Life as a single Mother-Empty nest, Dating, Ex-husband, Best Friends, Full-time Employment, Unemployment, night school...How do these all relate to one another? Come with me:

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My story (part 2)

(Reading over my last post, I discovered that it needs a little bit of clarity. I will slow this story down a bit and in order to make it flow a little better ‘the boy’ will now be referred to as T)

Life for T went on as usual. He still played on the Varsity Football and wrestling teams. He still went about his daily life as he always had. He graduated from High school that year and his graduation present was a week in Hawaii with his family. He brought me back a ring. Not a diamond and it turned my finger green but it was a bit of stability in my scattered life. A promise of  some sort of future for us. 

Life for me was not as simple. I was a real good girl. Many teens my age were drinking, using mild drugs, and other inappropriate behavior. Other friends were of the predominant local faith and were not participating in anything outside the church activities. I didn’t seem to really fit in anywhere.
I was embarrassed by my condition. I was ashamed. And the God’s honest truth is I was terrified. I have a supportive loving family. They were behind me no matter what I decided to do. T’s family was supportive as well. I had watched my more rebellious sister raising her own son who was born when my sister was just sixteen. She really struggled.

Why did I do this to myself? I was supposed to be the ‘good child’. I was the child who didn’t do these sorts of things. But I did do them.
The further along I got into the pregnancy the more I knew in my heart that keeping this child for my own was not the right decision. I had made a mistake, a huge mistake, a life altering mistake and I was not about to make another one. I would give this child up for adoption and help a couple have a child who may not be able to otherwise. It was right.
T was not as sure as I was that it was the right decision. He really had a hard time coming to grips with the thought of someone else, a stranger raising his child. His mother seemed to feel the same way as he did. But I knew that for this child, I wanted a better life than I/we were capable of giving.

I signed up for a mother’s high school that fall. Just one month before my due date (which just happened to be my 17th birthday). It made it a little easier attending school with other girls who were facing the same hard decision and situation that I was. 

But there were some girls in that school who just didn’t understand my choice to give my baby up for adoption. They said they couldn’t look at their child and let them go. They would say that life was tough raising a child but that there was always a way. But watching these girls struggle, watching these children in the nursery everyday and watching my sister just served to clarify it in my mind that my child would be better off. Again, I had to toughen up my defenses and hide my emotion the best that I could. I still knew it was the right decision.

I suppose it was my own defense mechanism not thinking of this thing growing in my belly as a baby. I tried not to think too much about the future but it was coming anyway.  T and I talked incessantly about our future. We spoke on end about our possible future together, our potential future with this child, our potential future without a child. Whether it was because I talked him into it, or just because it was the right thing to do, the decision was made that we would give this baby up for adoption. I worked through my doctor and met with a social worker from the Mormon Church.  I was asked thousands of questions. It was not an easy process but she did the best she could to make it easier.

In an open adoption, the birth mother is involved with the child after the adoption in an indirect way. Pictures sent, letters exchanged and the whereabouts of the child are disclosed somewhat. As I had been throughout the pregnancy, closed off, a bit numb and out of touch with this child for my own sanity, the best choice for me was a closed-file adoption.

In a closed file adoption, after the birth of the baby, all is anonymous. The adopting parents know very little about the birth parents and the same is true in the reverse. It would be too hard for me to see and hold a baby, have the new parents in the delivery and then let my baby go.

On October 2nd 1986, just a week after my seventeenth birthday and my due date, I gave birth to a baby boy. I handled the labor well, I really don’t remember much. Again, my defense was to ‘block’ as much as possible from my mind. I was in a trance, a daze, a dream. I saw but a small glimpse of ‘my child’ before he was whisked away to another room. I remember thinking he looked like T. He had huge shoulders too like T. And the hair! 

I can recall that not one nurse said a word. They made me feel at ease, no disgusted looks, no judgmental eyes. In my mind, the next couple days before I went home were just as though I was ill and taking it easy for a few days. In my mind, I had not just given birth.
I will remember forever sitting in the sitz-bath (a shallow seat filled with a whirlpool of water, used to aid swelling and stitches from birth) there were curtains on all sides of me and I was speaking to a girl on the other side of the curtain. She was younger than I was, only thirteen and had given birth to a ten pound baby.  She was keeping hers.It is funny what you remember in a situation like that. I remember thinking she was crazy, and that she must think the same of me.

I wonder about her from time to time.

The next day, the social worker came to my room. She had a birth certificate and wondered if I wanted to sign it. T was there too. We wept as we signed our names to that certificate. Don’t get me wrong, even though I knew this was the right decision, and even though I had suppressed as many feelings as I could deep inside, this hurt damn it. And I cried often.

(to be cont.)


  1. wow..I have few words! What an amazing decision..and what a hard thing to go through!!!looking forward to the rest...

  2. Thank you Debbie. Much more to this story thanks for reading


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