I was 16 years old when I first found out I was pregnant with my daughter GiGi. I was more than terrified of what was going to happen to me. How was I going to tell my parents? How was I going to finish school? How were my friends going to take the news? So many questions had run through my head and I felt so many emotions. And to put the cherry on the cake, the father was much older than me and my parents despised him.
Things were not looking good for me. I ended up keeping it a secret for the first five months of my pregnancy. How I managed to do that, I do not know. Until one day my principal called my mom and said she noticed my stomach. The stomach I tried so hard to hide. My mom asked me about it and that's when it all came out. My parents were more than disappointed.
Things started to take a turn for the better when I decided to contact a local Catholic adoption agency. At first I wanted to keep my child, thinking that the father would be around but that changed as well. When I first met my adoption counselor, I was skeptical of the whole idea. I knew that I would be judged for giving my baby away. T, my adoption counselor gave me hope and my whole mindset changed. I ended up meeting with her a few times a week to discuss my options and figure out a plan. I then became more enthusiastic by the day. Inside, I did feel some discomfort and sadness knowing that my child, my first kid was not going to be living with me. But I knew that this was the right thing to do, not for me, but for my daughter.
I began to embrace my pregnancy regardless of the judgments, put downs and the fact that I was 16. I still had a lot to deal with and I kept some things a secret from certain people but I knew what I was doing was right. I ended up picking a beautiful, loving family. The couple I picked had already adopted two other children and I thought to myself, they are the family. I met with them consistently throughout my pregnancy and I began to think of them as my own family. It hadn't really hit me yet that they were going to be caring for my daughter for the rest of her life, but I knew she would be in good hands. I still wanted to keep a connection with my daughter so I chose to do an open adoption.
When the day came to place her in the hands of this other family, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was the day I was being discharged from the hospital. Those two days I spent with her, she had grown on me. I began to hold her close to me and didn't want to let go. I knew I had to enjoy those last few moments with her even though I knew I would be able to see her again someday. When I gave her to her new family, the tears began to fall. I cried so hard my chest began to ache. And then I felt a comforting touch, a hug that meant so much to me. My daughter's new parents had reached over and began to hold me as I let out my cry.
I can still hear them whispering, "I love you..."