Helping America's Most Vulnerable

Story of a Birth Mother

I was 22 when I learned of my pregnancy. Terrified would be a good adjective to describe my reaction. I shed many tears. I was in a state of confusion and turned to every possible source for an answer as to what I should do. I myself was adopted at birth and weighed this option as one of my choices.

I went through the phone book, calling adoption agencies. Many did not want to take time to talk to with me or even understand that I wanted more information. I was left feeling wary and completely in the dark.

Thankfully, I came across an ad for Volunteers of America and thought, maybe they will offer some light and guidance.  The minute they answered the phone I sensed that they would be of assistance. 

I met with a social worker just a few hours later. The atmosphere in that office was one of understanding and caring. During the initial meeting the social worker explained what open adoption meant, not only for the birth parents but also the adoptive couple as well. I personally felt that open adoption was a wise and great decision to make. It enables birth and adoptive parents to get to know one another on a very personal level. Plus, the child and the adoptive couple are able to know things that would otherwise be left in the dark if not for openness. 

Choosing the family, I was told, would be one of the hardest parts. Personally, I couldn't be happier with the family I chose. When I first met with them I was completely nervous. Questions that came to mind included: What if they don't like me, or I, them? What do we have in common? What if they put on an act? There were so many "what ifs." However, after only our second meeting I knew they were the family I could be comfortable with. 

After I gave birth, I was overcome with grief and sorrow. Leaving my daughter at the hospital was challenging. Just knowing that she would not be there with me the next morning was devastating. But after placing my baby with her family and meeting with them again a couple of weeks later, my sadness was overcome by heartfelt joy. 

If I could find the words to describe how happy the adoptive couple was, I would write them. However, words cannot fully describe it. Open adoption is one of the best options a birth couple and adoptive couple could decide on. It allows everyone to answer the questions that would be unanswered otherwise.

Since the day I placed my child for adoption I have never once second-guessed myself. My relationship with the adoptive couple is outstanding. They keep me informed about everyone's life, as I do with them. We talk frequently and see each other about once a month. Open adoption is not for everyone, but for those considering it, it is one of the most courageous, selfless decisions one could possibly make. Know that it is not done just because, but done out of love.