Monday, January 17, 2011
Pleased To Meet You
Hello, my name is Lacy, and I am a proud birth mother.
I was 16 years old when my life changed forever. I had been going through a very rough patch. My father had just split, my mom was working well over 60 hours a week to keep our heads above water, and the world as I knew it was crumbling around me. Then I met a boy. A very charming boy.
It wasn’t long after I started dating this boy that sex came into the picture. Six months after we started dating I discovered I was pregnant. Getting pregnant at the age of 16 was certainly not something I had planned on. Being that I was 16 years old and facing an unplanned pregnancy, I was forced to make a decision. My very first decision was to have an abortion. I even made an appointment at a local clinic. Needless to say, I never went through with it. My son’s birth father was very insistent that we keep--and parent--our child. He reassured me that he would step up to the plate, and take care of us.
After a few months passed my relationship with my son’s birth father began to fall apart. He became both physically and mentally abusive. He refused to get a job, or even attempt to get a job. On top of all the problems I was having with my relationship, I was also facing a change in my living situation. My mother’s house went into foreclosure and she was left with no choice but to sell it. We were forced to move in with my grandparents. Reality was starting to hit me.
I started thinking about adoption when I was about 5 months pregnant. I had finally got the nerve to break it off with my son’s birth father, and things between us were worse than ever. I came to the conclusion that the environment was just too toxic for my child. After all, we always want what is best for our children. I certainly couldn’t provide for this child, and his birth father was beginning to show his true colors. Adoption was the only viable option. My son’s birth father, however, was absolutely not on board. As arrogant as it may sound, I am convinced he wanted me to keep the baby so he could have a link to me for the rest of our lives. If he truly cared about our baby, he wouldn’t have physically abused me while I was pregnant. After I discussed the idea of adoption with him, things between us became much worse. He harassed me, threatened me, and taunted me with promises of signing away his parental rights. “If you get back together with me I will sign away my rights, but if you leave me I will get that baby” he would say.
I went forward with planning an adoption in spite of the birth father‘s objections. I met a couple through a close family friend. They were everything I wanted for my son. They were fun, energetic, good-hearted people. I decided to go through the agency they had been working with. I was assigned a case worker and things were moving forward.
The entire time I was planning the adoption I never stopped to worry about myself. All of my worries were focused on the uncertainties of the situation. I was never quite sure weather my baby would leave the hospital with me, his birth father, or his adoptive family. The stress was overwhelming. By the time my due date rolled around I was ready to get the ball rolling. As I previously mentioned, I never actually stopped to worry about the pain I might feel handing my baby to someone else.
My son was born on the evening of October 3rd, 2002. We gave him a name (which I assure you was lovely), but I will refer to him as Bee. I didn’t spend much time with him in the hospital. I was sore, stressed, and still racked with worries over his future. His adoptive parents were able to take him home from the hospital. Though I didn’t have him in my arms when I left the hospital, I still left feeling like a proud mother. I felt joyful and hopeful for his future. “He will accomplish great things one day” I thought.
The joy was short lived, however. A few days after leaving the hospital I was served with court papers. Bee’s birth father was going through with his promise to pursue full custody. A court date was scheduled, and off I went. I testified in a court. I spoke of all the turmoil between Bee’s birth father and myself. It was painful, and nerve-racking.
Fortunately for Bee and I, the decision was in our favor. Bee’s birth father had his rights terminated. I officially placed my son into an open adoption weeks later. And so it began…the life of a birth mother.
I’m 25 years old now and while I’m pleased with the decision I made 8 years ago, each day is a challenge. I look forward to sharing my story with everyone, and here’s to hoping I learn a thing or two along the way!
Photo by: Hilde Vanstraelen / biewoef.be