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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Natasha's Adoption Story

It was August of 2004, I had just turned nineteen, had a son (Gabriel) that just turned one in May and I was in the middle of splitting up with my fiancé (Ryan) of three years. Towards the end of August, I went out of state with some girlfriends for vacation. While there, we went out one night to the club and hung out with friends that lived there. After the evening at the club, my friends, a bunch of people we did not know, and I went back to our friend’s house that we were staying with. We sat around, watched movies and played cards. Playing cards was the last thing I remember. The next thing I knew, I woke up in one of the bedrooms not knowing what happened. I felt so out of it. I was so scared. I had no clue what had happened or why I felt that way (seeing how all I drank all night was Sprite since I had a cold.)

In the beginning of September, I started feeling nauseas and tired all the time. I knew right away what the problem was. I took a pregnancy test and when it came back positive, all I could do was cry. I was not ready or able to support another child. I felt so frustrated, scared, and alone. I had no idea who to tell, where to go, or what to do. The first person I ran to was Ryan. Even though we were splitting up, I knew he would be there. He was so supportive. He reassured me that everything would be fine. Ryan and I worked things out within the next couple of weeks. We decided to try to give our relationship one more shot and to keep the baby.

As my pregnancy went on, I became very ill. I was sick for the first 3 ½ months, which caused me to lose my job. Shortly after losing my job, Ryan totaled our car, which caused him to lose his job. Since neither of us was working, we were evicted from our apartment a week before Christmas. I was under so much stress that I was sure I was going to miscarry. I arranged with my best friend for Gabe and me to move in with her for a while. Ryan moved in with his mother. At that time, I was about 4 months pregnant. It was not until I was about 5 ½ months pregnant that Ryan and I started thinking about how we were going to support another person. We were not working, did not have a car, did not have a place of our own, and still had not purchased anything for the baby yet. There was no way that I was going to have an abortion. Therefore, we started looking into adoption. I got on the Internet and started my adoption search. I found the American Adoptions website through a search engine. I got on the site and started reading through everything. It was just what I was looking for. I filled out some information letting them know that I was interested and I was contacted shortly after. I had been matched up with Angie (my adoption specialist.) She sent me some information and profiles for me to look through. After I received the information, I kept putting off looking through it. That is the last thing a mother wants to do while pregnant. It was not until I was about 7 months pregnant that I realized that this is what I needed to do so I started looking through it. I had to of thoroughly examine all of the profiles at least four times each. No one seemed right. I felt like giving up. I started to change my mind about the whole adoption thing. Angie sent me another set of profiles to look through. I read them all and found two families that I was very interested in. I let Angie know of these families. She told me that she would contact my first choice and let them know. She contacted me a couple of days later and said that they had a lot of other things going on in their lives and was not interested at the time. I was so disappointed and upset. This made me think even more that I was doing the wrong thing. Angie asked me if I wanted her to contact my second choice (Rob and Stephanie.) I was very weary, but said yes. The next day Angie called me and let me know that she got a hold of Rob and Stephanie and that they were so very excited. This really boosted my confidence in the adoption process. Finally, something was going okay. For the first time in months, I had hope. We set up a conference call for the next week. When the day of the call came, I had to cancel because my son was in the hospital. I was sure that they would be mad at me and would no longer be interested. Angie called, said they understood and they would like to meet Ryan and me. We set a date for them to come.

Not far from a week before we met, we got the chance to talk on the phone. I was so fearful at first. However, as soon as they opened their mouths and started talking, I had a feeling of comfort. I instantly fell in love with them just by talking on the telephone with them. The call went great. They answered tons of my questions and we talked for quite some time.

On the next Saturday, they were on their way to meet us. I was so anxious all day. I kept asking myself, What if they do not like me? What if I no longer like them? It was so nerve-racking. The time came for Ryan and me to go meet them. When we arrived at Applebee's, they were not there yet. We sat in the car and waited. It was only about 5 minutes later that they arrived, but it seemed like the longest 5 minutes ever. I could not seem to find the courage to get out of the car. It was not until they parked, got out, and went inside before I could get out. We went inside, introduced ourselves, and were seated. It felt on edge at first but once we started talking, we really hit it off. We talked about the baby and every day things for hours. A couple of hours later we decided to go back to their hotel lobby for coffee. When Ryan and I left Applebee's to go to the hotel, I remember telling Ryan, "They are the ones."

Once at the hotel, we talked for a couple of more hours. It was great to spend this time with them and to get to know one another. They were great! They were both incredibly down to earth, funny, and extremely sweet. In just the time I spent with them that day, I felt so close to them, as if I had known them for years. I was now sure I was doing the right thing. It came time to leave but we decided to talk on the phone and through email until my inducement date, which was 3 weeks away.

Rob and Steph did keep in touch like they said the would. They sincerely cared and liked to be informed on how I was doing. A week and a half after our meeting, I had been having back contractions off and on. I called Stephanie and Rob to let them know and to tell them to be prepared just in case.

Later that night, around 2 o'clock a.m., I thought my water broke, but I was not sure. I went to the hospital just to be safe. It was true; I was in labor! I had Ryan call Rob and Steph right away. I remember when Ryan came back to the room, the first thing he said to me was, "Stephanie is more nervous than you." I will always remember that. I had decided to let Steph and Rob in the room during the delivery. They really wanted to be there and I really wanted them there as well. I was so worried that they would not make it there in time. They were about an 8-hour drive away, so there was a good chance I would deliver before they made it. Once I was settled, my contractions started to slow down and nearly stopped. The doctor decided to start me on potocin to start them back at a regular pace. Then I just waited. Stephanie and Rob finally made it there about noon. I was around 9 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced. At 2:00 p.m. I delivered a healthy 7 lb 10 ounce, 20 inches long baby boy. I let Rob and Steph choose his name. They named him Luke, which I loved. They next couple of days were unbearable. I spent as much time with Luke as possible. I fed, helped bathe, and slept with him. I also spent a lot of time with Rob and Steph. I loved seeing them interact with Luke and seeing their happiness was so awesome. I knew then this was how everything was meant to be. I left the hospital on a Saturday night and kept Luke there since we had no baby supplies at home. I went back on Sunday with Ryan to visit.

Monday was the day I had been dreading for the past couple of months (the day to sign my rights away.) I met Steph, Rob, Steph's mom and step dad, and Steph's aunt at the hospital around 11 a.m. We all just hung out and spent time with Luke. Around 2 p.m., our social worker showed up to do paperwork. When we started, I did not think I could go through with it. I kept changing my mind back and forth. I had to remember why I was doing this and that it was for the best, not the best for me but for Luke. It took me forever to sign my name. Something so easy as signing my name was the hardest thing I have ever done. After all the paperwork was done, my social worker gave Ryan, Gabriel and I a little bit of time alone to say our goodbyes. All I wanted to do was take Luke and run. Rob and Steph came in about 20 minutes later. I could not stop crying. They held me, let me know I did the right thing, and told me how much they all loved me. Luke was now theirs. I did not get to stay while they discharged him, but we planned to meet again since they had to stay here until the paperwork went through. I met with them as often as possible while they were here. Then the day came that I had feared the past couple of weeks. Rob called me and said that they were free to go. I did not want them to leave. I had grown so close to them. We had grown such a unique relationship. I felt that not only was Luke a part of me, but they were now too. I have never had so much love for someone that I had only known not even a month. We had chosen to send pictures and letters as much as possible. We are also going to talk on the phone, through email and try to visit once a year if possible.

It has only been a couple of days since they left. It is still incredibly hard. I have gone through so many emotions. I now know that everything happens for a reason. I think that my first choice did not work out not because they could not, but because they were not meant for Luke or me. I cannot imagine of choosing anyone but the two fantastic people I did. I am now done with my story. Before I go, I want to let every birthmother that is giving her child up for adoption know that everything will be okay. It is okay to feel sad, angry or guilty. Also, to all the birthmothers who have people telling them that they are doing the wrong thing or that you are selfish, well DON'T LISTEN! You are absolutely, in no way, selfish for what you are doing. A mother's love for her child is like no other love. To be able to put that feeling aside because you want the best for your child is the most unselfish thing I know. No one will ever understand that pain until they are in your shoes. You are not alone! As they days go on the pain slowly fades little by little. It will not always hurt as much as it did the month, week, or day before. I wish you all the best and hope you all find as much peace with the adoption as I have.

Thanks to American Adoptions and all the support they have given me. Special thanks to Angie and Michelle. I do not know if I would have made it through without them. Last but not least, thanks to Rob and Stephanie. You both have made this process the easiest it could possibly be. I could not have asked for two better people. Luke will be so proud to call you two his parents. You both are truly my angels sent from God. God bless you three. I love you with all my heart.

Natasha

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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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