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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Sara's Adoption Story

My story begins in December 2018. I was 41, pregnant, single and scared. I already had two boys, ages 20 and 21. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to care for the baby properly, financially support the baby, and keep up with the baby as he grew older. I had my family’s support, which is what I needed at that point, and I knew I wasn’t going to be alone.

But, in January 2018, I didn’t know what to do, so I got on the internet and searched “adoption.” I was trying to convince myself it was the right thing to do.

The next day, I called American Adoptions and left my information. I had never known anyone who’d been through adoption, and I had a lot of questions. Social worker Erin immediately returned my call. She answered my questions, and we discussed the concept of adoption. When I hung up the phone (crying), I knew this was the right choice for me and the baby. It was what my child deserved.

I received a packet in the mail with information about the company and lots and lots of brochures on parents-to-be. I was overwhelmed, but I began the search, and soon I had it narrowed down to my top three. I studied their brochures and watched their videos — and picked my family, Samantha and Korby. I had no doubt in my mind that’s who I wanted to raise my unborn child.

I was excited and notified Erin at the agency to let her know. My first question: When will they be notified, and when can I talk to them? Erin wanted to confirm their availability, and I was ecstatic when she called to tell me they were still waiting for a child. I had so many questions for Erin: When will you notify them? Can I talk to them? When can I meet them? I think I overwhelmed her!

On Feb. 16, the family was notified that they were chosen. I know Korby was at work, and he contacted Samantha, who was eating lunch at a Mexican restaurant with a friend. She told me she was flooded with tears. I was at home anxiously waiting for the call to see if they were interested in adoption.

There was no question on their part. They were all in.

Meeting the Adoptive Family

After a couple of phone calls, we met for the first time on March 31, a day I will never forget! The hugs and kisses lasted forever between us, and we just meshed. It felt like I had known them my entire life. I was more confident in my choice — not just in adoption but in picking the perfect couple to raise the baby.

We spent our first Easter together and played 100 questions with each other. My mom and my youngest son Jacob also had the opportunity to meet them. It was amazing. I was so sad to see them go, but I knew they’d be back on June 1.

Soon after this meeting, I found out the sex of the baby. I asked if I could call them; they immediately said yes. I was on speaker phone with both of them and congratulated them on their new baby boy! They had waited so long for a baby that they already had a name picked out — Theodore Kenneth. His nickname would be Teddy.

An Unexpected Development

Right before their June trip, I received a call from the adoption attorney. She said that someone had come forward and said he was the father and wanted custody. I had been served! I was devastated. I was so sad for the family. I felt like I had betrayed them. I called my social worker Erin. She had already heard the news. I asked her, “What happens now? Do you tell Sammi and Korby? How do you tell them? Is adoption still an option?”

This was when I found out the adoption was being placed on hold. I screamed, I cried, and I was so scared. The “What am I going to do?” question came back. I was going to be a single mom again. I was 42 by now and nowhere near financially stable. I lived with my youngest son in a one-bedroom apartment in Arizona.

As I thought of the adoptive family, the only thing that came to my mind was “How could I do this to them?” I only thought of the family: How could I do this to them?

Then, they called me, and we all cried together. I apologized over and over again to them. I couldn’t imagine what they were going through.

They canceled their June trip, and I was a wreck — a big ball of emotions. It was almost July, and I would be having the baby soon. We had already made our birth plan, discussed how every second would play out during the birth. They had been supportive throughout the entire pregnancy. I felt alone. I wanted Teddy to start his life in the world the way we planned.

Welcoming Teddy into the World

On July 8, Teddy arrived. At 5 pounds, 9 ounces, he was the smallest of my children, and I was terrified to hold him. He was so small, and I feared bonding with him. I was sure in my heart that the guy who said he was the father was not! It all depended on a simple DNA test.

The time had come for me to name my baby. It was difficult, because I felt if I named him, he would no longer belong to the adoptive family. I chose Isaiah Teddy.

We went home from the hospital to start our life together, me and Isaiah. I had been sending pictures in the meantime to Sammi and Korby as they requested.

Eight days after birth, we finally got approval to have a DNA test done. The anxiety was killer! I was confident of the results, but assuring all parties involved wasn’t so easy. Three days later, we had the results, and they excluded the man from being the father.

I cried. I had had 11 days alone with my baby, and I was so confused. Was I doing the right thing by “giving up” my child?

I immediately called Sammi. My eyes flooded with tears and barely able to speak, I told her congratulations again — the test had confirmed that we could proceed with the adoption. She screamed, and we hung up so she could call Korby. They called back, and we spoke momentarily before they wanted to hang up and buy tickets to get to California and meet their son.

Sammi and Korby arrived July 21, 13 days after Teddy was born. I was so happy to see them again, but handing them Teddy was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. We had bonded, we slept together, we ate together. All those “together” things we did would be over. I was so excited for the adoptive family to finally have the child they had waited so long for.

The next 17 days would prove to be the test of my life. The new family would be living next door me, in the empty apartment. Seeing them every unspeakable day as a happy family was amazing but, at the same time, it was agony.

On Aug. 7, we parted ways. They flew back to Missouri, and I went to Oregon to get away from all of it (if that’s even possible). My oldest son lived there, so I went for a visit. He is very supportive of my decision and is happy that it is an open adoption. We explored Oregon during the day and, at night, I journaled. I think writing about what I am going through helps me.

Adjusting to the New Normal

As the months went by, the adoptive family and I stayed in touch. We continued to text and talk, even video chats. They text pictures of Teddy every day. It was amazing. I had feared that once we parted, the communication might stop — but it was quite the opposite. I had gained a new family! Because of all the pictures and videos I received, I never missed a beat of his life.

There are so many great details about my story. I think this may be one for the books!

It was Christmas, my first visit. Teddy was 5 months old, and I was so excited and so nervous. I missed them so much — all of them — but didn’t know how Teddy was going to react to me. Up to this point, I had only seen him in pictures and videos. I hadn’t touched or held him in almost six months. Would he like me? Would he cry? This would be his first visit with Jacob, my youngest son. Lukas, my older son, hadn’t seen him in six months. It was overwhelming for all of us.

The visit was amazing! I felt so at home, and Teddy was so good with us. The adoptive family had opened their home to me and my boys, so I was there with all of them during the whole visit. It was the best feeling to have all three of my biological children with me for New Year’s. What a great way to bring in 2019.

I also had the opportunity to visit American Adoptions’ headquarters in Kansas and meet my social worker Erin, who helped me navigate this journey and was supportive through it all. We met a lot of people that day at the agency. I believe the unity between the adoptive family and my family sparked a lot of interest in our story.

It was difficult to leave and return to California, but it made it easier knowing I would continue to receive frequent updates, pictures and videos. The plan was to return in July of 2019 for his first birthday.

When I had been home a few months, it became even clearer that I had made the right decision. There is no reason to be ashamed of my decision, even though not everyone was going to agree with my choice. I knew I had done what was best for Theodore. I gave him the best possible future, filled with unconditional love, financial stability, education and so much more! He has a mommy and daddy who love him more than anything. He has so many family members who can’t get enough of him. The love this child will always know is outrageous. He has brought so many people so much joy!

I’m at a place now where I can cherish the 13 days I had with him in the beginning. He is the cutest, sweetest little boy, and Sammi and Korby have done an amazing job raising him. I am very confident in my selection of parents, as well as my decision of adoption.

My story is a great one — a unique one — one that I hope can be shared by many more families to come.

Disclaimer
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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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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