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The Day I Gave My Heart Away

A birthmother shares her feelings and thoughts about making an adoption plan for her child.  By Anonymous



Five years ago I gave my heart away: I placed my infant daughter for adoption. Not a day has gone by since that I have not thought about her, yet I believe I made the right decision. I share my story in the hope that it might help other young women with the incredibly difficult decision that they must make for themselves and their babies.

Confronting Reality

When I first found out that I was pregnant, I was terrified-terrified of what my parents would say and do; terrified of how the baby's father would react. I told my mom in the only way I could-I wrote her a letter. She responded better then I had hoped. I was sure that my father would kick me out of the house when he found out. Instead he sat still for a while, then he got up and hugged me, assuring me that he would be there for me.

The way Steve,* the baby's father, reacted to the news totally blew my mind. His first question was "Who's the father?" I couldn't believe his reaction. Steve and I had met in October, 1993. He was my supervisor at a new job that I had just started. I was immediately attracted to him-I felt like a schoolgirl with a crush. We started dating a few weeks later and were together just about every day after that. When he first told me that he loved me, I was ecstatic. I felt like a completely different person when I was with him. Our wonderful new relationship started to go downhill right after Christmas-although I didn't know it at the time. He had already started dating someone new. When he found out about the baby, it was as if a war had erupted between us. At first, Steve wanted me to have an abortion, but I insisted that I was going to keep my baby. Then he started pushing for adoption, which to me seemed cold-hearted. I couldn't understand how someone could just hand over his or her child for someone else to raise. Steve didn't even want to know what the baby would look like.

Deciding What to Do

One night I woke up suddenly, aware of exactly what I had to do. Perhaps I had been dreaming, but I felt as if I had somehow been told that adoption was the best choice for everyone involved-especially the baby. Given my earlier feelings, I was shocked at the sense of certainty I felt. I went back to sleep that night finally feeling some peace within myself. Other than my family, few people agreed with my decision. Everyone who learned about the situation had an opinion about what I should do and made a point of making sure that I heard their opinion. People asked me why and how I could do such a thing. I tried to politely say that it was in the baby's best interests. I tried to ignore their criticism, but it was hard. Although there were still times I questioned what I was doing, deep down I knew that adoption was the best option for me, for Steve, and most importantly, for the baby. The baby would be happier in a home with two loving parents who could give him or her what he or she needed.

Making the Plan

Once I'd finally made up my mind about adoption, I had to find an adoption agency that wouldn't treat my baby like a commodity. My family and I heard about such an agency from friends who'd adopted a baby boy. The couple had nothing but nice things to say about this agency. They told me that the staff were very personable and that the agency was Christian-based. I didn't bother to look into other alternatives. The agency staff treated me kindly and with respect. They gave me complete control over how things were done. I was able to choose the adoptive parents, which helped me feel more comfortable about my decision. Somehow the process of picking out the adoptive parents helped me cope with my emotions.

The staff asked me for a list of qualities that I wanted the perspective parents to have. From that list and from Steve's and my physical descriptions, the agency chose couples in their files that "matched." I was matched with three couples and was given their profiles to read. Each profile included a very informative and emotional letter written to prospective birthmothers. Each letter provided information about what each person did for a living, what their interests were, and what their extended families were like. These letters gave me some insight into what each couple was like.

Although I read each letter at least 20 times, one of them caught my eye from the very beginning. The couple somehow seemed more sincere and better expressed how much love they had to share with a baby. I was touched by what they had gone through to become parents, and how long they had been waiting. The other two couples sounded more like they were selling something-which in a sense they were. Once I had chosen this couple, I decided to let them know in a very special way that they were finally going to become parents. I bought two cards (one for the mother-to-
be and the other for expecting parents), wrote a note in each, then sent the cards through the agency. It was a great way to start a lasting relationship between the adoptive parents and me. Then I had to decide whether or not I wanted to meet this couple. I was glad the decision was mine to make.

When I decided to go ahead, I knew that I couldn't go alone. I asked my mother to go with me. The beginning of the meeting was a bit rocky. We exchanged gifts, little things that helped relieve some of the tension. As the meeting went on, we all began to relax. We talked about our families, and about my pregnancy. This meeting put my mind at ease about what kind of home and family my child would be growing up in. I knew I had made the right choice for my child. Throughout the rest of my pregnancy, John and Caren checked to see how I was doing, through the agency. They also sent me cards and letters of encouragement. At first I thought that the letters would do more harm than good, because they would show me exactly how much this couple wanted my baby. But in reality, they helped me more then I could have imagined. The letters and cards not only showed me how much they wanted my baby, but how much they would love him or her. Although my pregnancy seemed to go by quickly, the bond between my baby and me grew steadily stronger. I began to realize how hard it was going to be to give him or her to the adoptive parents. As the due date grew closer, I tried to block out the fact that this child would not leave the hospital with me.

Giving Away My Heart


At 2:45 a.m. on October 17, 1994, my labor began. Because this was my first child, my parents figured I would be in labor for hours. Little did we know.... My father drove me to the hospital-about a thirty-mile drive- while my mother held my hand. I kept telling them that the baby was coming, but they didn't believe me. By the time we pulled up outside the hospital emergency room, the baby's head was crowning. A nurse jumped into the backseat and helped me deliver my beautiful, healthy baby girl. The labor and delivery that my parents thought would take hours took only 1 hour and 55 minutes, start to finish. Out of respect, the first person I called was Steve. Then we called the adoption agency. They let me have the honor of telling the new parents. I congratulated them and told them the exciting story of their new daughter Samantha's birth. I was given the choice of whether I wanted be the one to hand the new parents their precious baby. At first I wasn't sure if I could do so without wanting to run, taking the baby with me. But as I looked down at her beautiful face, I knew I had to be the one to give her to John and Caren. I couldn't have gotten through that day-or any other for that matter- without the help and support from my parents and sister.

Lasting Love


Since my daughter's birth, I met and married a wonderful, loving man who thinks of Samantha as his own daughter. I still receive pictures, letters, and even Christmas presents from Samantha, John, and Caren. In July of 1999, my husband and I welcomed our "second" child into the world. Although I still think about Samantha every day, I am thankful that she has parents who are keeping her safe and happy when I couldn't. As a birthparent, I know that placing a child for adoption-a child that you cannot take care of properly-is the most unselfish thing that any birthmother can do for her child.

To ensure her child's and the adoptive parents' privacy, Jill wishes to remain anonymous.

2000 Copyright Adoptive Families Magazine.  Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. 

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Comments

My story is very different I gave my son up 29 years ago and now he has found me. I have not came out and admitted it to him but deep down he does not believe my story of him dieing at birth. AT the time I seeing one guy , but he was not very nice, so I went on a date with another, which he raped me. I have not shared this story with anybody incuding my family some of them believe the lie that my the hospital told me my baby die and some dont. I know that I have to tell him and them the truth. The guy who I was seeing I later married and had more childern but later divorced. So I was hopping he was the father but I dont think so. I tried not to tell him the real truth about what happened but I see no way around it. I had 2 childern already and living with my parents who told me that I could not bring another baby into the house, I started looking for apartment into the projects which did not come availiabe until 5 months after he was born.Not knowing who the father was and the hatred my dad felt for the guy I was seeing I decided to give him up for adoption which broke my heart.Now with the reality staring me in the face because of my ex husband wants a dna test and the smear campaign he has started againt me with my other childern and my family I dont know what to do but tell trhe truth and anybody do not want to know me thats fine ,because life will go on either way. How do you tell achild that you was not strong enough no matter what to keep him, and no matter what that you did love him.

Posted by: s scared at 11:42am Jul 1

I gave my son up 18 years and 3months ago to family of friends, was in a relasionship with someone for almost 2 years then he left me, I went on a rebound dating someone els, then I found out I was pregnant, so any one of the two could be the dad, when I showed the sonar pick to the one he said no way its his, he left. The first came back I told him I was pregnant he asked what are you gona do about it, there I realised what life has delt me. I chose the parrents of my son was prmised photos of him, they gave me one of when he was born, nothing els. I know his "my sons" new name and surname where they stay, knoW he is a upcoming singer got his firs 5year cd deal. Know I'm being told I want to claim him because of his fame. That not true, had to give info on a heradatory medical condition, and asked please for a photo and cd, now I am the worst person in the world, told that I never gave any meaning to my sons life befor birth and during pregnancy. Was sent nasty sms from his agent telling me what a bad person I am, and tha I am just a trouble maker, and that mys son wich I called morne whants nothing to do with me because of what he is being told by others. It is heartbreaking to give life and to give that joy to someone els. All I want is to tell him I love him always have and always will and I'm so proud of him and the beautifull soul God made him, what I am left with is how do I tell my other two sons from the one man that asked what are you gona do about the pregnancy "we got married" 2years to the date 30 november of my sons birth that I gave for addoption. That they have a brother and my husband that may be that sons father. It is hell living like this. But I am proud of my addopted son he has the soul and voice of an angel.

Posted by: lindie at 2:50am Feb 21

At 18 years old I found out I was pregnant with my second child. I told my best friend and the baby's father. His response was "you are taking care of it, right?" Meaning abortion. I didn't give him a straight answer I just stopped talking to him or giving updates. My mother thought something was off with me but wasn't sure it was pregnancy. She told me of I was pregnant again it would kill my dad. From that moment on it was a secret no one knew but my best friend. 41 weeks passed and I labored to 8 cm at home with my infant son by my side. Mr friend drove my son and I to the hospital and dropped us off in the ER. I was examined and rushed to deliver. Seven minutes after walking through the ER door I naturally delivered one son while the other sat on my chest. I spent 3 unforgettable hours with both my boys then had to leave...With only one child. That was undoubtedly the hardest thing I'd ever done to that point in my life. That night I cried for hours on end thinking about one son while caring for the other and all at once it came to me to contact a family friend who had tried for 15 years+ to have their own child and explain my situation. Her response was "I'll take him, sight unseen.I don't care if he has two heads and 8 legs I want him!" Two days after his birth his adoptive patents, grandparents, uncle and I (birthmother) walked him out of the hospital to go to his home where he is now a happy, healthy, smart, spoiled 8.5 year old gift from God. I still blame my mother for going through ball of that alone and scared but the Lord had a plan and I was just a part of it. Thank you to my boys angels for loving him and taking him! S.E.R I love you baby boy!

Posted by: Jennifer L at 10:40pm Oct 13

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