Her Story

I have shared this story many times; every time the sharing is different. In the beginning, I shared the story because my heart was broken – I needed to be heard, to have my pain acknowledged, to hear support for a decision that made me feel as though I had been ripped into two. Now, even after sharing this story hundreds of times, I still pause. It is hard to open my heart again, to reflect on what were the most beautiful, but also the most difficult, moments of my life.

I was nineteen, tall with brown hair and brown eyes. I was studying to become a singer, struggling as all college students do with growing up…church, school, work…and a boy. It had been a little under a year since I had lost my virginity in a disappointing and deeply sad moment. On the outside, no one knew that every day since that night had been filled with constant regret, anguish, and despair. I had never intended to lose my virginity, to become a girl desperate for the attention of a confused, verbally abusive boyfriend. How confusing it is to be in a controlling relationship! Where I had once felt strong, I was now weak. Where I had once felt confident, I was now ashamed. Where I had once looked with joy into the future, I now faced each night in tears. I felt shattered and as though, no matter how hard I tried, I simply could not pick up the pieces.

I tried to leave. Over and over and over again, I tried to leave. But, isolated from friends, ashamed to be near my family, and afraid that if I shared my bruised heart with anyone it would become even more broken, I returned to him over and over and over again. I simply wasn’t strong enough to leave on my own.

I began to write in my diary, writing out prayers for deliverance, for a chance to try again. I prayed, “Lord, if you want me, you are going to have bring me back. I cannot do it by myself. Do anything, ANYTHING to bring me back!” It was a prayer of desperation, the most dangerous one I have ever prayed. To this day I look at the words in my little diary in awe, for in there I see how the prayers of a girl who could not longer believe in herself turned to God for answers…and found them!

Very shortly after this prayer, I found myself in kneeling in church. In the Catholic Mass, there is a beautiful moment when the priest lifts up the Eucharist, the moment when the bread is consecrated as the Body of our Lord. On that day, I gazed upon that little, white host and heard the words, “This is my body, broken for you.” And, quite suddenly, I felt nauseous…and dizzy… and the world started spinning…

Only a few short hours later, my shaking hands held a positive pregnancy test.

My singing career was gone. My family was devastated. My boyfriend started shattering before my eyes, falling apart under this new, added pressure. My once flawless reputation was destroyed. And yet, in the middle of some of the worst pain of my life, was the most joy. I LOVED my baby! From the moment I knew of her, I loved her. She was beautiful. She was perfect. She was the answer to my prayer…

The strength of a mother goes beyond the strength of a lonely, hopeless girl. I couldn’t make good decisions for myself but, by golly, I was going to make good decisions for my baby girl! My grandparents opened up their home and, at 24 weeks, I moved out to be with them. Shortly afterward, I applied and was accepted with scholarships to a nearby school and swiftly started the fall semester.

I stumbled around those first few weeks, struggling with major decisions and still reeling from the blows that had already been dealt. Yet, this was also a time of great discovery for me. Whereas before, when I had had little trials, I had felt bitter and miserable, now I felt a profound sense of peace. My life was still in pieces around me but, for some reason, I felt an inner peace that was able to sustain me through the toughest of times. And, of course, these tough times focused mainly on what I was going to do with my beautiful, beautiful baby. She meant the world to me; I loved being with her, touching her, carrying her, talking to her, and loving her with everything that I could possibly give. In the end, it was God who ultimately guided me to a decision.

I had asked God to show me where to go and what to do. Yet, even in this asking, I firmly believed that God helps those who help themselves. God could have given me some great sign from heaven telling me what to do; I preferred to think that if He gave me a sign it would be when I was actively searching for one. I determined that if I could find a good family for my beautiful little girl, my little Annie, it would be God will. And He found me a family; a beautiful, wonderful family that could take care of her as I never could. I struggled with every aspect of this decision, but the constant reassurances, the little things that would happen to show me that everything was all right, strengthened me in my decision. Thus, on Dec. 22nd, 2006, eleven days after giving birth to the most beautiful baby in the world, I watched as she was taken out of my arms and placed in the arms of her adoptive mother.

That initial pain, the knowledge that she was gone….. MY BABY GONE!!! I was faced with emptiness, with the knowledge that I could not be her mother, the empty, pitiless fact that I could not be with her every day, watch her grow, or simply be there to love her. It struck me down. If my family had not been there at that moment to literally hold me up, I would have collapsed to the ground in pain. Pain roared into me and left me voiceless, shaking with this terrible, horrible sense of loss and emptiness that cannot be described.

And then something – Someone – lifted me out of my despair. A sense of peace flooded my soul. I started becoming aware of the people around me, sobbing as they held me and supported me in my pain. I felt GOD touch me and give me the knowledge, an absolute knowledge, that this had been His will and that I had done right. My little Annie was safe and would grow in a family that would love her and take care of her. I had done the best I possibly could, and it was ok to rest now.

I believe, with all my heart, that in giving my baby life I found and discovered my own. Those precious, beautiful nine months were so painful, yet I would not take them back for the world. As I write this, my little girl’s fifth birthday is in only a few weeks. So much as happened in these five years. There has been so much joy, so much love, so much growing, and, yes, so much pain. But that deep sense of peace, that RIGHTNESS about my decision has never left me. This birthday, as with all of her birthdays, I will spend the day trying to write her a letter. Sometimes the words pour onto the page. Others, I simply stare at the blank sheet with a full heart, but an equally blank mind.

I want to fill those letters with words of love. I want to fill those letters with wisdom, insight into the little troubles of her life. I want to share with her about my life, to let her know that I am all right. I want her to know that my life is good and beautiful; that, through my beautiful Jesus, I have discovered sweet, perfect healing which I would have never dreamed was possible after the hurt of letting her go. I want those letters to be like arms, to wrap bands of love around her little heart so that she knows she is very precious, very beautiful, and so very, very LOVED. The time is swiftly approaching when I am to write another letter. Perhaps, this time, I shall write a thank you.


Thank you,baby girl. You saved my life. I love you.

Love, your mother… Natalie


What You Make of It

At the end of my son’s placement with his adoptive family, we laughed and hugged as we parted ways. The tears had dried and were replaced with hope and joy for the bright future ahead. I knew I would be able to look back on this day as a perfectly happy experience.

The same could not be said for the experience I had about eight months before my son’s placement. As I looked at the positive test in my hand, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I knew better. I was a twenty-seven year old pre-medical student, and I knew how babies were made. Oh man.


My boyfriend was there when I found out I was pregnant.  He was the last person I wanted to deal with at that moment.  I was supposed to leave for Thailand in the morning for a month-long volunteer trip.  I was supposed to have a month away from him.  Now I had to consider my options, including marriage.   Abortion was not an option for me, and I strongly believe children do best with both a mother and a father in the home.  So I said I would think about it in Thailand and we would talk when I got back.

The morning sickness was so bad that I had to come back from Thailand after only a week.  As I spent time talking with my boyfriend, it became more and more clear to me that he was not a man I wanted to marry or raise a child with.  I went home to see my family over Christmas, and with their support I began to piece together a plan.  By the end of the holidays, I knew that adoption would be best for both my child and me.

My boyfriend was very ignorant about adoption – when I told him my thoughts and desires, he said that abortion would be better than placing our child in an adoptive family.  I tried to talk to him and share my personal experiences with friends from high school who had placed their children for adoption, but he didn’t want to listen. He was very angry with me and I couldn’t understand why he was so narrow-minded. We broke up, and he packed up his car and headed back home to the east coast within twenty-four hours.

Then, I waited.  I wanted to wait until I had health insurance before I went to the doctor for a prenatal check-up, and I wanted to wait until the risk of miscarriage was past before I started the adoption process.  I was very practical throughout my entire pregnancy. When I went to see a caseworker at an adoption agency, I already knew that I wanted to place my child for adoption and that I wanted an open adoption.  I think my case worker was a little surprised at my certainty.  It is good to know now that no adoption agency had any influence over my decision.

One of my top priorities in talking with my caseworker was to hammer out my legal rights and obligations as a birthmother in the adoption process.  For instance, I learned that it is the father’s sole responsibility to seek out information and establish paternity rights in the state of Oregon.  Up until then, I had assumed I was obligated to call my ex-boyfriend and give him updates on a fairly regular basis, and that he automatically had paternity rights and would need to give permission for the adoption to go through.  Once I told him that it was his responsibility to call, he got mad and never called again. I also learned that in OR there is no time frame after relinquishment in which to change your mind. (Adoption laws vary greatly in every state and I always encourage women considering adoption to know well the law in theirs).

Since I had chosen an open adoption plan, I got to choose what kind of family I wanted to place my child with.  I could choose everything from the most basic parameters, such as age and what religion they were, to very specific details, such as how many children they already had, specific hobbies and if they had any pets.  I decided that one of my priorities would be to find a family that had already adopted.  I knew that families who had been through the adoption process often had scars from bad experiences, but I wanted the assurance that at least one of us had been through this before.

I chose a family that had not only previously adopted a little boy, but also met all my other picky requirements.  We were able to spend a lot of time together during the remainder of my pregnancy, and we bonded over an ultrasound, regular picnics in the park, prenatal check-ups and a maternity photo shoot. Sadly, they had also been through a painful experience with a birthmother who had changed her mind two days after placement and decided to parent her baby.  They still had some reservations about trusting my decision completely, but I knew without a doubt that I wanted my childto be part of this wonderful family and encouraged them to be excited about the upcoming birth.

When the big day came, my baby’s adoptive parents arrived at the hospital four minutes after I did.  I wanted them to be present at the birth so that they could bond with their child as soon as possible, and so they would be able to tell him about the day he was born.  It was an awesome and magical experience, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

I gave birth to a perfect baby boy with a full head of hair and dark blue eyes. I gave him a sentimental family name on his birth certificate and they named him Oliver. His dad cut Oliver’s umbilical cord and together they both gave him his first bath.  His mom held him skin-to-skin to warm him up when his temperature started dropping while I was recovering after the delivery.  Their excitement and joy in these moments was my excitement and my joy. I treasure the memory of the awe and wonderment in their expressions and tears as they met, fed and cared for their brand new baby.

Then they left, and it was my turn.  For the rest of my stay at the hospital, it was just me and little Oliver. I loved him more than I thought was possible – I still do.  While holding him and gazing at him, I was more certain than ever that I wanted the very best life for my little boy, and I never wavered in my decision to place. My only want was for him to have everything, and more.

When placement came, I was as ready as humanly possible.  I had heard heart-wrenching horror stories from birthmothers who had wept inconsolably as they placed their babies with their new families, never wanting to let go and feeling empty and heart-broken afterward.  I didn’t want that – not for me, not for my baby, not for my baby’s family.  I had been preparing for placement day from the very beginning of the adoption process; after all, this moment was what it was all about.

I didn’t want to make Oliver’s new family feel outnumbered, so I just brought a few important people with me – my mom, my “second mom” who had been a family friend and mentor since I was a little girl, my caseworker and my birth coach.  My birth coach’s husband also came along to take pictures of this important day. The adoptive dad’s cousin came to help watch their two year old. Almost everyone had met each other before the placement, which helped to put everyone at ease.

My rule about the placement was that no one was allowed to cry – except me, because it was my placement.  I didn’t want to dwell on the sadness of parting, but to celebrate new life, new love, new beginnings and new adventures.  I planned some little sentiments to commemorate the moment – we toasted with sparkling apple cider and exchanged some small gifts.

After our little celebration was over, it was time to go.  I didn’t want to drag it out, but if I could have frozen time and held him there forever, I would have. I remember holding him and looking at him through my tears and walking through how I would pass him to his adoptive mother in my head. I placed him in the arms of his parents and said “see you later” instead of “goodbye”. Everyone did end up crying in the last moments, but by the time we exchanged hugs and left, everyone was smiling and laughing again.

The placement is often the hardest part for a birth mother, so I would encourage anyone who chooses adoption to find a way to make it mean something to you.  Another birth mom I knew had root beer floats at her placement.  Try to incorporate part of your personality into the placement, and think of it as a starting off point rather than an ending.

Today, I have no regrets.  My son is a happy little toddler now, and I’m a busy first year medical student.  I’m better off and he is better off.  It has been hard at times, but not as hard as people had told me – or as hard as single parenting would be.  Open adoption is a relationship, and any relationship takes a lot of work, but we have smoothed out the worst of the communication issues by this point, and I am perfectly confident that my son is very happy, very loved and very well cared for, as am I.  Adoption can be what you make of it.  Gather all the information possible, choose a family that you connect with and find some little ways to make the adoption process meaningful to you, and you can make it a very positive experience for everyone involved.

Grateful for an open Adoption

Grateful for an open Adoption

True love for your child is knowing what is best for them and giving it to them, no matter the sacrifice to you. I heard that somewhere – on TV, or in a book maybe. I didn’t ever think I could love someone that much – so much that I would do anything for them, sacrifice my pain for their happiness. Until I became pregnant.

It was a one-night stand, not something I am proud to admit. When I found out I was pregnant, I told the father, and he said he would be there for whatever I decided. I didn’t know what I wanted. I was living with my parents still, in a job I didn’t like, only 21 years old. I didn’t want to be a mother like this. I believe in a two-parent home, with stability – emotional stability and financial stability. I made an appointment for an abortion, but canceled a day or two prior, feeling that this was a living being inside me who deserved more than to be suctioned into a bio-hazard bag.

Shortly after that I decided on adoption.  It seemed natural to me.  I am very black-and-white in my thinking, and I believe that helped with my choice.  I made a list of why to parent, and why not to.  I started working with a local adoption agency about four months into my pregnancy, and by eight months I had a family picked out.

Throughout this process, the father showed his true colors.  He was not a man of his word, and he was simply selfish.  As of 2005 in Alberta, the birth father has equal rights to the child.  He basically vetoed his rights throughout the pregnancy by disappearing from his house, his job, etc.  But, when it came to the birth, and time to sign the consent, he did cause some drama because he was having second thoughts.  This twenty-four-hour tension reinforced how much I wanted my little girl to grow up with the family I had chosen for her.

It was difficult to be pregnant and working in retail.  Strangers would ask me questions, normal to them, but awkward to me.  “Do you have your nursery done?”  “Is the father excited?” “Do you have names picked out?”  My answers were one-word, and often lies.  Yes, I have the nursery done, when really I sometimes long to pick out baby items in the children’s store and dream of my child’s room.  Yes, the father is excited, when really the thought of him makes me sick.  No, I don’t have names picked out, because the one I have chosen for her may not be hers.  I felt bad for lying, but howcould I tell them something so delicate?  I might cry, they might be upset, and it would be inappropriate and awkward.

Finally, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl.  During my hospital stay I had my daughter stay in my room, as I wanted to care for her during the few days I was there.  I wanted to change her diaper and bottle-feed her and hold her while I could.  My family was worried this would sway my decision against adoption, but it only reinforced to me that I was making the right decision for both of us.  My sisters and parents spent time with us, saying hello to my child, and good-bye.  My parents actually spent the entire three days with me, as I was scared to be alone, not knowing how to parent.  When I visited my daughter’s new family to place my child with them, it felt natural.  It also felt as though a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

They did keep the name I had given her as her middle name, which is so important to me.  It is a part of her.  And I believe she will feel all the more love, knowing how special her name is, that it came from both her birth mom and her parents.

I did not expect the roller coaster of emotions to come.  I knew there would be grief, but I just had no idea.  The first few weeks were traumatic.  I would cry randomly, waking in the middle of the night even, to sob, while my father rubbed my back until I fell asleep.  The emotional pain felt so physical.  I literally felt empty.  Empty arms.  Empty belly.  Empty heart.  I wanted her back with me so bad.  My mother told me, “This is when you need to think with your head, not your heart, to really know what is best for the both of you.”   I did do counseling afterwards, with a psychiatrist and a therapist, which I would strongly recommend for anyone facing this challenge.  I needed help dealing with the grief in all its stages: jealousy, anger, sadness, etc.

Time did heal the wounds.  I could go out in public without having a panic-attack, go back to work, hang out with my friends, and basically move forward with my life.  I was able to go back to school, get a career, and I have recently moved out of my parent’s house.  I’m growing up, and growing into an adult life.  It is sometimes hard to see my sisters having children and being in a part of their lives, where I am not.  But playing with my nieces and nephews also shows me how thankful I am that I chose adoption.  That I am not ready for those responsibilities, I am not ready to be a parent.  Not then, and still not now.

I had chosen an open adoption, which I am so grateful for.  I had a few visits during the first year, and one on her second birthday.  I love seeing her.  Knowing she is in a safe, happy, loving home.  Knowing she is healthy.  I do talk on the phone every few months with her parents, and they send pictures.  Some people believe that an open adoption is confusing, and selfish, but I think not.   She will know who I am, that she was loved, and there will be no confusion.  Her parents are honest with her, as with her adopted brother, about where they came from and why.  There are no secrets.  She even has a photo album I gave her of pictures of my life, who I am.  I send them pictures to add to it every year. As time goes on we plan on one or two visits per year.  And still cards, pictures, and phone calls, every few months, and on special days.  When she is older, it will be what she wants, visits or not.

When colleagues or new friends ask, “Do you have kids?”  I say no.  Because in honesty, I had a child, but I do not have one.  As I get to know them, if they feel safe, I might tell them.  It is something so sacred and delicate to me, it is hard to share.  If I don’t get the response I want (I’m still not sure what that is) I am hurt and embarrassed. It is hard for a lot of people to understand.  People without knowledge, or experience, in the area often assume it doesn’t hurt, because it was my choice.  In the beginning of my loss, even I would question why I was upset about it.  Of course, I do feel that I will be honest with my future husband, and my children, as it is part of my life, and therefore part of theirs.

God Showed Me the Way

I started dating my boyfriend when I was fifteen years old. When I turned sixteen, I was pregnant. Some people say they didn”t know they were pregnant or they couldn”t tell, but I knew the moment it happened. I was terrified. I mean I was only sixteen, and what sixteen-year-old wouldn”t be scared? At first I kept telling myself I probably just had a stomach flu. I was too scared to take a pregnancy test so I never did. I told my boyfriend as soon as I figured I was. He was scared too.

My whole life I always said that if I ever became pregnant it was my own fault and I would not get an abortion. The truth is, the moment I knew that I was pregnant, abortion was the first thing to pop in my head. I was just so scared.  I talked to my boyfriend about it and he told me that I shouldn”t do it and reminded me of my convictions.

I prayed and cried almost every day.  I was miserable and scared. I had morning sickness for three months. I secretly hoped that if God did not want me to have this baby, I would have a miscarriage.  One month went by, then two, then four, and I was still pregnant. I was small the whole time, but by the fifth month I could feel the baby moving inside me. It was so weird, and it finally became real to me.  I had another life inside of me and was living for another person.

I knew that I could never keep him, though. I loved my baby so much already, and I knew I needed to give him the best life I could. I knew a sixteen-year-old “child” could never raise a baby the way it needed to be raised. My boyfriend really wanted to keep our baby, but I talked to him and he realized he couldn”t raise a baby any more than I could.

Finally, six months rolled around and my mom finally noticed and asked me what was up. I broke down and told her. She was furious.  She yelled at me called me stupid and even went as far as to say “now you can”t even get an abortion.”  It crushed me. My dad came in and hugged me and told me he would support me in any decision I wanted to make. I told him adoption and he just said “Okay.”  My boyfriend”s family and my family all supported me, but I still didn”t want anyone else to know, so for the remainder of my pregnancy I stayed home.

I found what I thought was the perfect family through a Christian adoption center, but two weeks before my due date they informed me that the family didn”t want to adopt anymore. I was devastated. I didn”t like any of the other families and I didn”t know what to do. I prayed and prayed that God would show me the way and let His will be done.  Then, when a social worker showed me the profile of another family, I knew deep down that was the right family for my baby.

Two days before my due date I gave birth to a 6lb 11oz 21in baby boy.  I instantly fell in love with him.  I always knew he was a boy, and I loved him before I met him. I couldn”t hand him over to his new parents, so I left the hospital empty handed and let my mom give him to them. The new parents urged me to have an open adoption because they loved me, too, and wanted me to be a part of his life. I agreed. I signed the papers and the next day we hung out all day. It made me happy to see this family love my baby as much as I do. I knew he belonged to them.

Now his family and I have a great relationship. I still see them and they send me lots of pictures. I love their three daughters and get along with them really well. I know this was a win, win, win situation: I live a good life, my baby has two parents to love him and support him, and his family got the baby they wanted so badly. My boyfriend and I are still together, going on three years, and every day I thank God for the blessinghe has given us and the new family we have gained. I believe that our baby was the best mistake I ever made, and his adoption was the best decision I ever made.


A Family for My Daughter

I was eighteen, a newly single mom.  I had no job, no home of my own, and I was pregnant for the second time.  A second child was nowhere in my plans. I was struggling to take care of my first – how could I also care for another child?  We moved into an apartment with a roommate early on in my pregnancy. I had no idea what I was going to do.

I told my mom I was pregnant, and we talked about my choices. I told her abortion had briefly crossed my mind, but I couldn”t do that.  She agreed.  Then my mom mentioned that our long time family friends wanted to adopt a baby.  They had two sons, and they very much wanted a daughter.  We had known the family since I was about two. We had stayed in contact sporadically through the years, but it had been some time since we last talked to them.  Even though I very much wanted to ask them to adopt my baby, I felt weird about calling them up out of the blue with such a huge proposal. From that time on, though, it was my heart”s desire that they would somehow adopt my baby.

I didn’t know much about adoption at that point. A girl in my high school who was pregnant at the same time I was pregnant with my first child had shared with me that she and her boyfriend were going to release their baby through an adoption.  I opened a phone book and made some calls.  I ended up choosing an agency that promoted open adoptions.  Through the summer, I met several times with a gal from the agency. She explained the process so I would know just how everything would happen.

Toward the end of summer, it was time to start the selection process.  I received three large binders filled with pictures of each prospective adopted family along with one-page autobiographies they had written about themselves.  From these hundreds of short autobiographies, I was to choose three families.  A first, second and third choice.  I would meet one family at a time, then choose my child”s family.  The task was overwhelming. I had just a couple weeks to pour over them, and really I kept thinking of our family friends…

I did finally make a choice, but the night before I was to meet with the gal from the adoption agency I flipped through the pages of those notebooks one last time.  I still wasn”t sure about the families: they looked nice, they all had the values I was looking for, and, yeah, out of all the families I had to choose from, they were it.  I closed the books. It was getting late.

I was surprised when my mom called just a short time after I had made peace with my choices.  She told me she had just come home from dinner with the family that had been on my heart for so many months.  She told me that she and my dad had shared with the family that I was planning to release my child for adoption.  Our friends went home to talk about it, then called my parents to tell them that, if I would let them, they would like to adopt my baby.  Tears streamed down my face as my mom spoke.  For me that moment was a miracle.  They didn’t know tomorrow was the big meeting day, the day I was to choose my baby”s family.  They didn’t know that God had just answered my prayer.

So, my baby had a family.  We spent the next few months working out the details and getting to know each other in these new roles we would play in each others’ lives. There would be an agreement about what kind of contact we would expect from one another.  I had to decide how open I wanted to be.  They had to decide how open they wanted to be.

I knew the family really wanted a daughter.  One day before we knew if I was having a boy or a girl, I asked Della (the mother) if she would still want to adopt my baby if I was having a boy.  I was worried.  Della answered that she wanted to adopt my child nomatter what.  I was relieved, but I so wanted my baby to be a daughter for them.

On Christmas Eve, I was in Florence celebrating with family.  We were up late that night preparing the house for Christmas morning.  Just at midnight, I had a contraction. Ten minutes later, I had another contraction. Ten minutes later, another. We quickly got on the road to make the 60 mile trip back to Eugene.  The trip was slow going, but we made it in time to get to the hospital.  My baby’s family was at the hospital, and Della was in the room with my mom and me when our daughter was born at 7:30 Christmas morning.

After meeting their new daughter, the family left me alone with the baby.  We were together until the next day.  Then it was time to sign papers.  I was surprised to read that there was a six month trial period before the adoption was final.  I didn’t remember talking about that.  That was a scary moment, but the adoption agent reassured me that it was very unlikely that there would be any problems.  I signed the papers believing that all would work out and my daughter would grow up in a loving home.

After signing the papers, we all went out to the parking lot together.  My mom and I got into the car together.  My baby’s family stood together with their new daughter as we drove away.  That was a hard moment – I still cry when I think about it.  I knew it was the right choice, but it hurt deeply.  Joy and pain twisted together in my gut until I could hardly breathe.

I was able to visit my daughter for the first time in her new home a few days later.  That visit was a blessing, as all our visits have been.  My heart is filled with joy each time I think of my daughter and her life.

A Very Good Choice

I can still remember the look on Karla”s face at this moment!  Not a lot of adoptive mothers get to watch their baby be born.  It was such a wonderful feeling.  It felt really good to do something so wonderful for them.  I gave them the best gift anyone could ever give: The gift of life!  That night Emily and I spent the night in the hospital together.  I told her that I was going to be giving her to very special people that would give her a better life than I could have given her.  It was a very hard night but we made it.  The next morning I handed her to her mother and father and I could see that they were so happy and so full of love.  I knew at that moment I had made a very good choice.

My name is Kathryn, I was 21 and I had a 3 year old little boy.  I had gotten pregnant and the dad didn’t want the baby.  I knew that I couldn’t take care of another baby all by myself.  One was hard enough at that time.  I wanted to keep this baby so bad! But that would have been selfish and unfair to all of us.  So I had been thinking about adoption but I kept putting it off.  I really didn’t want to have this baby and then give it up for adoption and never see it again, so about 3 weeks before I was due my sister told me about her friends who had been wanting a baby for so long.  So I agreed to meet them.  I met Karla first and really loved her!  She was the sweetest person ever, and was so excited that I was gonna give her my baby.  She told me that they would keep in touch with me as the baby grew up and that the baby would know who I was.  This was really what sold me on them being her parents.  I would get to see my little girl grow up and to make sure she was as happy as could be.

I spent the next 2-3 weeks living with them.  We were getting so excited to have this baby! Well, that day finally came on May 31, 2003.  I had told Karla that she could watch the birth, and I think this was a GREAT choice.  Not a lot of adoptive mothers get to watch their baby be born.  I can still remember the look on Karla”s face at this moment!  It was such a wonderful feeling.  It felt really good to do something so wonderful for them.  I gave them the best gift anyone could ever give: The gift of life!  They named her Emily Anne.  She was such a precious little girl.  That night Emily and I spent the night in the hospital together.  I told her that I was going to be giving her to very special people that would give her a better life than I could have given her.  It was a very hard night but we made it.  The next morning I handed her to her mother and father and I could see that they were so happy and so full of love.  I knew at that moment I had made a very good choice.

The first year of her life was very hard for me.  I felt weird about calling to see if I could see Emily, but that soon passed.  I saw Emily when she was just a bit over 1, but then I moved to Illinois to get a better life for me and my son (who knows about his little sister).  We have been doing very well here.  I am married now and have 2 more boys.  We all went last year in August to see Emily.  She was introduced to her brothers, but bless her heart she wasn’t quite able to understand yet.  She is going to be 5 years old in May, and I am proud to say that she has grown into a wonderful young lady.  She is such a great kid!  Karla and I talk almost everyday. We have a very wonderful relationship!  My parents even get to see Emily from time to time, and I am glad of that.  Karla and Russell are such wonderful people.  Their hearts are so big!  I am so glad that they are taking such great care of our little girl.  I really don”t think I could have picked a better family for her, and it”s nice knowing that Emily knows I am her birth mother.  I couldn’t be more happy with how things worked out and for the life I chose for my little girl.