You may need a tissue. I did while writing this.
Today is my first child's birthday. He is 12 years old. I had him when I was 17 years old. Right before my senior year of high school. My boyfriend and I decided to give him up for adoption so that he could live the best life possible. We knew that at 17 and 19 we would not be able to provide for him the way that we wanted to be able to provide for a child.
My godparents knew a couple that had been trying to adopt for many years. Neither one of them were able to have children. We met with them and talked with them several times and decided that yes, we thought these two people would make excellent parents to our child. They made us a video tour of their home before we made our decision. I remember that I was so delighted to see that SHE collected unicorns. I LOOOVE unicorns. I have collected them since I was very young. Then, after we informed them of our decision to have them adopt our baby, they made another video for us of their home AFTER the baby room was created. It was soooo awesome. We talked about expectations. We asked if we would be involved in any way. We didn't want to be IN THE PICTURE necessarily, but we thought it would be nice if we were kept apprised. We wanted to receive pictures occasionally. We were told that he would know he was adopted and that it would never be hidden from him. We were also told that, yes, they would be happy to send us pictures.
So much happened the summer that he was born. My parents moved to a home that would move me out of my school. A very good friend of mine died. I had to get permission from the school board to be able to register for classes even though I was technically no longer in that district. I remember attending summer drumline camp and not being able to go past the first day because I couldn't handle the heat and the standing in the heat all day.
Finally, after watching his due date come and go, the doctor told me that he was going to induce labor on August 4th. Two weeks after he was due. Everything went just like clockwork. I went in at 6. They started the Pitocin to induce the contractions at 8. I got a pain medicine around 10. Epidural at 12. And P.D.A. was born at 2 in the afternoon. My closest friends were there. My godmother, who was a nurse at the same hospital, was in the room with me. My boyfriend and my mother were in the room with me. The adoptive parents were the first people to be able to feed him. It was such an emotionally trying couple days. I chose not to breastfeed because I was scared of the pain. Not the physical pain, but the emotional and mental pain that I already felt. I don't remember much about the time in the hospital except my boyfriend and I spent as much time over the next two days with P as possible. My parents came, his parents came, I have a group photo of all my friends that came to the hospital that day. There were plenty of tears shed by all parties. It was the most pain I have ever felt in my entire life. It is a pain that was amplified so much more because it was a pain that we inflicted on ourselves. But our convictions made it so much easier to deal with this pain. We knew that we were making the right decision for both us and him. We knew that these two parents-to-be were brimming with pride and joy at the look of their newborn son. We made sure that we spent lots of time holding P and rocking him and talking to him. We told him that he did nothing wrong and that we loved him very much. We also told him that we would be there whenever/if ever he decided to make up a part of his life.
The day that we left the hospital was a very difficult day. I am told that everyone who was there and witnessed the extraordinary events of the day was in tears. A mother has a set amount of time to change her mind after the birth of her child before the adoption is final. That was a difficult thing to swallow. How would any adoptive parents feel if they were adopting a child and then told at the last moment that no, they could not ake home this beautiful joy. I imagined that to be a pain similar to a miscarriage or a stillborn child. I do not know those pains, but I imagined them to be similar. I could never do that to this wonderful couple. So, I went downstairs in the wheelchair to the front of the hospital, with baby P in my arms and my boyfriend at my side. At the front of the hospital I handed baby P over to his new parents and told them, "Take care of him for me." At that point, I was crying, his new parents were crying, my boyfriend was crying. There were tears a plenty.
I could only be consoled by acknowledging the fact that I just gave two people a chance at a family. I just gave a young child the chance to live in a happy home with two people who could give him the life that he deserved. I gave my self a chance to grow into the young adult that I had always seen myself growing into. I was able to finish high school. Still be the kid I wanted to be. Plan on attending university in another state. I do not know what kind of life I would have been able to give a child when I was a child myself. I know that there are plenty of women and children that live that very life every day. But, I did not want that for him. I did not want that for me. I wanted us both to live the best and most fulfilling life possible.
To this day, as far as I know, my child does not know that he was adopted. We have only received pictures from the adoptive parents one time. At one year old they sent us a binder with several pictures from each month of his life along with a short synopsis of his milestones. I know that he cut his teeth in the same manner that I did when I was a baby. I know that he had a yellow cake in the shape of a teddy bear with chocolate icing on it for his first birthday. I did receive two copies of his school pictures several years ago. But I was given those by my godparents, not by the birth parents. I recently asked my godmother if she thought that it would be possible to get more pictures.
I want to send P a letter. I want to tell him that he has a half sister. Scratch that, he has two half sisters. Both his father and I have a daughter. I want to ask him about his life. I want to tell him about me. I want him to know where he comes from. I want to be able to tell him that his blue eyes and blonde hair come from me. That his nose comes from his father. I may write this letter and send it to the attention of his adoptive parents. I want him to know that he is adopted. That I chose his parents very carefully. That his parents chose him. But most of all, I want him to know that there are more people out there that love him than he could ever imagine.