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I Knew In My Heart – Heather’s Story

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As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I knew in my heart I would be unable to provide a happy, healthy, nurturing environment for my baby.  That raising a child in the area and circumstances I found myself in would be unfair to the baby and selfish of me.  I knew I wanted what was best for my baby. That I wanted to give my baby everything he or she deserved.  I knew in my heart that I loved this little being, and I hadn’t even met them yet.  I knew in my heart that giving this baby everything meant giving this baby life, love, a family, and more than I was able to, and adoption was the only option.

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Sure I wondered if I was making the right decision.  Not a day went by when I didn’t question — Have I considered everything — What if I worked 2 jobs — What about my grandma, maybe she could help?  I listed the pros and cons of raising a baby in my situation.  Who was I kidding, I could barely take care of myself, I had no business subjecting a baby to this life.  I wanted more for my baby.  I worried what people would think of me – what my baby would think of me – would my baby ever understand – could I turn my life around, is this going to be the turning point in my life.  I researched adoption, I asked questions, I called agencies and hung up. I called again and asked questions, not giving them my name.  Then one night I called, I asked questions, they answered, we talked.  I called again a few days later, I told them my fears, we talked even more.  We talked about my situation, about goals, they helped me get much needed medical care.

I looked at so many adoptive family profiles, but there was this one that I kept going back to.  I can still recite certain pages from their profile because I had read it so often.  We did a conference call and I fell head over heels in love with this family.  I could not believe people like that existed.  Was this for real?  Could they be that great?  I knew in my heart they were the ones.  We talked periodically.  At times, I tried to keep my distance, even though I wanted so much more.  There were often times that I wanted to call just to chat, but I didn’t because I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I didn’t want them to reject me.  When I found out the gender, I couldn’t wait to call and tell them they were having a boy but tried to sound tough on the phone, not letting any sound of excitement through in my voice.  The day I went into labor I prayed so hard they would make it to the hospital in time.  They did.  I wasn’t sure I would want them in the delivery room and they were so respectful of whatever I wanted.  While I was resting, the nurses brought them in the room.  It was our first meeting face to face. It was strange really, I was so happy for them and it was so natural, so genuiHeather BlogPostne.  I felt so at ease and before I knew it, I was asking them if they wanted to be in the room when I delivered.  They were thrilled.  After he was born I just wanted to leave the hospital.  Of course, I had to stay.  His family came in to check on me.  They asked if I wanted to see him. I had so many emotions – fear, sadness, joy, love, anxiety.  It was difficult I’m not going to lie.  Probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.  I struggled…some days more than others.  I had friends I could lean on, but no one truly understood my pain.

Owen’s family (that’s his name) always encouraged me to stay in touch with the agency and they promised to submit pictures.  There was a period of time where it was too hard.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted pictures.  I moved around a few times before getting a stable job and place.  I went back to school.  I stayed busy, but I never stopped thinking about that precious little baby.  I called the agency several times but never spoke.  I couldn’t muster the courage to speak.  What would I say?  Finally, on his 2nd birthday I called the agency and told the caseworker my name and that I had placed my baby for adoption.  I asked about pictures.  She took down my information and told me that someone would be in contact.  I didn’t know if I would hear back from them.  A few hours later, my phone rang and my heart stopped.  It was the agency and they confirmed they had photos and asked for my address.

The day the pictures arrived, I sat for hours just looking through them.  I smiled, I laughed, I cried, and I knew.  I knew in my heart, that it was because I loved him that he was where he needed to be.

As difficult as it was to place him for adoption, I know in my heart it was the best decision.  I know in my heart he is a happy, healthy little boy and that he is loved by so many.  I know in my heart he has a roof over his head, a room all his own, that he will attend great schools, have lots of friends, and be able to safely play on the street of his neighborhood with his parents only worrying about him skinning his knee.  I know in my heart he is getting all the things I would not have been able to provide for him.  I also know in my heart that he is the reason I worked so hard to get out of that situation, to better myself and my life, just like I did for him.Heather BlogPost_In my heart

Considering Adoption? Mother Goose Adoptions Answers 5 FAQs

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Dear Birth Mom:  When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, there is no easy solution. We recognize this fact and pledge to help you consider your options in a safe and caring environment. We will help you explore the options of parenting, temporary foster care and adoption. Here are 5 FAQs from women considering adoption:

 

1) Can I pick the family for my child?

Yes, absolutely. This is your child and your adoption plan to create, including picking the family, deciding who you want at the hospital, whether you want to spend time with the baby at the hospital and what kind of contact you would like after placement.

 

2) How do I know the family I select will be good to my child?

All families must be approved to adopt, and the approval process is quite rigorous. The family must go through months of counseling sessions and various screenings to be approved. This approval process is called a home study and involves an FBI check, a state criminal check, a child abuse check, medical exams, an inspection of their home, examination of financial records and multiple recommendations. You have to REALLY want to become a parent to put yourself through this scrutiny.

Furthermore, you can opt for contact after the placement. You will complete a contract stating the amount of contact you would like after placement, and the adoptive parents are required to sign this contract. Most moms opt to get letters and pictures of their child so they can visually see he or she is doing well. Yes, it is difficult to see those pictures, but it also allows you to feel some peace when you see how your child is loved, doted on and adored.

 

3) Can I send my child gifts, pictures, etc.?

You certainly can, and often the adoptive parents will send the same to you.

 

4) Is an open adoption good for the child?

Absolutely! As a matter a fact, this is the biggest reason a family should have for agreeing to an open adoption. Study after study has shown that children in open adoptions are less questioning of their identity and who their family is, and they have stronger self-esteem and fewer anger issues as they get older.

 

5) What happens when I have my baby?

That is entirely up to you. The adoptive parents can be at the hospital and even in the delivery room if you allow them. You can allow them to care for the baby, you can do it yourself or you can all do it together. The baby can stay in your room, their room or the nursery. One thing to consider is that it is often good for the baby to start bonding with the adoptive parents over that first day or two, and it is often reassuring for you to see them with the baby — to see the love and adoration on their faces and to witness the beginnings of love. However, if you want the baby to yourself for that time, that is totally fine too. It is all up to you!

 

For more information or to talk with someone who cares about placing your baby for adoption call 1-866-892-2229 or click here to request your FREE Adoption Kit today.

Birth Family And Adoptive Family – Seeing Things From Both Sides

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Life is full of perspectives, but MOST of the time we see things from where we stand. It takes a lot of grace, patience, and a deeper level of discomfort to see things from someone else’s point of view, especially when it is deeply personal to us. This is never more ‘in our face’ than with adoption.

Birth moms have their point of view – they are where they are. Their situation is unique.  Their circumstances have been challenging. They have experienced great stress.

Adoptive parents have their point of view – they are where they are. Their situation is unique.  Their circumstances have been challenging. They have experienced great stress.

Similar. Yet. Very. Different.

We can however have a new appreciation for the ‘other’ side when we reach across and embrace them. Adoption gives a very unique opportunity to come together, if we choose to, and celebrate the love of a precious child. Adoption means loving this child unconditionally without selfishness – both ‘parties’ have traveled a tough and challenging road to get there, and both deserve our respect.

Sometimes our perspectives really change when someone experiences adoption from both sides – experiencing the feelings, emotions and perspectives of being both a ‘birth family’ and an ‘adoptive’ family.  Once such perspective is shared here today.  Here’s one man’s story:

“My wife and I have always loved kids, and yet we were not able to conceive. We knew God had a plan to give us a family, but we always wondered what that would look like. After much yearning and searching we did begin to build our family through adoption. God blessed us with a family – our children are walking-talking miracles. We have experienced what it is like to trans-racially adopt, facing criticism, racism, disgusted looks and obnoxious comments – things that people wouldn’t dream of actually saying out loud to someone.  It has hurt. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been an honor to raise our children and to love them despite the circumstances.

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“God blessed us with a family – our children are walking-talking miracles.”

We have always tried to maintain a positive approach to our kids’ birth families – we do have a lot of respect for them, and we always talk respectfully about them with our children. Our kids will NEVER hear us ‘trash talk’ about their biological families. EVER.  That is the right thing to do. However one thing we can never quite understand is what it REALLY feels like to be on the other side.  To be the birth mom, birth father, or other family member, and to experience the emotions and loss that they will experience.  Or so I thought.

Just recently my perspectives on birth families changed, because I’m not only an adoptive parent, but I found out that I am part of a birth family too. Within the past couple months my mom shared her story with me.  She never shared it with me before.  Maybe the timing wasn’t right previously, maybe it was hard for her to share with me, but whatever the reasons are I am so glad she did.  She shared that when she was a teenager she became pregnant and gave birth to a son (My biological brother).  Things were done VERY differently back then (Thanking God for our society’s understanding and sensitivity towards adoption today), and so my mom has very little information about her son, and never knew what happened to him after he left her arms. No visits. No pictures. No letters. Nothing.  Completely closed adoption was the norm then, and things were very ‘taboo’ and ‘hush-hush’.  She shared her story with me, and my emotions led me to a place of being on the other side now.

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“She shared that when she was a teenager she became pregnant and gave birth to a son….”

I have been processing this, and many emotions and feelings have gone through my heart. I have felt sadness for my mom – sadness that things were so harsh back then, when people didn’t think you needed counseling.  Because my mom and I are emotionally and relationally connected I have made personal her situation as I would with anything my family would go through (You ache for those you love, you have deep joy for those you love). I’m on HER team in this.  If I could transport myself in a  time machine back to the time she was expecting I would be on HER side, fighting for HER rights, and even if things would go the way they actually did I would be there FOR her helping her carry the load.

When my mind went to this place of feeling for my mom, I realized I had ‘crossed over’ to the other side – in a big way I am experiencing what it feels like to be the birth family.  So, what insight can I NOW bring to you who are  reading this?

Insight for ADOPTIVE families

  • The birth mom of your child has a story about her situation, much that you won’t know about, and much of which may be heart-breaking. This may include pressure from the birth father or her parents, financial stress, being abandoned or being alone, or maybe never receiving unconditional love in her life, ever. Maybe she is not ready to parent yet or feels she is not able to give her baby what they need.  Whatever her decision is to make an adoption plan she most likely has gone through ‘hell and high water’ to get there. My mom went through a lot during her pregnancy, delivery and placement for adoption.  A year of her life revolved around her baby – that’s a year’s worth of HER story that deserves a loving respect, not a judgmental mindset.
  • Many young birth moms, especially teen moms, are still maturing into adults and are not at the place emotionally and physically to raise a child, but have wisdom ‘beyond their years’ to decide 1) To protect life, and carry the baby to term, and  2) To comprehend fully what real selflessness means, putting the needs of their baby ahead of their own. Your birth mom deserves your utmost respect for choosing life and making a very selfless decision to place her baby for adoption. I have a bigger and deeper respect for my mom because of her selflessness. I respect her immensely because she chose a difficult road to travel, and because she gave her all so that someone else may live the best life they could.
  • The birth mom of your child will NEVER forget her baby, and will live EVERY day of her life without them.  This is hard.  I miss my biological brother that I have never met, so I can only imagine how my mom feels each and every day. My brother, her son, is a part of her and she will always wonder where he is, what he is doing, and will always keep wanting the best for him.

 

Insight for BIRTH families

  • Adoptive parents have a story about their situation.  Many couples have gone through much loss – miscarriage, infertility, years of longing and aching for a child. They may have experienced a failed adoption in the past.  Getting to this point in their lives of adopting your baby has not been easy for them –  they too have gone through ‘hell and high water’ emotionally, physically and financially. They may have been pressured by family expecting them to ‘produce’ biological children, or have been on the receiving end of less than supportive family members, friends or even been ‘excluded’ because they were open to adopt a bi-racial or special needs baby. Adoptive parents deserve encouragement and love, not judgment – they have a story that deserves loving respect.
  • Couples or individuals willing to adopt a child have much wisdom ‘far beyond their years’ to decide to love and raise a child that isn’t biologically theirs, to comprehend fully what real selflessness means, putting the needs of their child ahead of their own. The road they are traveling is filled with many selfless sacrifices. They too are choosing a difficult road to travel – one with much scrutiny, paperwork, waiting, financial cost, and mistreatment from society for ‘being different’.
  • Adoptive parents live every day with the knowledge that their child is 100% theirs, but their child is ALWAYS going to be a part of you. Hopefully they choose to embrace that in a positive way, or maybe they won’t, but the fact remains that their son or daughter is always going to have a biological connection to you. Their job is to raise a child on a journey of ongoing healing, because that child will always experience some level of loss, even if adopted at birth. The adoptive parents will be there helping their child day after with any fears, unanswered questions and ‘what ifs’ they will arise. The days, months and years ahead are not easy for them.  Adoption for them is a HUGE blessings, and it also a big journey to take, and one they will never take for granted.

 

So, I’m standing here right now with one foot in the adoptive family camp, and one foot in the birth family camp, and I have never had more respect for both ‘sides’ as I have now.  Life isn’t easy for ANY of us, and in this life we have have this crazy thing called “ADOPTION”.  Our choice, gleaning from the wisdom of those who have gone ahead of us, is this: to choose whether to lovingly embrace each other when our worlds come together. To choose to embrace the big picture of adoption. And in the end to reach a place where we can all say that we lovingly and selflessly gave all we have for the love of a precious child.”

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“…to choose whether to lovingly embrace each other when our worlds come together.”

Considering The Idea Of Adoption – Kathryn’s Story – Part 2

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We shared recently the story, in her own words, of Kathryn.  Kathryn is one of Mother Goose Adoptions birth moms.  Today’s post is the conclusion of her story.  If you haven’t read the first part of Kathryn’s story check out:  “Considering The Idea Of Adoption – Kathryn’s Story – Part 1“.

Kathryn continues:

“….Fast forward two months: my parents and I were on a ferry to an island where T and N have their summertime home to meet their family for the first time. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t met them yet, I thought. N and I had grown so close over the past few months, talking on the phone, texting, and emailing each other. It all started with a “yes, they’re still looking to be matched and yes, they’re interested in you” email from Mother Goose’s director, Deb. After many document and email exchanges between Deb and I, Deb set up a few conference calls between me, N, and herself. I felt anxious awaiting the calls, but I was immediately set at ease as soon as we began to chat. Now, here I was, seven months pregnant and heading out to meet the family I had chosen to adopt my baby for the first time! A sonogram had confirmed I was having a girl, and T and N couldn’t have been more thrilled.

” A sonogram had confirmed I was having a girl, and T and N couldn’t have been more thrilled.”

The summertime island rendezvous was just what we all needed to assure everyone that we were the ideal fit for each other. My parents immediately felt comfortable as conversation began to flow between them and N and T, just the way I had felt when I talked to N on the phone for the first time. Our families had a remarkable amount in common, and we talked about mutual hobbies and getting-to-know-you details as we sipped sweet lemonade in adirondack chairs by the soothing ocean. We all left feeling reassured that we were the ideal match. I felt a sense of accomplishment knowing that my research had paid off and things were looking promising for my baby girl’s future.

I continued to see Dr. C regularly and developed a great relationship with him to the point that I was able to feel comfortable asking him any questions that might come up. And I had a lot! I kept N updated with all of the good results from the tests he performed. As my baby grew inside of me, I resisted becoming attached (even though I knew it was inevitable) and dwelling on my emotions. Rather, I kept focused on my rational thoughts: adoption was the best decision for both me and my child. I had found a great family that would provide her with a world of opportunity to fulfill their dreams. And I could be a part of her life! N and I had discussed openly how I could be known as Kathryn, another adult in her life who loved and cared for her. As she grew up, she would be learn my story and come to know that I had given birth to her and chosen N to be her mommy. I loved knowing that I was going to receive regular updates and pictures about her life, and that I could visit her and be an active part of her life as well.

After enduring the last months of uncomfortable bodily changes, the day had arrived for me to bring my baby into the world. I was well prepared on what to expect during my pregnancy and confident that I knew just enough about what I was getting myself into after doing a ton of independent research and reading the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. My mind was at ease knowing that I had done all that I could do to prepare for a healthy baby. I had met with social workers and my doctor and had been in touch with the Mother Goose director D as well as other professional and personal supports, and I was determined to keep my rational mind at the forefront of my thinking going into this birth. N and I had grown even closer, and she was going to be there to hold my hand or do anything I needed of her on my big day. My sister, mother, and father were invited to come and support me when I went into labor as well. Even though I knew they couldn’t be there because of their work obligations and the great distance they lived from me, A and my older brother C were in the loop with progress updates all along. I had a team of cheerleaders and supporters, and I was the captain leading the way. Even though I was nervous and unsure of exactly what to expect as I began to go into labor, I was assured that I had planned everything as well as I could, that I was informed about what to expect, and that everything was going to work out.

” the moments of alone time we shared will be happily cherished in my heart forever: as I looked into her blue-grey eyes and watched her study my face..”

Giving birth was an incredible experience. I felt calm and ready. The moment my daughter took her first breath on her own, I was elated with joy and overwhelmed with a sense of peace and accomplishment. She was perfect and healthy. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked at her for the first time and held her in my arms: how tiny and beautiful she was! Of course it was very bittersweet, as I knew she was not going to be “mine.” But she was a wonderful gift, and I was resolute in my decision that I knew what was best for her. I spent three days in the hospital, during which time I recovered and cared for myself and spent as much time with little E (as T and N had decided to name her) as possible. I had highs and lows as I anticipated having to let her go, but the moments of alone time we shared will be happily cherished in my heart forever: as I looked into her blue-grey eyes and watched her study my face, as I watched the expressions on her face change, as I listened to the tiny sounds coming from her rosebud lips, and as I watched her sleep and drink a bottle. N and I shared time feeding her, changing her, and bathing her. E had visits from the pediatricians and I had visits from the nurses, midwives, doctors, and social workers. It was a busy and exhausting (both physically and emotionally) couple of days, but I tried to keep my mind focused on the positives: that both E and I were healthy, and that everything was falling into place for a brilliant future for her.

Every passing day since I had this peaceful, delightful little person (just two and a half weeks ago!), I am grateful for this miracle I was given. With every picture and video N sends me, I am constantly in awe of E’s perfection. I have been able to see her two other times since we left the hospital, and she amazes me with her beauty and tranquility. I look forward to updates and pictures from N, and whenever I receive them my heart glows and my day is made. Although I don’t know exactly what the future holds for E or myself, I know that if I live each day in the moment and reassure myself that whatever I am feeling is ok, then I am ultimately satisfied. Today I am sure to give thanks for all of the blessings in my life, to let my loved ones know they are appreciated, and to be honest with my emotions. I am a stronger person for enduring this journey, and I embrace my future and E’s future with open arms!”

We are grateful to Kathryn for sharing so openly about her journey to place her baby girl for adoption – Thank you!

Considering The Idea Of Adoption – Kathryn’s Story – Part 1

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“I discussed my options, and my parents let me know that they would support whatever decision I made.”

At Mother Goose Adoptions we are blessed to be a part of the adoption journey for many families.  We also are blessed to get to know and support many birth moms.  Kathryn is one of our special birth moms who shared her story in her own words:

“Having met in college and taken pre-veterinary classes together, A and I were good friends and had been for the eight years since we graduated together from our Boston area university in 2005. We had started dating about eight months before I got the news that I was pregnant, and at that time he had recently moved to the opposite coast to pursue a residency in radiology as he followed his dream of being a small animal vet specialist. As we we no longer together (both literally and also in the sense that we had decided to take a break from dating after he moved to California), I was hesitant to go out to get a pregnancy test and to set up an appointment with my primary care physician because I knew deep down that the reality was going to be very scary and confusing. In fact, I was terrified. I knew I would test positive for being pregnant. What was I going to do?? I was single and had my whole life ahead of me. I felt all alone. Who should I tell: my parents, my older sister or brother, my close friends? How could I tell them? How were they going to react? The most poignant question that kept circling my head again and again was “what am I going to do?!” I was at a loss.

I finally mustered up the courage to go to the pharmacy and get a test. I remember looking around at the other people going about doing their shopping like it was any other day. Anxious and scared, I knew that today would be unlike any other day I had experienced in my life. I was shaking as I drove home. After a few deep breaths and a prayer for clarity and guidance, I took the test and my strong premonition was confirmed: I was pregnant. I felt overwhelmingly frightened and alone.

Not knowing what to do or how to feel, my first urge was to figure out a plan–and fast! I immediately called my amazing doctor, Dr. K, whom I have been a patient of for twelve years, and set up an urgent appointment. I kept busy with work, decorating, cleaning, reading (and anything to distract myself) during the week before she was available for me to meet with her. Dr. K performed another test and confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. We set up an obstetrics appointment with Dr. C for the upcoming week and discussed how I felt and whether I had thought about what I wanted to do. I told her I had no idea, that this had come as a huge surprise to me and that my first instinct was to say that there’s no way that I can raise a child on my own. I knew that A would surely support me– after he got over the inevitable initial shock — and maybe we could get back together and co-parent this child. But my family, friends, and whole support network was on the east coast, and he was settled on the west coast for at least the next year.

In the days following my appointment with Dr. K, I reached out to my parents and my older sister, E. I waited to tell A until I had some more clarity for myself. I discussed my options, and my parents let me know that they would support whatever decision I made. They told me that they would help me if I decided to parent this child, and that was a huge relief for me. My sister, five years older with three children of her own, brought up the possibility of adoption. She told me about her neighbor’s adoption success story, and I thought about my classmates in school who had been adopted and were happy and thriving. In truth, I was quite hesitant about considering the idea of adoption at first. I imagined the painful emotional toll I would feel for the rest of my life if I had to part with my first child. How would my child feel about me? Would they hate me and think I deserted them later on in life or, even worse, think they were a mistake? What if I were to regret my decision and change my mind that I wanted to keep my child after the adoption was complete? Adoption was permanent; there was no going back once the decision had been made. The weight of this permanence was something I wasn’t able to carry quite yet. So I decided to do some research and hopefully gain a better understanding about whether the benefits of adoption outweighed the emotional troubles that could possibly arise. I sought to break down the questions I had into more palatable pieces of information.

Shortly after talking to my sister, I went online and looked up adoption agencies. I saw profiles of families and individuals who were looking to adopt. As I read their stories, I realized that I had a huge support network out there and that I didn’t need to feel so alone. I had been granted a wonderful gift that some would never be given; my child could fulfill a lifelong dream that some couples would never be able to achieve on their own. Even though he or she hadn’t even been born yet and I hadn’t even met these families, my child already had a place in their hearts. I discovered that “open adoption” was a possibility: that I would have the opportunity to have a relationship with my child for life, even though I wasn’t raising him or her myself. The concept, new to my vocabulary and understanding, excited me greatly!

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“When I stumbled upon T and N’s profile on the Mother Goose website, I just knew they were the right fit.”

When I stumbled upon T and N’s profile on the Mother Goose website, I just knew they were the right fit.  A warm feeling of comfort came over me as I looked at their pictures and read about their interests, values, and reasons for wanting to adopt another child. As I got a glimpse into their family’s life, I discovered that their three children and their hobbies were remarkably compatible with my own family’s. My intuition told me that if I decided that I wanted to go the adoption route, they were the ones.

I set up regular visits with Dr. C, my OB/Gyn, as I continued to weigh my options and gradually open up to friends and supports for guidance. I called a few adoption agencies and asked a bunch of questions, discovering what the open adoption process entailed and slowly beginning to warm up to the idea that this was what I wanted to do. It just felt right at the gut level. Now that I had support from friends, family, and even from people I didn’t even know who were willing to offer information and guidance, I was finally beginning to have some clarity in my mind and heart about what to do.

The task of calling A to let him know what was going on was going to be difficult, but I felt much more assured doing so after I had come up with a solid plan in my head about what I wanted to do. I thought about how I first felt when I got the news, and how A was in a very different boat as he was the father (and therefore not carrying the baby) and had his career training as a priority to consider. After taking a few deep breaths, I picked up the ten pound phone and called him. He was understandably (and predictably) shocked when I first told him the news. I reassured him that I had a plan and that he could take his time and collect his thoughts and get back to me. He immediately called his parents to let them know what was going on and to use them as a sounding board, then called back to say that he would support any decision I chose it make: I could move to California and live with him and we could raise this child together, or he would help out financially if I chose to raise the child on my own. When I told him I was considering adoption, he wasn’t quite sure what to think of the idea. Just like my initial response to the concept, he questioned if it was the best decision both for us and for the child. I told him I’d felt the same way at first, and to check out the agency websites I’d found and take a look at the families’ profiles.

Sure enough, the next day when I talked to A, he told me he had warmed up to the idea after reading the families’ stories. Amazingly enough, both he and my sister had chosen T and N as their first choice candidates for an adoptive family! The stars were aligning it seemed. I was excited!

But before I got too ahead of myself with eager anticipation that everything was going to work out great, I gave myself a reality check. As much as I wanted T and N to work out, I told myself not to get my heart set on this one particular family because there were a million things that could come up and it might just not work out with them. What if they had already matched with someone? Or what if they decided they didn’t want to work with me? I had a sense that there were many, many steps to be taken before an adoption was finalized; I needed to avoid having unrealistic expectations……”

Part 2 following soon.

One Of The Best Choices I Made Was Adoption – A Birth Mom’s Story

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“I knew I was doing what was best for her.”

My name is Amanda. I am a mother. I am a human. I make mistakes and I make choices. One of the best choices I made was adoption. I had my first child at the age of 19. It was hard. I was by myself with my son, no father around and we struggled to make it day by day with the resources we had. 5 years later, I had my second child, my daughter. I was 24 with 2 children. I was with my daughter’s father for a while but then he became abusive so I had to leave that situation for the safety of my children and myself.

Not even a year later, I thought I had found the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. He loved me; he loved my children and loved everything that came with being a parent. I decided to move my children and myself 3 hours away from everything and everyone I knew to be happy. 2 months into the relationship, I became pregnant. I suffered a miscarriage and it was devastating. It was very hard to deal with. But we got through that and 2 months later, I became pregnant again. Well by that time, I had realized he was not the one for me. He was not the person I had met. I felt like he was holding my kids and me hostage. We couldn’t leave the house, we couldn’t go anywhere. I was alone with 2 kids and another one on the way. I had to make a huge decision and get away. It was Thanksgiving and I missed my family. I missed my home. We got into a fight and I lied to him and told him I wasn’t pregnant. This was the only way I was able to get out. I took my 2 kids and we ran. We ran down the street late at night and knocked on these peoples door. I had no idea who they were, no clue if anyone would answer. There was someone watching over me that night because I owe everything to these people for helping me escape. I called my brother and he came to where we were as fast as he could and got me and the kids and brought us home.

I knew at that moment, I couldn’t raise a 3rd child without a father around. Abortion wasn’t an option. I called many adoption agencies and none of them seemed interested until I called one: Mother Goose Adoptions. They were very friendly, they cared. You could feel the love and compassion through the phone. I knew this was the agency I wanted to go through. I didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant; only the agency and my aunt. My aunt would take me to all my appointments. She would make sure that I had the things I needed. I was 4 months pregnant and it was time to tell the rest of my family. I told my mom, who I was living with at the time, that I was pregnant. I told her that I was choosing adoption for the baby and my mind could not be changed. I told my brother. He said that he wanted to adopt the baby. No- I couldn’t do this either. I told him I love the baby too much to have the baby around to where I was living and it would be too uncomfortable for me to see her and know that she is my birth child that I can’t take care of. I only had love. I received many profiles from the agency. Looked through them, read them all and thought I had a family picked. They decided to say no. I was crushed! So I asked the agency to send more profiles. In the second batch of profiles, I received a profile that I had gotten in the first batch. Something about this profile stuck out to me. I call it a sign. Why would the same profile be sent twice? So I read through it again and again and knew this was the family I wanted to raise my child. I live in Missouri and the family lived in Georgia. Perfect! I didn’t want a local family because it would feel too awkward for me. I didn’t want to be at the grocery store or Target or out somewhere and run into them. That was just weird to me. I would feel guilty.

The agency got me in contact with the family and we spoke on the phone often. Very sweet, very nice. I was at ease with my choice. I had decided from that moment that I wanted an open adoption. I wanted to know who she was, wanted to see her grow up but wanted to do all of this from a distance. I had decided that the family would get to pick her name. They would make all decisions for her – I was just giving birth. It was very hard not to grow a bond with someone that is growing inside you. I loved her.

I had a very rough home life at the time of my pregnancy but tried to make it as comfortable for her as I could. I will never forget the day I went to the hospital. My mother is an alcoholic. She was on one of her rampages and had called the police. I was 8 months pregnant, had 2 other children and she was going to lie to the police and tell them I hit her and try to have me sent to jail. I was waiting for my friend to come get me and take me out of the situation. I was holding my daughter who was 1 at the time and in diapers. Her diaper had leaked on my shorts and I had to lie to the police and tell them my water broke, I needed to go to the hospital ASAP. They let me go and my other 2 kids stayed with my sister. I wasn’t in labor. But I felt like I was already out and told everyone I was going to the hospital, I might as well go.

I called the agency and told them what was going on and they told me to keep in touch and let them know what was going on. I went to the hospital and they said they were going to go ahead and induce me. I told them NO not yet- we have to wait. I needed to call the family and have them get to Missouri as fast as they could- from Georgia. My aunt and my friend were with me the whole time. Trying to keep me calm and as comfortable as possible. I couldn’t hold her in any longer. The family was on their way by plane. I tried my hardest to make it a slow birth. But she was ready. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I wouldn’t allow my aunt or my friend or myself to touch her until her parents got there. My aunt cut her umbilical cord but that was all the contact with her at the time. Not even 5 minutes later, they walked in the room. There was their child. Their sweet beautiful baby girl. We all cried. It was our first time meeting in person and the connection we had through the phone was real and was stronger in person. I was relieved. I was happy. I was sad.

“I held her and just cried. Me and her – her sweet little face and all her 10 toes.”

The hospital I delivered at was wonderful. They allowed me to stay in the hospital for 5 days until we went to court to finalize the adoption. The first day I was there, I just cried. I was alone. I was sad. I had just given birth to a baby and had no baby to show for it. The second day, I asked her parents if I could spend some time with her. They let me take her as long as I wanted. I held her and just cried. Me and her- her sweet little face and all her 10 toes. She was perfect. I got to feed her, I changed her and I rocked her to sleep. My decision was the best. I never had a change of heart. I never had a moment where I thought my decision was wrong. I knew I was making the right choice. I knew I was doing what was best for her. I loved her too much to be selfish to myself, her and my other 2 kids. The third day there, I allowed my family to come up and see her. They said their hellos and they said their goodbyes.

On the day of court, it was very hard. I know judges and attorneys are supposed to be unbiased and not there to pick sides. But I felt like I was being punished for my choice. I was being interrogated by all of them. It was scary. But I signed my name on that line releasing all parental rights to the baby. And her parents signed their name on the line accepting the baby as their own.

The day they left to go back to Georgia, I went and saw the baby. It was very hard. She was precious. She was perfect. And I was so happy to see how happy her parents were. It was wonderful.

My birth daughter is now 8 years old. She is more beautiful and perfect today than the last day I saw her. I talk to her on the phone; I send gifts for her birthday and for Christmas. And I will say that when I talk to her, I’m so happy to hear that she is happy. When I hang up the phone, I breakdown and cry. It is hard. It hurts. But I will never regret my decision for adoption. I am very thankful that her mother allows me to still be a part of her life, that I can see her grow up, that I can see her personality. It makes me smile to know that she is loved from Missouri to Georgia and in between.

-Amanda

“She was precious. She was perfect.”

A Birth Mother’s Story: Kristi’s Adoption Plan

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“He was 7lbs 11oz and 21 inches long!
His head was so full of hair!”

Recently one of our Birth Moms, Kristi, shared about her journey to placing her baby for adoption with Mother Goose Adoptions.  We take every opportunity at Mother Goose to come alongside young women and walk with them through their adoption placement.  We do all in our power to care for them, and all in our power to present safe and loving families to them so they can make a decision as to who will raise their child.   The family that Kristi chose have an “Open Adoption” with her, and it is great that she is able to know how her little boy is doing.  Here’s Kristi’s story:

“On November 30th 2011 I went for my pregnancy test, which was positive, and then I started looking in the phone book under “Adoption Agencies”. l also have two girls that are 16yrs and 8yrs. I saw “Mother Goose Adoptions” listed and contacted them and made an appointment for the doctor on December 12th. I had already mailed out the paperwork to Mother Goose by that date.
Then in January 2012 Mother Goose in Arizona sent me the profiles of some adoptive couples. In February I had my first phone interviews with five potential families for about 15 minutes each. I picked the first family I talked with. I did get my first email from the family on Feb 6th 2012, and then we communicated through phone calls, emails and “Skype” until I traveled to Arizona in March to deliver my baby there. That gave us time before the little one made his debut.  In April I gave birth to my son. He was 7lbs 11oz and 21 inches long! His head was so full of hair! I went to my doctor’s visits with the adoptive parents.

It has now been 17 months since he was born! It does not seem possible that it is been that long already! I stayed I touch with the adoptive family and Deb at Mother Goose Adoptions until my first visit again for my son’s 1st Birthday earlier this year. I stayed 8 days in Arizona. It has been great to stay in contact with Deb at Mother Goose on a weekly basis by email and “Skype”.

So I would recommend Mother Goose. I prefer the small agency versus the large agencies because the large ones seem like they are all “business”, but the small agencies seem to be friendly and personal much more. The adoptive families that are with Mother Goose are financially screened, FBI checked, Home Study Approved and so on, which means that they are doing all they can to place babies in a loving and safe home. It is great knowing that “Mother Goose Adoptions” is an agency I can recommend to others birth moms.

I have a unique perspective on adoption, because I am from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa, and came to live with my American Family back in 1984. My American Family went to do work in Africa in the early 1980’s, which is how they found me. My birth mother passed away and my birth father was emotionally not ready to take care of me after my mother died. He also remarried. I went back to see him in the winter of 1988 and saw him one last time in 1991. He does not speak English and I don’t speak my original language anymore.  Adoption has changed since I was adopted. Back then adoptions were “Closed Adoption”, but now there is “Semi Open Adoption”, and “Open Adoption”. My baby is in an “Open Adoption”, so I am able to continue contact with my son.

There are many reasons that I’d like to share why women place their children for adoption:

• Career
• Wanting their child to be raised in affluent families/neighborhoods
• They are raising other children
• They want a better environment for their child
• Lack of help from the father or do not want the father to be involved
• Better Educational Opportunities like Private Schools, Magnet or Charter Schools
• Do not want the child to attend Day Care 40 hours/5 days per week
• Not living on Public Assistance or do not want to live pay check to pay check
• Lack of family support or not healthy family situation to be raising a child in
• Age. Either too old or too young

Thanks for taking the time to read my story. I would love to encourage you or simply listen to you. Please feel free to email me directly at: kikizulu@hotmail.com”

-Kristi

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“Mother Goose Adoptions” is an agency
I can recommend to others birth moms.