My name is Susan - I am an FLS birthmother - and here's my adoption story...I was dating someone on and off for about 2 years. We were NOT a "healthy" relationship. We both insisted on being hateful, inconsiderate, and stupid. To make things worse, my parents did know about the relationship because they didn't approve of the race difference. March 15, 2012, is the day both of our lives changed forever.
I knew, from the moment it happened, I made a huge mistake; however I had no clue what I had really gotten myself into. I had 5 months of not telling anyone, I was in complete denial. I considered abortion but I couldn't do it after seeing how much joy my nieces and nephews brought me. I knew that I had to make a different choice...and, from that moment, my adoption journey began.
I had to quit worrying about myself and had to work up the courage to tell my parents so I could get to a doctor to check on my baby. I told a couple of friends looking for relief and, even though they were understanding and supportive, I knew I wouldn't feel relief until I told my parents. I sucked it up and gave my mother the dreaded note I had written months earlier. It was the note no mother wants to receive from her daughter. I immediately went to work and was scared to death to come home. She was in the shower so I walked in and asked, "Are you okay?". Of course she wasn't okay, she was devastated. "No," she replied. I hung my head and continued to sob. She cracked the door and looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "But I will be." Those words filled my heart with relief. I told my father three days later and saw his anger and hurt. We waited three days for everybody to gather themselves before we all sat down to talk. We talked about the possibility of going to the Liberty Godparent Home, but didn't feel like that was the right option for me. But, I made the decision to contact Family Life Services to begin working with an adoption counselor. A few weeks later, my mom and I met with Rachel. It was amazing and I had a peace about connecting with FLS - she made me realize I would be okay and I'm so grateful for that.
I went to the doctor at 32 weeks and discovered I was having a healthy, beautiful baby boy. That made everything so much more real... it wasn't a plastic baby doll or a puppy but instead a REAL baby boy. That same day I went to the agency to do what I was so excited to do...choose an adoptive family for my son. That is a huge responsibility...to pick the perfect family for my baby boy...talk about pressure! The first family I looked at captivated me. They had one son and were so excited to adopt again. The baby kicked in my tummy the entire time I read about them and, somehow, I felt like it was God's destiny. I continued to look at other families but didn't feel that connection with anyone else. I called Rachel the next day to let her know "they" were the family for my baby. The next week, I went to meet them. The birthfather was unexpectedly unable to go with me so I was on my own. I was so nervous, I couldn't stop shaking. As soon as we started talking I was immediately happy and relaxed. They really were perfect for me! They were so in love with their first son, I knew my baby would fit into their family perfectly. The birthfather and I met with the adoptive family one more time before I had the baby and it was just as amazing as our first visit together.
My due date was December 1, 2012 and I was scheduled to be induced on December 3rd. After about 25 hours of waiting, it was time to push. During my entire labor experience, I looked at a picture of my son's "soon-to-be" big brother and focused on how genuinely happy he was. On December 4, 2012, Elijah Jayden was born. I had worked so hard not to become emotionally attached but, as soon as he was born, I just wanted him in my arms. He was perfect, a gift from God. I instantly loved him so much! I felt the best love I've ever had holding him in my arms. He was born on a Tuesday and the reality of how painful my adoption decision would be settled in on Wednesday. My dad had to leave the hospital and it was time for him to say his final goodbyes. He cried while on his knees and prayed for him to have a good life and for him to know how much we love him. He and I were both devastated. That night, the birthfather came to see the baby and sign his papers. I secretly prayed that he wouldn't sign the papers. I didn't want to lose this amazing love and feeling of my son being in my arms. He, too, however, signed his papers and said his goodbyes.
That night was my final night with Elijah. I played "Find Your Wings" by Mark Harris all night and cried, begging God to take my pain away. I knew in my heart he was theirs, but the emotions were so hard to deal with. I came home and tried to act like everything was normal. Friends came over and were happily surprised by how great I seemed to be doing. I went to visit the baby with two friends before placement day and it was amazing to see him. Then placement day came - which was the 2nd best day of my life. Although it broke my heart, I saw the future my son had ahead of him with his new family. That made the suffering and pain worth it. It was the most beautiful experience I've ever been a part of. Sure, I had people say nasty things to me, but I've learned they don't matter...my child is what matters. I get to see my beautiful baby grow up with two amazing parents and a sweet big brother who loves him so much. Of course, my heart is still full of hurt - healing is an ongoing process, but with good friends and my parents I am getting through it. Most importantly, I have chosen an adoptive family who is constantly sending me pictures and emails and genuinely cares for me too, which makes the pain easier to bear. Adoption is hard, so hard. There is no "easy" part about it, but the love in adoption is stronger then anything I've ever felt before. I have no regrets about my decision...my heart is too full...too full of love for my son, love for the adoptive family, FLS, and this opportunity to share my "real life" story in hope that it will impact others.
This isn't the end of my story. I have new stories ahead that I will have to deal with as I process the pain and the hurt of this decision. It is a constant battle. But I've already learned that God is the only thing I need to get me through this battle and the future battles ahead.