Sometimes the things in life that are beautiful and amazing for some are a living hell for others. Adoption can be one of those things especially for a Birth mother and her family.
13 years ago in the middle of some very dark years in my life I found myself in the hospital being told I would be a mother for the second time and that my child was ready to be born. At this time I was an extremely heavy drug addict. Heroin was my drug of choice but I would do pretty much anything I could get my hands on. I had no idea what I was going to do. I was high and drunk every day for the last year and now I am being prepped to give birth to a child I could not take care of. I knew that I had no business in this situation.
I had possibly caused life lasting harm to a child that did nothing wrong. I decided I didn’t want to see my child I didn’t want to know the sex of the baby I just wanted to give birth and get out. I instantly spilled my guts to the nurse about every drug and drink I had had in the last year. She stood there looking at me like i was insane. Her words confused me in the moment “wow I have never had anyone be so quick to just admit all this”. I looked her in the eye and explained to her that this child could be seriously ill upon birth and they needed to know why.
The moment the baby was born they quickly gathered all baby things and left the room just as I requested. I arrived in the recovery room and my heart stopped every time a nurse pushed a baby through those doors. When it was finally time to put me in a room they put me one floor above the Maternity ward so I wouldn’t be roomed with a woman and her new bundle of joy knowing I was leaving with out mine.
The hospital social worker came to talk to me and inform me of all my options. She handed me a pamphlet for an Adoption Agency local to my area and told me to take my time and really think about what I wanted to do.
Some time later I called the number on the front of the pamphlet and as I gave all my information to the woman on the other end of the phone she quickly stopped me to ask me if I had seen my baby. I told her I had not and that I wasn’t even sure of the sex. She then let me continue with my information and then asked me if I wanted to do this would I want an open or closed adoption.
I didn’t even know and open adoption was a thing but in that terrified moment I just blurted out “closed please i don’t want to know anything.” She told me maybe I should go see the baby, that I didn’t have to hold the baby but just go see and make my decision then and that she would be waiting for my call.
So I took her advice I went down to the nursery and asked to see my child. ” Just to the window please, I don’t think I want to come in” so she walked over and slowly brought this sweet baby to the window and in that moment my strength was gone and I needed to hold that sweet child. As the nurse and I made eye contact I mouthed “May I?” and she nodded as another nurse let me into the nursery. For the next 12 hours I sat in that nursery holding, talking to and feeding my son. It was then I realized I couldn’t leave this hospital and not know anything about where he would go.
I called the agency back and told the woman on the other end of the phone “I saw him. Him. I have a son.” I knew that this is what i needed to do for him but I couldn’t not know anything, I asked her to please tell me more about an open adoption. The next morning the agency’s Birth Family Advocate and Founder showed up with a stack of portfolios for me to go through to decide where my son would call home. Knowing how over whelming this must have been they talked me through every step we were making. I very quickly found my son’s parents, at least it felt quick. Everything seemed to be happening so fast. I signed all the paper work and kissed my son one last time before getting into a cab alone and going home wondering if I really had made the right decision and if this pain would ever go away.
Had I loved my son any less, one ounce less, he would be here with me now. My love for him was the only thing that could enable me to break my own heart. I didn’t just feel love; I did what love dictated.
-Tamra, Birth Mother