Carmen's Adoption Story
My story starts Aug. 31, 2011, with the birth of my first child. From the moment I learned I was pregnant, I knew I wanted nothing more than to be a good mother. Growing up, I dreamed of one day having that stereotypical “white picket fence” life: marriage, children, a comfortable life. When my daughter was born, this was the life that I had I mind.
Unfortunately, that was not in the cards for us. We struggled in a single-income household. Still, as a single mother, I worked full-time and went back to college for my associate’s degree.
Fast forward several years later to 2017 when I learned I was pregnant again. This time, though, my child’s father removed himself from the picture. Through much thought, prayer, and the support of family and friends, I came to the immensely difficult decision to give my son up for adoption.
I researched many agencies and spoke with specialists from a few. I knew from the first phone call with Brighid, my adoption specialist, that this was the agency I wanted to work with. Brighid’s guidance was immeasurable. I spent the next several weeks combing through what must have been dozens of wonderful families. Then, I found them. I had found the couple that I immediately felt connected to.
Rob and Allie accepted my offer and entered the next phase of our collective adoption journey. I grew to know and care for them — not only as the couple that would become the parents of my unborn son, but as friends and family. We emailed several times during my pregnancy. I took great job in filling them in with the goings-on of my pregnancy, as well. For Mother’s Day, I was able to have a 3D-ultrasound taken so that I could send the video and pictures to Allie and Rob. I wanted them to be as much a part of the pregnancy as I was. We had a very special relationship and still do to this day.
Two weeks prior to my due date, Rob, Allie and my mother all came to town. We were all nervous but very excited to meet in person. We decided to meet for lunch at a local restaurant and, once we found each other, it was as if we were attending a normal family get-together. We laughed and talked and enjoyed each other’s company.
In the hospital, my goal and hope was that Rob and Allie could both be as much a part of our son’s birth as I was. Rob cut the umbilical cord, and Allie held RJ first to have that oh-so-important skin-to-skin contact. They were very attentive to me and my emotional needs during this time, as well. We all spent time together in the recovery room during the day, apart from sometimes when I needed solitude. We also had pictures taken — RJ with his adoptive parents alone, and of the four of us. We truly are an unconventional family. When it came time to leave, we shared many hugs, tears and loving goodbyes.
Two weeks later, it was time for Rob, Allie and RJ to make their way home to Virginia. We met one last time for lunch before they left, so that we could say goodbye again, and I could see, hold and love on my sweet son. I still get letters and pictures of RJ as he grows. Every time I hear from Rob and Allie, I am shown how happy they are together, which warms my heart. I am also still able to speak with Brighid.
Through this journey, I have learned that I have a passion for adoption and bringing families together. Now I am enrolled in college and working toward my bachelor’s degree in social work so that, one day, I may be that adoption specialist who can guide birth mothers through their own adoption journeys.
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