Friday, April 25, 2008

I am a Birthmother, first mother, or natural mother...

I am a Birth mother, first mother, or natural mother. Whatever word you use, I am a woman that has place a child for adoption; actually two of my children were placed for adoption. Here is my story. I was a virgin until I was 21, when I decided that I would give my greatest gift to my dearest friend. That's right we were friends at the time. A year later I was pregnant. I knew that very moment that I was pregnant. I was very careful; I was on birth control, spermicide and condoms -- well most of the time. One night shortly after the moment I realized I was pregnant and taking a pregnancy test to verify it, I had a dream. In the dream I thought the youth pastor of my church and his wife were looking into adoption and they would want to adopt my child. After waking in the morning I dismissed the idea thinking "you know they work with the youth group they don't want to have little kids." I went upstairs to eat breakfast; it was almost noon by this time. After breakfast I went to get the mail where there was a newsletter from my church, (that I don't normally read) by this time there was no other mail for me so I opened the church newsletter to find a half page article on the Youth Pastor and his wife. I thought that was interesting so I began to read it. The article talked about them individually and then as a couple and then it read "Dave and Vicki have started the adoption process and are looking forward to adopting children" so that sealed the deal for me. I knew God had put them in my dream and had put the newsletter in my hand for this moment.

I had to tell the birth father, we'll call him Mike, that I wanted to place this child with Dave and Vicki. Dave was also his youth pastor as well. Mike wanted to be the one to ask Dave. So they went out for ice cream together (they were good friends) one evening and Mike asked Dave if he would parent our child. He agreed excitedly, but then stopped a moment to say, "I have to talk it over with Vicki," while trying to restrain his excitement.

Shortly after that the four of us met together. Dave and Vicki had already been working with an organization called New Life Family Services, so we decided we would just go there. I had done fund raisers as a young girl for this organization, so I knew about them. I began meeting with a social worker, just to validate my decision, that it was my own decision and that it really was what was best for me and for the child. The organization was willing to help me either way, whatever decision I would have made, if I would have decided to parent they would have helped me find a way, but I was set on placing this child for adoption, I mean could God have made it any more clear that I was just the means by which to get Dave and Vicki this child to raise. Throughout my pregnancy the child rarely moved, I know this was a blessing from God so that I did not bond with him as much as other mothers do. The day came much faster than I thought it would. Giving birth was terrible, he would not come out, the doctors had to do so much, it took 11 hours. Finally the last push came and he was out. They had to take him right away to help him breath. Then I held him. Beautiful Terrell Michael, nine pounds eleven ounces. He could barely cry because of the traumatic delivery. I did not really know what to do. Mike was there so we just tried to figure it out. My best friend and cousin, Laura was by my side through it all, supporting me, when I changed my mind back and forth, and physically exhausted her as she helped me through the delivery. Laua was there to help me when I did not know what to do for this brand new child. My family came in the room to meet Terrell, and to hold him. Then I called Dave and Vicki. They came to the hospital to meet him as well. I stayed at the hospital for 3 days with Terrell and Mike came to be with me. On the third day Dave and Vicki came back, as well as my family, my parents and my brothers and my sister-in-law, and the head pastor of our church. I went to take a shower before the placement ceremony. This is when it hit me. I am placing this child into the arms of another to raise him. To trust them to be better than I would have been and to show him who God is. Wow. It hit hard, I was crying uncontrollably, I had never cried like that before or since. I had to gasp for air. I finished showering and went back to my room where Mike was waiting for me. I walked in the room and Mike asked if I was ok, I nodded yeah, but I could not speak, the tears welled up again. I began to cry gently this time, but still I could not control it nor could I stop. Mike them told me that if it hurt me this much we could not place Terrell and we could parent instead. I said "we have to place him, God made him for Dave and Vicki to parent." I truly believed it then and I do now.

Mike comforted me; I got myself together and pack up to leave. I wanted to leave as soon as the ceremony ended. We all headed to the hospital chapel and there beautiful words were said, I don't remember any of it except the part where I held Terrell close until the moment Mike kissed him and we - together- placed him in the arms of Vicki and Dave, and hugged them both so tightly that it hurt. That was the moment Terrell Michael became Theodore (Theo) James.

Much of society believes the pain stops here, this is where the story ends. Let me tell you it does not stop nor did it end that day. I thought about Theo everyday. He was born December 4th and my birthday was December 24th. Not to mention Christmas coming soon. I don't remember much family get togethers that year. I think everyone just acted like nothing ever happened. I applied to go to a college in Arizona to get away from my life and friends here in Minnesota. By this time I was in love with Mike, but thought it was best for me to leave. We could both move on. Just two weeks before the next semester started I applied. My mom decided to drive down with me to Phoenix, to the college, I did not yet know if I was accepted, it was not until we got half way to Arizona that I called the school to find out that I was accepted and my financial aid went through. So we continued our drive to Arizona, class started in just two days. My first semester was wonderful, I lived on campus at this Conservative Baptist Christian College, pretty much in a protective bubble. I worked on my relationship with God and grew very close to him, yet there was this part of me that would not accept his Grace and forgiveness. It would ultimately take me six years to accept and receive God's grace and forgiveness. I made just a few great friends while I was there then I came home for the summer. Mike actually flew down to drive home with me. We did not get too far, when things started up between us again. I was hoping we would have lost interest in each other, during my semester in Arizona I prayed everyday that God would change my heart so that all my feelings for Mike would fade and be no longer, but we were still very interested in each other when I returned to Minnesota. Mike ended up going to Arizona and to my college in the fall. We played it off like we were just best friends, but by the end of the year I was pregnant again. Kaleb Walter was born 24 months and twenty four days after Theo in Scottsdale Arizona. Let me step back a little. I went home pregnant that summer. I became extremely depressed, I was hospitalized with dehydration because of morning sickness, then went home with my mom and lay in bed for three months, my legs did not hardly work the day I decided to get up. Why did I decide to get up, well my older brother stopped by the house and after talking for a while, he said "you are depressed and you need to get over it." He suggested changing my environment. I moved back to Arizona, not for school, but moved in with a friend. I was beginning to show so I had to move out soon, because I did not want to tell this friend that I was pregnant. I found a job, and an apartment. I just lived and worked until Kaleb was born. I did not want to place Kaleb for adoption but I thought he should be with his brother and my reasons for placing Theo had not changed so I just did it, with the support of Mike. By this time Mike and I had begun growing apart. I flew back to Minnesota with my little six day old baby. This delivery was easy. Just two pushes and he was out. My little six pound boy. On Kaleb's eighth day we had a Entrustment ceremony with my family, Mike, Dave and Vicki, this is where Kaleb Walter became Andrew (Drew) Douglas. It was nice. I watched them drive away, my heart broken, and peaceful.

Now Dave and Vicki have 7 and 5 year old boys that I love with all my heart. That they love with all of their hearts. I often wish that I could have been the boys mother, but I know God has made Vicki into an amazing mom, and Dave into the father that they need. Because of this I have Peace. I have peace no matter the pain. I know that I will have this pain covered in peace for the rest of my life. It is a pain that I am contented to wear. I get to play with the boys at least once a year which is one of my greatest joys in my life. Thank goodness there is a God that keeps his promises; to give peace that surpasses all understanding, this the promise he has kept for me.

Still my journey continues just 16 months after Drew was placed I was giving birth again to Mikayla Tarea a seven pound nine ounce baby girl. Mike and I had completely dissolved by the time I was giving birth into less than friends. This time I could not place the child, I thought I could and that I should, but it was days after her birth that I had to make a decision. Was I going to place her with Dave and Vicki too, as they would be honored to have her, or would I parent? I decided to parent. I did not feel God guiding this decision, was he just letting me decide this time, and he would make the best out of what ever decision I made? I don't know, and I won't know. But Mikayla is a blessing, she holds my heart and I don't think I could love anyone more. The boys and Mikayla will always be my most treasured relationships and I thank God for allowing all of this in my life. I am now growing daily in Him and have thirst to know him more and to love others on his behalf. Thanks for taking time to read my story and I would love to take time to hear yours. You can respond here or email me at or even just give me a call 763-232-0487. My name is Joy. If you are thinking about adoption I am willing to talk to you about that, and some options that you have in choosing to place or to parent. Blessings ~ Joy


Nikki said...

thank you so much for sharing this. It was hard to read because of the painful things you had to go through. I pray that you are blessed and that your children will always know how much you love them. God is so very able to comfort the broken hearted. I pray that He will bless you with understanding of that today.

Francesca said...

My heart beat went every step of the way as I read your story. Its amazing how God has given you the strenght to go through life. I am amazed but not suprised, because life with God is everything, but life without God is nothing. I share your joy.
You are blessed and highly favoured to be a child of God. Bless you heart.
Love Francesca