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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Blair's Adoption Experience

It was Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009 – my mother’s birthday. I was late, because my cycle always started on Thursday. I knew I had skipped three pills while spending the weekend at my cousin Erin’s house. I just simply forgot to pack them and couldn’t go back to get them.

I told my mother that I was having frequent urination – scared, we bought a pregnancy test. Before taking it, we went to dinner for my mom’s birthday with my Aunt Dawn and Erin’s company. Afterwards, we came home and I went into the bathroom and took the test. I took it and set it down, waited, and almost instantly I saw a pink line, which meant I was not pregnant. But before I could utter a sigh of relief, the other pink line formed – I was pregnant. I stared at the test, like a child awaking from a terrible nightmare, and then when reality hit, I burst into tears. My mom checked on me asking if everything was alright. I opened the door and hugger her, crying my eyes out. She glanced at the test and hugged me tighter and cried with me. Before I knew it, I was in bed and asleep.

I was pregnant.

Next morning, I awoke thinking it was all a bad dream, but when I found the test in the trash I cried and had a mental breakdown. I found my phone and called Erin my cousin and my best friend throughout my life. I told her the news and she was very upset and shocked; I explained how, we talked a bit more and then hung up the phone. The night before I had called my boyfriend, Sean, who is the father of my baby. When I told him, he was very upset and scared, but afterwards he calmed down and was happy and was a wonderful comfort to me throughout my pregnancy.

As for telling the rest of my very supportive family, telling them was the scariest part; however, that part turned out to be easy. You would be surprised how supportive your family can be.

My First Ultrasound “Peanut”

Before I went to the ultrasound, we discussed option on what to do when the baby came. I admit I thought of abortion, and I also thought of keeping it, but I knew in my heart that adoption was the right thing to do. So we called AA and talked to Alyssa, my consultant. She was very understanding and non-judgmental. She told me she would send me some profiles for me to look at.

It was time for my first ultrasound. We went to a nearby office for an appointment: Erin, Mom and I. Sean would have gone too but he had driving school, and thankfully he was longer angry.

The technician there put some warm gel on my stomach, turned on a monitor, and all of the sudden I hear, “See that light? That’s your baby’s heartbeat!”

I looked and saw what looked like a little peanut with a little twinkle of light inside. It was absolutely amazing.

I also remember hearing the technician saying the baby was the size of a little gummy bear, and as Erin predicted, I haven’t touched a gummy bear since that day.

Learning soon after the ultrasound I was approximately eight weeks along, carrying a book on what to expect when expecting that my aunt lent me as a guide to getting through pregnancy. I saw my gynecologist to hear the baby’s heartbeat, and my mother came along. My doctor took out what looked like a children’s audio toy with an attached microphone, put some of that gel on my belly and listened for the heartbeat. Not even a minute after I heard it, I fell in love.

When the profiles arrived, Sean and I looked through them and couldn’t find the one we were looking for. We told Alyssa we wanted a family who didn’t discriminate or judge. At about the fourth month, we found them. Alyssa called us and emailed a profile of a couple named Bob and Kate. She told us a bit about them, and after emailing with them I knew they were the family we needed. At about that same time I was also feeling strong movement. It feels like a little poke from the inside. It was neat.

Not long after we found our family, we had a phone call with them. They sounded so sweet and they were very friendly. I found I had a lot in common with them, which was great.

Third Ultrasound – “It’s a Girl!”

At this ultrasound, the baby was big enough so we could tell the gender. The baby definitely looked like a baby now, and it was beautiful. We were also happy to learn that the baby was a girl! I saw her move and yawn and stick her tongue out! I was happy but also heartbroken, for even though she was mine now, she wouldn’t be forever.

Meet & Greet

I was about 7 or 8 months along. I was much bigger and it was finally time to meet the family! After they arrived, we all met up at a T.G.I. Fridays, a nearby restaurant from our house. We ate and talked and had fun. We all decided on a name for the baby: Madeline Faith.

Not long after our dinner date, we all invited Kate and Bob to hear Madeline’s heart, and they were thrilled.

I had a due date via C-section on Aug. 6, 2010, and as I approached the date I got bigger and bigger, feeling more powerful sensations.

Not long before the date had arrived, Sean and I went to a local Toys r’ Us for Madeline. We finally decided to get her a Tinkerbell adventure set, a Little Mermaid dress for toddlers, and a little stuffed white tiger. It was loads of fun!

Due Date (August 6th, 2010)

This was it; today I would bring a baby into the world. It was set for 2 p.m., and we left the house at 11 a.m. Some family came, including Erin and her parents, my grandparents, Bob and Kate, Sean, my mother and step-father.

At about 1 p.m., the nurse started prep-work, an I-V, ultrasound, heart monitor, etc.

They gave me a gown to wear and socks, and scrubs for my mom to wear. Next thing I knew, I was in the operating room, getting a needle in my back that numbed me from beneath the breast down to my feet. A curtain raised and my doctor felt my belly and pelvis to make sure I was numb completely. I felt as if I couldn’t breathe right, due to the numbness. I could breathe, but I couldn’t feel my stomach rising. It was strange. Suddenly I heard a cry, a very loud one: It was Madeline, my daughter. I thought I was in love before, but now I was certain of it. They cleaned her, put her in my arms, and she was perfect. Everyone had their turn to hold her, and everyone loved her.

I am a mother.

Recovery

I was moved to a room where I could sleep and recover. The bed was pretty comfortable, for a hospital bed, that is. The food was really good! So good I actually miss it. The first day after everyone got their turn to hold her, Bob and Kate also got a room in the hospital down from me, so Madeline stayed with them over night. I was more comfortable this way, and I also found out they were natural parents. I just didn’t trust for her to be left in the nursery, and I got to see her every day.

A few days later, when I finally was able to leave, I went home, while Bob and Kate went to a hotel. Not long after that, Bob and Kate brought Madeline to our house for me to see her one last time. I held her and we got photos together. Time flew by, and before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye to my daughter. I held her close and kissed her goodbye and told her I loved her, as did Sean. We said our goodbyes to Bob and Kate, and they left. My heart shattered as I watched them carry my baby away. My heart screamed for her to stay, but I controlled myself.

I held myself together until I was certain they were gone. They collapsed on Sean, crying. I felt like I was falling apart and to this day I still do. I feel some comfort in knowing I did the right thing. I will miss her forever, and I can only hope I will see her again.

American Adoptions has been a delight to work with; they are so thoughtful and helpful even after the adoption process is over. They really care; I made the right choice.

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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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