Being a teenager is a very important time in your life. You start to learn about yourself, who you are, what you like and don’t like. I spent mine taking care of my handsome son Xzaviere. It was hard to be a teen mom, to parent in the shadows of every statistic of teenage pregnancy. When my son was a few months old I found out I was pregnant for a second time. I was scared and had no idea what my next step was going to be. Having very little income and scraping by to take care of X and the thought of bringing another child into an unsteady situation seemed unfair. Not only to the baby but to X as well. Thats when I knew this situation had to be put before my feelings and wants.
I contacted Geri, and met with her. I was scared beyond all recognition. Not just for the adoption itself but what the future held for both my children and myself. I was lucky enough to have the amazing support of my boyfriend, who was also adopted at a young age. Which gave me a lot of insight to an adopted family. When it was finally time to look through the books of many families wanting a child to call their own, I had a hard time imagining someone else raising my baby. But I had to make a decision. My boyfriend and I split the books and each picked one family we liked best and then traded stacks. At this point we had books scattered all over the bed, some open some closed. And in comes little X and he just grabs a book and holds onto it. We decided to look at that one last, almost like we were letting him have a say in who gets to be his baby sisters parents. After every book, reading many bios about families, I didn’t have my heart set on any of them. None of them seemed right for my baby. Feeling a bit hopeless we took the book X had. Everything about this couple seemed perfect. There were many pictures of them, just the two of them. I decided they needed a baby to complete the pictures.
I let Geri know who we picked, but I had one request, that I talk to them on the phone before I met them in person. One reason being I wanted to get to know them without any physical judgments anf to get to know them. I was very excited when Geri agreed to this and made it happen. I spent hours on the phone talking to the mom and dad separately. You could hear the excitement and anticipation in their voices. The nervousness they had answering my millions of questions, knowing this would decide if they were the ones. I ended up telling them the gender of THEIR baby at the end of the phone call. 🙂
Meeting them in person had me anxious and nauseous (morning sickness might have affected that part a bit) walking into the restaurant I had no idea what this was going to be like. It was around Christmas and xs birthday, and they remembered this from the phone call and had a gift for X. Which meant a lot to me. We spent hours at the restaurant talking and truly having a good time. The one thing I didn’t remember as vividly about this night that the adopting mom did was I asked if she wanted to feel her baby move. I didn’t realize at the time how much this meant to her. Leaving that night I knew they were going to be amazing parents and I was absolutely grateful for them.
Weeks to follow we were in constant contact with each other. We talked almost everyday. We developed a relationship before she was born, which made the process easier for me. We often talked about what I wanted the day the baby was born. How I wanted things to go and figuring out boundaries(we pretty much had none). It was agreed early that I would be a constant presence in this little girls life, so slowly we started meeting the whole big family. From Steve’s parents and siblings to Tammy’s parents and siblings and even the baby’s cousins. Every single person we met welcomed us in the family and treated us like such. I love them all for being so accepting of not only me and my son but Tammy and Steve’s decision. They are some of the most genuine people I’ve met and have a very special place in my heart.
Because I had a c section we knew the day she would make her big arrival. That day approached faster than I could imagine. Driving to the hospital all I could think about is if I’m ready to do this. I was scared and emotional. The hardest part will always be going to the hospital to have a baby and leaving without one. But in retrospect for Tammy and steve, the hardest thing for them was the possibility of never leaving the hospital with one. I remember getting wheeled into the operation room just thinking this is it. I finally get to meet the little girl who brought so many people together in a way so unimaginable. Tammy and Steve waited in the lobby until I was OK to have them come up. I wanted to bond with my baby. Most of that time was spent crying and questioning. Me and Justin had decided on her name in that moment, Angel Destiny, because she was an angel sent to all of us and because I was destined to carry her in my belly but they were destined to be her parents.
One of my best memories in the hospital was meeting Steve’s brother. He was out of town when she was born, but he drove from the airport to the hospital to meet her. He was so excited to meet his new niece and welcome her into his heart that he came by himself not ever meeting me. Jet lagged and all he stayed and talked with me holding his niece for over an hour. He treated me with respect and kindness, and for that I am truly thankful.
My absolute favorite memory was seeing Steve hold her for the first time. He held her with such awkwardness and care. He looked into her eyes and that was it for him. I don’t think he heard or saw anyone else in the room. At that moment it was him and his daughter. Seeing both of them holding her and talking to her, I knew I made the right choice. In that moment she was no longer my Angel, but the beautiful Hailey.
Leaving the hospital was not easy for me. Going through the discharge papers and instructions, I got so emotional so quick I ran into the bathroom and just cried heavily. Because this was it, it was time to go. One of the many comforting thoughts was knowing I had made the decision to pump my milk and freeze it. Which meant they would have to come by and pick it up, and bring Hailey. 🙂 Doing this for weeks helped ease me into the process of recovery emotionally. I truly would have lost my marbles if I didn’t have an amazing boyfriend, a close group of friends, and hugely Geris counseling, guiding me and being the person to lean on and talk to during the entire process and after.
Hailey is now 5yrs old with the biggest personality. A smile that matches Xzavieres, and a little bit of me too. I have a wonderful relationship with her and her parents. We talk as regularly as we can and have as many visits. We are Facebook friends, so even when I can’t be there physically I still get to watch her grow up. I have gone to dance recitals, birthday parties and just because visits. She knows I’m her birth mom and that she has more siblings. They all have a great connection and bond that only siblings can have. And that includes arguing over toys sometimes 😉 I not only get to watch her grow up but Tammy and Steve and their family have watched my kids grow up. This decision has brought two families together and connected us for life.
It was a tough decision to make, but in the long run it was the right one. I don’t look back and wish things were different anymore. Things happen for a reason, and this was how it was supposed to be.