I suppose the appropriate place to start is with the little blue ‘plus’ sign I read on the EPT back in July 2009. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew that my days (and nights) of being a carefree teenager had just come to an abrupt halt. I was 19. I was single. I was pregnant. This wasn’t how I wanted a child to come into my life! I wanted a baby on my terms, and on my time. That time hadn’t come yet. I knew right then that this wasn’t my baby. This baby was going to make someone else’s family whole.
That when I started my research on adoption agencies. A few had been recommended to me, but I wanted to see what was out there. While researching one day, I ran across the American Adoptions webpage. I put in some of my information and the next morning a specialist called me. Two specialists, Susan and Melissa, came to my home and met with me after a day or so. They brought me information on the agency, about 25 family profiles, and information about adoption in general. They explained the process to me and answered all of my questions. I felt comfortable with them. That was important to me.
My journey had begun with Susan by my side. I requested more profiles, and she was more than happy to give me as many as I needed. There were several great looking couples, but the moment that I looked at Michelle and Ken I knew I had found the family. Everything about their profile was warm and inviting, and everything I read just made me that much more convinced that this baby would part of their family. I turned the profile into Susan the next day so she could match us up.
Before I knew it, Michelle and I were speaking on the phone to each other. She was telling me about her life and I was telling her about mine, and by the end of the conversation we had decided to meet each other in October. Pretty soon we were emailing back and forth, and before I knew it, the middle of October was here and I was exchanging hugs with them in the airport. The first weekend they spent in Kansas City was amazing. I took them to their first Chipotle where we met up with my sister and my cousin. Afterwards we went to the Country Club Plaza, where we met up with my other cousin and her boyfriend. We went to dinner, and then to my place where we met up with my boyfriend and played cards for a few hours. I had so much fun with them.
The weekend had flown by, and they were already leaving for home before I knew it. We emailed a little bit over the holiday season, and I sent some pictures I had taken with my friends and family.
In December, I received an email from Melissa at American Adoptions. She told me she was taking over my case from that point and she would catch up on everything Susan and I had been working on. I was a bit worried because, even though Melissa had been at my house with Susan for an introduction, I was comfortable with Susan. A couple of weeks into having Melissa as my new specialist, we met for lunch. The connection with Melissa was there too. She made me feel comfortable with her in the sense that everything would be taken care of. Melissa genuinely tried to make this process as effortless and possible for me. We got along great, and knowing that I had nothing to worry about put me at ease.
As my doctor appointments went from monthly to bi-weekly, and then from bi-weekly to weekly, everyone was becoming more and more anxious. I was feeling very uncomfortable in my pregnant body, so I was relieved to know that my doctor was giving me the option of an induction! I had an amazing support system that was making sure I was always comfortable and able to relax, as well as an amazing team working with me at the agency. Michelle and Ken were keeping me updated via email, telling me how excited they were as the days passed by. Everything was coming into place.
Soon enough, my induction was a week away. I couldn’t wait for Friday. My hospital bag was in my boyfriend’s car and I was cleaning my apartment trying to make the time pass. Michelle and Ken were flying in on Thursday morning.
My mom and grandma were coming up on Friday night. Everyone was coming to support me and to welcome this new life into the world. I was ready.
Finally, Thursday had come. I was so excited to see Michelle and Ken. I knew that after the baby was born we would not have much time together since I would be recovering and they would be busy with the newest addition to their family. That night was going to be my only night to relive the fun we had in October. After going out to eat and playing some cards my apartment, we called it a night. I had been so swept up in the fun I was having with them that I completely ignored my cell phone. Once I found it, I saw at least five missed calls from my mom. When I called her back, she had told me that she was already in Kansas City. She and my grandma were staying at the same hotel as Michelle and Ken.
At 5:30 on Friday morning, I received a call from the hospital. They wouldn’t have room for me at my scheduled time, but would call me when were rooms available. I notified everyone and told them to get some more sleep. I tossed and turned for the next few hours, and then I received another call from the hospital. They had been overbooked on inductions, and I had to be rescheduled for Sunday morning. I let everyone know, and was joined in my feelings of frustration toward the situation.
After resting for a little while longer, everyone met at the hotel. We went to the mall because my grandma decided walking great distances would help to induce labor (not to mention make my feet swollen)! She was wrong but I’m glad we went. My mom and grandma had a chance to get to know Michelle and Ken, which was important to me. I think my favorite part of our day at the mall was going to Build-a-Bear Workshop with Michelle and making twin monkeys. She kept one and I kept one.
Friday and Saturday flew by, and before I knew it Sunday had arrived. My boyfriend took me to the hospital. I was quickly put into a room and started a Pitocin drip. Michelle and Ken arrived shortly after I did, and within the hour my mom was there as well. People were in and out of the delivery room all day. When the time had come to start pushing only my sister, my cousin, and Michelle could be at my side. Everything was over before I knew it had started and it was all much easier that I had imagined. Peter John (P.J. for short) was born January 31st, 2010 at 3:06pm, and Michele was there to watch him come into the world. I was moved to a smaller room after about an hour, and I had a few more visitors. Ken and Michelle were spending time with their new baby in a different room.
I had quite a few visitors the next day. Most of them were people working with the agency to finalize the adoption, such as lawyers, social workers, and Melissa came to see me as well. My favorite visitors, however, were P.J., Michelle, and Ken. I had chosen not to see the baby until I had relinquished my parental rights. Since I had done that I was ready to see him. He was beautiful, and they were so happy. That was all I needed to see to really be okay with my decision.
I was back at home later that afternoon and resting for the next few days while my boyfriend stayed with time to make sure I wasn’t walking around too much. I went to see Michelle, Ken and P.J. at their hotel room twice before they left. I ate dinner with them and we talked about how excited everyone in New Jersey must be for them to come home. Some of our conversation consisted of small talk, but most of it revolved around future communication and the family P.J. was coming home to. Michelle didn’t want to lose contact with anyone she had met on their visits to Kansas City. She reassured me that she was not only a mom for P.J., but she and Ken were my friends. They would always be there for me. After holding the child I had carried inside of me and gave birth to less than a week ago, nobody said goodbye. Instead, we said “until next time.”
Michelle and Ken are everything I could have ever dreamed of for P.J. and so much more. Spending so much time with them made my decision that much easier. I can’t think of two people I would rather have done this for. I know that P.J. is going to cross my mind several times a day, every day, for the rest of my life I also know that when he does, I can’t be sad that he’s not physically here with me, instead I can be happy that I chose a family who will look at him and see a miracle every time. I chose a family who will give everything that I’m unable to give right now, along with all of the love and support I could ever want for him.
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