I was 20 years old the first time I became pregnant. The father was a friend who already had a girlfriend at the time. He was a terrific guy, and I had had a crush on him for quite some time.
When I became pregnant I was not ready to become a parent. I liked the father a lot, but was far from being in love with him. After a lot of denial and thought, I decided to give up my baby for adoption. Through a friend of hers, my mother knew of a private adoption agency in our city, and I made an appointment to go meet the workers there.
I had never thought I would decide on the adoption alternative, if faced with this decision. I'd always said I would get an abortion in a heartbeat, if the circumstances were not right for me. It was really strange that when I was actually faced with this decision, I didn't even consider having an abortion.
The agency I went to was great. I went through a lengthy process of finding the right parents for my boy (I had found out the sex of my baby through the ultrasound). It started with hundreds of photos. I narrowed it down to around twenty couples and received biographies of them including psychological reports from doctors and therapists who had interviewed them.
I finally chose a family for my little boy. A couple who had been married for 12 years and who had a four-year-old adopted daughter. I liked that. I thought it would be nice for both children to be able to share their feelings about being adopted.
I met the parents for the first time and they were nervous to meet me. I found out afterwards that the birth mother of their little girl was fighting to have more contact with them. I think they were afraid of me because of this. The little girl was very sweet and she drew me a picture as I spoke to her parents.
I felt great about my decision to give up my boy. All through the pregnancy, I knew that I was doing the right thing. I even felt like I must be a horrible person for not having more doubts about giving my first-born away to virtual strangers. But the day I left him behind in the hospital, I discovered that I was human after all. Even today, I look back on that day as being the most heart- wrenching day of my life. I stayed with him for three days in the hospital, and I held him in my arms, and sang to him. I do not think that I have ever cried so hard. I still feel that it was the right thing to do, but it was hard! I had these intentions of making this grand gesture of placing him in their arms before I walked away. I'm afraid I wasn't able to do it. I just couldn't. I had to sneak out the back way with my social worker helping me.
Around three months after Kyle was born, (I named him in the hospital) I got a pile of court transcripts and adoption paperwork. I'll never forget that day. I looked over all of the documents and I was so honored to know that Kyle's new parents had kept his name.
I'm now 30 years old with a fantastic husband of six years, an amazing 20-month-old little boy, and I'm six weeks pregnant with the next one. Life has been good!
Do I think about Kyle? Of course.
Do I have any regrets? Not one.
Not everyone can make this decision, but it was the right choice for me. I wish more people would realize that this is a very real alternative. It seems that girls think that they only have two choices: to have the baby or abort. I wish more people would look into this.
For anyone considering adoption, I'd suggest you really be sure about it first because it isn't fair to the adoptive parents to be messing with their emotions. Also realize that it is awkward. You have to constantly explain to people what you are doing, as they see you pregnant at work, at school, and in church. They're all going to wonder why there's suddenly no baby. This is also hard on your family members and maybe on the father of the child, too. Remember that this is your decision. You are deciding to do what is best for you and your baby. Don't let yourself be forced into anything.