The stereotypical birthmother is often thought of as young, single, poor, promiscuous, uneducated, highly emotional, weak, and even desperate. However, just as with all stereotypes, not every birthmother fits this description. When I was sixteen, I lost my virginity and got pregnant all in the same night. Yes, you read that correctly—you can get pregnant the first time! Although I was young and single, I was not uneducated. I was a sophomore in high school taking all AP and honors classes and I didn’t let being pregnant keep me from my studies, even though at the end of pregnancy it was a bit difficult to fit in those tiny high school desks. As an individual I was pretty poor. At the time I only made minimum wage working at Tom Thumb Video. However, I am from a middle-class family and my parents have always been able to provide my brother and me with everything we have ever needed. I would not have described myself as weak or desperate; scared, yes. Instead I viewed myself as strong and selfless.
I prayed over my decision for months, but knew that adoption was the best choice for Kaylee. Although there will always be a feeling of loss, as I miss Kaylee very much, I have never regretted placing her with Cindy and Joey. The adoption agency I went through counseled me on numerous occasions and provided me with a comfortable and trusting environment in order to work through my options and come to the best decision. I never felt pressured by any of the staff, my family, or my friends to choose adoption. Instead I felt loved, cherished, and blessed to have such a wonderful support group, and I fully believed that the choice was mine to make. Cindy and Joey are two of the most amazing people I know. I could not have picked a better family to place Kaylee with, as they love and cherish her just as much as I do. We have always been on the same page about wanting Kaylee to know about me, but also wanting to let her decide when, and if, she wants to be a part of my life. Cindy and I have even talked recently about how we long for that day to come and that we know it will be a joyous day filled with tears and an overflowing amount of love. Although I have always been fearful that Kaylee may not want to meet me, I do know that she will absolutely know that I love her and have always loved her since the moment I found out I was pregnant.
My adoption experience is a fairy tale story. I know I was blessed every step of the way, and I will be grateful and humbled by that for the rest of my life. However, I also understand that there are horror stories out there of psychotic birthmothers coming back for their children, or adoptive parents abusing the child, or of people kidnapping children in order to place them for adoption and earn a quick buck. But, I tell my story so that others know there is hope and there are fairy tale stories that exist. I also tell my story to the sixteen year-old girl, or any other age for that matter, that finds herself pregnant and scared. To you, I urge you to seek counseling from a number of different sources and I urge you to contemplate all of your options. Do not make a quick and hasty decision, because I promise that no matter what you decide it will be a decision that you will have to live with for the rest of your life. It is not one that can be swept under the rug and never thought about again. For the attorneys or counselors out there, I ask that you please take the time to get to know your clients and that you do not judge them, but instead that you help them in making the best decision for all of the parties involved under the specific circumstances. This will most likely be the most difficult decision that the birthmother ever has to make in her life, and she needs all of the love and support she can get. Not all adoption stories end up being a fairy tale like mine, but everyone involved should at least strive to make it a happy ending.