Birth Mother Series: Angel’s Story
Over the years, we have worked with hundreds of birth mothers. Each have their own story and experiences that led to them making an adoption plan. Many have felt isolated and alone not knowing anyone else who has placed a child for adoption. Unfortunately, many birth parents have felt pushed to keep their adoptions secret because of the idea that it is disgraceful or selfish. As adoption professionals, we know that the choice to place a child for adoption is not shameful. Birth parents show incredible strength and love for their child when making an adoption plan.
Still the fact remains that so many birth parents feel alone in this process. To help build community and connection, we are sharing the experiences of real birth parents and their feelings about adoption. This is Angel’s story.
I knew that being a single mother was not easy. I had two kids from my marriage and was in the process of a divorce. One day I was persuaded to go to the doctor. I asked for a pregnancy test to prove that my greatest fear. When the nurse came out and asked if I had a medical card, I knew it was true…I was pregnant.
My world came tumbling down; my “husband” was not the father of this baby, and the father was not in my life any longer. I was heartbroken! I was struggling as the sole caretaker of my family, and I was scared of bringing another child into this world. In my culture, having a baby outside of marriage is viewed very negatively. Afraid that I was going to be disowned by my family, I kept my pregnancy a secret, and I went through the remainder of my pregnancy with only a couple friends knowing about it.
While browsing on the internet one day, I tried to figure out a budget for my growing family. With two young children already, I was concerned about where the extra money would come from. I started looking for other options. For me, abortion was completely out of the question. So, I looked at adoption laws in Indiana. I came across a link for an adoption agency: www.CenterForFamily.com. I read about their mission, a description of their services for expectant mothers , and the different profiles of families waiting to adopt.
The first family that I read about was Max and Beth. I read their profile and was impressed by it, but continued to read about other families, too. Then I went back to Max and Beth’s profile, and read it again. I quickly realized that this is what I wanted for my baby: a couple with a great relationship who were unable to have children themselves. Also, I wanted a couple that was going to make my child their number one priority. Although I was hesitant, I finally contacted the agency and met with a counselor. Then I wrote a letter to Max and Beth explaining my situation. When I received their response, I realized that I had chosen the right family for my baby.
I finally met Beth and Max, accompanied by my adoption counselor. I was a nervous wreck, but everything went smoothly. I kept in contact with the adoptive parents but kept my pregnancy a secret from my family. I had an ultrasound around January and found out I was having a girl. Beth and Max were elated when I told them. They told me the name they had picked out, and I fell in love with the name, with them, and the baby growing inside of me. They shared with me that they wanted baby Ellen to have a middle name, but were undecided; so I suggested Carmen. To my surprise they liked the name, so little Ellen Carmen joined the world in March 2014. She was beautiful on the day she was born and she is even more beautiful now.
Max and Beth still keep in touch with me. They share pictures, write letters and we even schedule occasional visits. I have grown so much with this experience. I am very grateful that I found this agency and this wonderful adoptive family for my daughter.
Nobody in my family knows about the adoption. I don’t know how they will react when they do find out, but it doesn’t matter because I am a better person for having gone through this experience. I am so grateful to Beth and Max for allowing me to continue to be a part of their lives. Being involved in an open adoption has given me a great deal of happiness and comfort.
Placing my baby for adoption was the most difficult decision I’ve ever faced. I know what it means to experience an unplanned pregnancy. When I hear other women saying that they don’t know what to do because they are expecting and can’t afford their baby, I tell them about adoption and my personal experience. I offer to help as much as I can and I refer them to Adoption Center for Family Building for counseling. I am proud to say that I could not have made a better decision for myself and my daughter.