We bring you the story of a young woman from New York City who shows that adoption can be a joyful moment not only for the adoptive family, but also for the woman who gives up her child, for whatever reason.
Too Young to Be a Mother
I found out I was pregnant right before my senior year of college. My parents took me to an adoption lawyer to fill me in on the process that lay ahead. She showed us a box full of brochures and pictures of families looking to adopt. I spent months looking at profiles of families, but none seemed like the right fit. I didn’t even know what I was looking for. Maybe I was looking for someone who would remind me of me in ten years, someone who would raise my son the way I wanted to raise him myself.
I wanted an open adoption
I knew from the beginning that I wanted an open adoption. I wanted to be a part of my son’s life. But these arrangements were not common back then. Families offered to send photos, but nothing more. I didn’t blame them for wanting the baby to be theirs. But sometimes it seemed like they didn’t care about anything but the baby. I worked a lot on myself and wanted to stay close, emotionally balanced.
Kathy and Tom
But Kathy and Tom weren’t like that. When they first came to our house, I could feel a completely different energy from them. Kathy thanked me profusely for even considering them. She had miscarried several times. She didn’t pander to me, quite the opposite. She was thinking of ways I could be a part of their lives. “You can babysit. We can have dinners together, birthday parties. Whatever you want, and you’ll be comfortable.” For the first time I felt important, someone cared about me too, not just the baby. We talked about my plans, my worries, my hopes.
My son was born a month early and Kathy was with me at the birth. She was concerned about my comfort and how I was feeling the whole time. When they put my son on my chest, all I said was, “Please give him to his mother.” I kissed him. And what did I feel?
The pain of loss.
A tremendous sense of relief.
Guilt. Did I really do this for my child or selfishly for myself to make my life easier?
They delivered what they promised
Kathy and Tom did what they promised. They came to my graduation ceremony, showed my son to my friends. I was still a child myself, and I felt like I had nothing to contribute. I needed more time. But Kathy held a place for me in their lives. I knew that even if I disappeared for twenty years, I could always come back. We trusted each other. Kathy and Tom raised my son and he is the strongest, smartest, most compassionate young man I know. But they also raised me in their own way.
Now I have three children of my own. Even though I was sometimes anxious, it was Kathy who helped me overcome the sadness of giving up my first son. And she is so grateful. Not for what or who I gave her. She’s grateful for me.