 1988 to February 1989. I had morning sickness throughout the first and second trimester and almost lost the baby when I had a bad case of the flu and collapsed from weakness and dehydration. The counselor I had to see every month wanted me to give the baby to Catholic Charities and I would never know anything about how the baby was or what type of people adopted the baby. That was unacceptable option.
In early February 1989, my close friend called and told me about friends of hers-a Christian couple that wanted to adopt a child since they could not have any more of their own. She told them about me. They wanted to call me but wanted my permission for her to give it to them. They called that same day and we made arrangements to meet in a couple days. I was a little apprehensive about the meeting and giving up my baby.
My choice was becoming a reality and it scared me. Even before the baby was born, I’d been mothering her by eating healthy and passing those nutrients through me to ensure her health and developmental growth.
Once we meet and talked for a few hours I felt they would be the right parents to raise my baby as their own. We made a verbal agreement. I was put up in an apartment so I wouldn’t be stressed in the last two months of pregnancy. The lady that lived in the apartment below mine was a friend of Joan and Bill, the adoptive parents. She drove me to the store and to my OB/GYN check-ups. The Dr is the same one that delivered Joan’s son Matthew.
On April 24, 1989, nine days past due, I gave birth to a healthy, precious baby girl. After five hours of labor the doctor said the baby was in fetal distress because the birth canal was too narrow for the baby and her heart rate plummeted every time she tried to pass through to be born. I had an emergency C-section in order to give birth without further distress on the baby. Heather was born at 11 pm and weighed six pounds, three ounces. She is a dainty little girl, but a real fighter. With all the things I experienced while carrying her, any one of them could’ve ended the pregnancy. I fell on the ice more times than I can count on one hand. I had the flu so bad I passed out because I was so weak not being able to keep any food down for days. She rallied every time. She was and is a very determined girl.
During my six day stay in the hospital, I was blessed to hold and bottle feed her. When I held her, I looked into her eyes when she opened them. I felt we connected and she knew I was her birth mother. I did have fleeting second thoughts, but it was selfish of me. It was because I couldn’t bear to let her go, but that wasn’t in her best interest.
Her welfare was more important so I kept the promise I made and she was taken home by her parents Joan and Bill. I went to sign the papers relinquishing my parental rights. It was heart wrenching, but I knew it was best for Heather.
Because of having a C-section, the Dr. strongly advised against extensive travel where I would not have freedom of movement because I could develop blood clots in my legs. Joan and Bill generously paid for me to stay at the apartment for another month.
During that month I mostly stayed in my room. After having just given birth to this precious child whom I nurtured for nine months in my body and having given her away it felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest.
I couldn’t fathom that a lifetime could heal the hole in my heart. I mourned her as if she died because for all intensive purposes she was no longer part of me.
After moving to Florida to live with my sister, I barely had the will to get up every day through my dark depression. I had to fight against the depression in order to move forward by finding a job and taking care of myself.
As part of the adoption process Joan and Bill had to endure surprise home visits for the first six months to ensure the baby’s safety and environment. During that time Joan and Bill promised to send me pictures of Heather. They sent me pictures of Heather at three and six months old. She looked so happy and healthy. The pictures were reassuring, but at the same time reopened the gaping hole in my heart. Once Heather was six months I agreed not to contact the family until Heather was eighteen years old. I kept to my Agreement and didn’t try to find her until she was almost twenty-two. Throughout those twenty-two years since Heather’s birth I thought about her and prayed she was well.
I was ecstatic to find her on a social network site a few months ago. She is a beautiful young woman and an RN at a Children’s Hospital in New York. We have exchanged a couple e-mails. She was surprised to hear from me and needs time to comprehend the difference between her adoptive parents and me her birth mother.
Having never known me personally and only knowing of my existence, leaves her understandably confused as to what role I should or could play in her life. Rightfully so she is being very protective of her adoptive family. I can respect her decision. All I wanted to do in finding her is to let her know I love her and am willing to meet whatever needs she enables me to meet. For her or her future children’s health I’d be willing to donate a kidney or bone marrow or whatever would be necessary that I am able to give.
I always make sure she knows where I am and how to contact me. Sadly, I wasn’t able to have any more children by the time I married my Husband at age forty-six. At age forty I’d had a partial hysterectomy, leaving the ovaries. I had the ovaries removed at age forty-nine due to precancerous cysts.
I believe, at least one of God’s purposes for me on this earth, were fulfilled when I became pregnant, gave birth to and place my baby for adoption with the family so they could be complete, that is, having one son and one daughter.