"Live and Learn," a line you hear frequently. A line that is applicable to so many situations and scenarios. A line whose meaning I felt was heavily applicable after my first adoption experience. There was no questioning it. An event that huge, with that much impact was sure to change the core of who I was. It was inconceivable that I would find myself there again. The same disregards for birth control, irresponsible intimacy and just plain recklessness could never happen a second time. It was impossible.
Less than a year from the time I placed my baby girl with an incredible family I was again facing the reality of an accidental pregnancy. At first I felt like a double adoption was out of the question. I felt that I absolutely had to parent this baby because how would I own up to this... AGAIN. How could I have not "Lived and Learned?" Am I ready for another baby? How could I be back here, in the same unfit circumstances? Yeah, the first time around was heroic and selfless. "Accidents happen" right, but AGAIN!?
From the discouraging moment I held that positive test in my hand I planned to make parenting work. I just had to. Even though the same logistics that played into my decision last time (unplanned, unmarried and in over my head) were still in the forefront of my mind. I pushed the option or consideration of adoption out of my mind. I just kept thinking that I made my bed, I have to lay in it this time.
Weeks were passing, I hushed my uncertainty but with every kick and flutter of the baby I was uneasily bringing to the world I began to let myself remember the year before. The experience I had with adoption and the peace and conviction that came with my decision continued to circulate in my mind.
I finally summoned the courage to mention adoption to the biological father and the answer was no. He specifically said he would "never let it happen." It broke my spirit to hear those words. I was torn and felt intensely powerless at first. He didn't agree so I was at his mercy. Clearly I would have no choice if he didn't agree. I knew he had the best intentions as a father but I could see that for both of us, intentions do not put food on the table, it doesn't babysit my two month old baby while I work 40 hours a week, it doesn't mend the heartbreak for a child growing up in two separate homes and it certainly could not bring us together as a couple, among other issues I will spare.
We weren't together at the time of conception. We had one night (shame on me) then a month later had a double pink line staring us in the face. My reasons for ending it with him hadn't changed. Big lifestyle differences, parenting differences and future goals made it clear I needed to be done with him indefinintely. At that point it was decided we were not going to pursue a romantic relationship. A co-parenting arrangement was the only thing left on the table. He was more than okay not having a healthy, two parent home to offer this baby and it didn't sit right with me. We continued to pretend this was a good idea anyway. I even tried to have him over here and there to keep us in some realm of friendship for the sake of our future co-parent relationship. It always ended in the defeating feeling that I wasn't doing the right thing. Even accepting that I settled with calling it a "co-parenting" relationship before the baby was born gave me some serious heartbreak for this sweet baby. The thought of the back and forth, the hard sharing of holidays, major events and especially the day to day unrest a child undoubtably feels being passed around were killing me inside. I continuously had this ever growing resentment toward him that I was choosing what he wanted instead of what I instinctually felt was best for my son.
After weeks of tossing and turning and waking up in the night with true anxiety, I finally called my case worker and scheduled a meeting to talk. I had questions. What were my rights? I needed to know what my options were and if it was impossible to even consider adoption due to the biological fathers disagreement. If there was no chance legally then I could put adoption to rest and make parenting work, against my better judgement. I went into the meeting that day very hopeful for the news that the choice was mine. I so badly needed to hear that I had power over this innocent life and I was able to make a better decision for his benefit.
What that meeting brought was a game changer. I had more rights than I thought and I had the power to choose. It didn't take long to switch gears and find an acceptance with a second adoption and myself for even being in the same situation again. Yes, it came with embarrassment and a hellish kind of shame. However, with a miracle spirit, it also came with an understanding of what was going to happen. I had done this before. I decided I could either hate myself for this reality or use it as a strength. I knew the healing that came with it and the unexpected joy of placing a healthy baby with a prepared and deserving couple. I knew the confirming feelings of Gods plan unfolding. The events coming up were not new to me. I found the "why" in it last time and slowly I was finding the "why" this time around.
What I came to realize was that owning up to it instead of hiding it gave me a liberation from the shame. That is something I want to share with all birth moms and especially second or third time birth moms. Just own it! Your story should be told and you are no less for it. Each sweet child deserves the best chance for a healthy life and if choosing to place is what is right for you then I am proud to be among you!
Once I decided on the adoption and the process was rolling I moved forward in life with relief and peace in my choice. Other than handling the disapproval from the birth father and a separate sadness for him about how it had to happen I had put most of the anxieties about the future to rest. I could appreciate his desire to parent and his willingness to do so but I couldn't let that be the blind fold to what the reality was. I couldn't have lived with knowing there was a window of time to choose more certainty for my son and that I didn't follow my instinct as a mother. Some may say the act of deciding and moving forward without his consent was harsh and unfair. My natural reponse to that is thankfully empowering. I was overwhelmed with conviction. I still am. He told me no early on so I had to move forward without him. We had many dicussuons about why he wouldn't agree and they all came back to what he wanted out of it. The reality is that someone more concerned about what they want and what is more fun for them than the life of the child won't look at every option no matter what. They won't face their limitations or the raw truth of their situation. I knew I had to do this on my own because allowing the impaired opinion of someone else to influence something so huge was weakness on my part. Hell yeah I struggled with fear of what the birth father would feel or think or what his circle would have to say about it. I stressed about the outcome, absolutely! However, I would choose that perception from outside sources any day before I try to face myself for backing away from what I knew was right just to avoid opinions of others. The truth is, I am a mother. I was sent this sweet boy. I had his whole life in my body and in my hands! If I wasn't going to fight for him, who would? When I take that approach there is no question, the biological father and I were not ready. We hadn't planned or prepared to parent. I felt sadness because he couldn't realize it.
I have said this before but it's worth repeating. Having sex does not qualify you for parenthood. Yes, scientifically you made a baby but raising a child takes much more than science. Sleeping together doesn't equal love. One irresponsible night does not warrant an entire life of a child resulting in turbulence, two seperate homes, different parenting appraoches and ideals or worse things that come with certain situations. A summer fling does not come with the luxury of selfishness. Do you think it's easy for me to admit my behavior last summer and the immaturities that got me here? No, it's not, but it's the ugly truth and I would rather look it in the face and give this delicate little life a freaking chance!
The father and I do not agree on these matters and perhaps mine is the unpopular opinion worldwide. I don't care. This is bigger and more important than avoiding the emotion or pain of accepting your mistakes and limitations. I was confident then and moreso now that this baby belonged with a couple in love and ready to offer all of their best.
And that is exactly what I found. The details of the entire expereince could fill a novel so I will break it up in pieces. What I can say is that the feeling that came in the hospital as I brought him into the world confirmed to me that I had placed that precious boy with his parents, the people he was meant to be with. The aftermath of this decision has been much harder than expected and I couldn't have prepared for the emotions it has brought.
BUT! I would not change it for the world. I love my son just as I love each sweet baby that I physically brought down from Heaven. My conviction as a mother out weighs the opinions of others and I know I did the right thing... again. Heaven doesn't mess with adoption and I am so grateful for the love and support shown through my struggle.
I am an advocate for adoption. I am an advocate of proper birth control and want to use this platform to bring awareness. Please be smart. If you are not ready for the lifestyle it should require to raise a child, use birth control! If you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant in an unfit situation, look into your options. I know how scary it can be, believe me! Reach out for support and love, you are still very much worthy of help and comfort as you navigate next steps. I couldn't have had as much peace through this without the judgement free people I am blessed to have around me.
My story will continue as both of my adoptions are open and a big part of my life. I love all three of my babies and my choices will not always make sense to outsiders but I will say that I am happy. I feel deep joy when I get to hold or see either child I placed for adoption. I thrive as they thrive in the family and home I couldn't provide.