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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Callie's Adoption Story

I am Callie and I am 19 years old. I recently had a child and gave him to a wonderful adoptive family. My whole pregnancy I went back and forth on what to do. Should I keep the baby or not; that was the question that went through my mind daily.

I chose to give my child up for adoption due to the fact that I am not ready at this point in my life. I am a waitress at a local restaurant and my pay fluctuates every week. I don’t know if we are going to be busy or have anybody in our restaurant. The father and I have no contact. It was a really bad break up and I am not emotionally stable enough to handle a child on my own. I love children to death and one day hope to be a great mother and be able to give my child everything that he or she wants. As of right now, at this time in my life, I feel that it would be unfair to a child for me to keep it.

My family has stood by my side throughout the whole thing and I am so happy to have had such a supportive family. I come from a large family and they all have made me feel good about the decision I have made. My father, grandmother, and brother were all at the hospital when I gave birth to my baby. My mom was there to help me cope with my emotions and my dad was there to coach me through the delivery process. My mom has had five children and my dad was her coach for all of them, so who better than him to be my coach.

When I first started having contractions it was about 9:30 p.m. on a Saturday night. I waited them out and walked around my house back and forth all night. I didn’t know exactly what was going on. I thought I just had really bad indigestion. My mom and I were watching a movie and she asked me if I was okay, knowing in the back of her mind what was really happening. I told her I was fine. I finally went to the hospital at about 7:30 a.m. the next morning. I called Alli, the lady at the adoption agency who has helped me out a lot in dealing with my emotions and answering all my questions, and told her that I was at the hospital. I was dilated five centimeters. She called the family I chose to adopt my baby and told them that I was about to have the baby, little did I know that it was a long way from five to ten centimeters. By the time I got up to nine centimeters they realized that my water wasn’t broken yet, so they broke it. Breaking my water sent me back down to seven centimeters, so I had to work my way back up again. I was exhausted when it came time to deliver from having no sleep from the night before and all the breathing exercises. I unfortunately was not able to get an epidural and had natural childbirth. That was an experience in itself. The nurse that attended to me from 7:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. was my favorite; she was there at the very end of my delivery and helped me get through the last of my contractions. She helped me not want to push.

I finally had the little guy at 9:46 p.m. on a Sunday. He looked just like my father. My father was born on a Sunday in January too. I wasn’t certain if I wanted to see him at first. I thought seeing him would only make it harder in the end, but Cara and my mom talked some sense into me. The told me that I should see him because everybody needs a chance to say goodbye. All in all I am glad I saw him and spent some time with him. I got to see what a beautiful miracle he was and how he really did look like my dad. My family told me how he did and I saw him, he was beautiful.

When I got to finally meet the family; I felt really good about my decision. The tears that fell from their eyes were a great sign of relief for me. I wasn’t the only one crying. I got to spend some time with them and the baby. The more time I spent with them the better I felt about the whole thing. It isn’t easy giving up something so small and precious to you. I carried him for nine months and became close with the little person that kicked and poked inside of me. Now that I saw him in person; it made it even harder. Knowing that he was going to such a great family made me feel like I did the right thing. The family that I chose reminds me a lot of my own. That is the main reason I chose them. Their daughter has a personality that is identical to my own. She was very friendly and so excited to be a big sister.

People I know had their doubts about me being able to go through with my decision, but I proved them wrong and showed them that I am stronger at heart than they think. That makes me feel like a better person; doing what I did for another family who totally deserves it. I hope one day to be able to do it all over again, in the very distant future, and be able to keep the baby and raise it in a very happy environment. I want to give him or her exactly what they want and deserve.

I would recommend American Adoptions to anybody who is thinking of doing what I did or who wants to adopt a child. They helped me out and still are helping me. The people there are really nice and supportive. They make you smile when you talk to them and they give you a lot of options that I wasn’t aware I had. I was very please with American Adoptions and I am sure that anyone who has very gone through them has said the same. Thank you for all you have done!

Callie

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

While not every woman who chooses adoption is a young mother, many are. Through adoption, many young women have found an ability to give their babies the best life possible, while finding the opportunity to realize their own dreams, as well. Call American Adoptions today at 1-800-ADOPTION.

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Adoption Glossary

Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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