I have an almost four-year-old daughter. In the year leading up to her birth, my life took a dark turn. I had just started a new job, which I loved. It was the first big girl job I had secured in my adult life and I finally felt like I was making some progress in my career. At the time I was a single mom to a two-year-old and struggled really hard, therefore, I needed that job. I made friends, worked hard, and loved every minute of it.
Two months into my job, I met Matt. He was quiet but kind. Our interactions quickly became friendly and after some time, romantic. This was the first time anyone had shown me that type of attention in years and I was so happy for it. If only I had known then, how quickly things would change.
One morning, Matt left for work and I was feeling super awful. I was tired and more nauseous than I had ever been. I stood, panicked, in his living room. “What if I’m pregnant?” Sure enough, I was looking at a positive pregnancy test a few minutes later. It was late morning and I was beside myself with grief, anxiety, and fear. So many questions ran through my mind- "how was I going to be able to give this child the life it deserves? What would Matt think? What would he say?" When Matt came home that day, I gestured to the test on the counter. I buried my face in my hands and broke down in an uncontrollable fit of tears. I heard him take a few steps toward me and he sat down on the couch right next to me. His mind was somewhere else. “It’s going to be alright. We will figure this out.”
Over the next two weeks, we didn’t talk about it much and we shared many evenings in silence. We grew distant. Finally, I got a text from Matt asking me to come over so we could talk. When I arrived, I knew instantly that something was wrong. I didn’t know what he was about to say but I knew it was not going to be good. He wanted me to get an abortion. I had made myself a promise that I would never resort to that. The mere thought of it made me want to vomit. I told him no. When he heard that, it was like something snapped in him. The next several hours were some of the most terrifying hours of my life. The abuse lasted for what felt like days. The next morning, when I was finally able to leave, I drove directly to the closest Emergency Department. After I spoke with the police, the doctor ordered an ultrasound. I held my breath as the technician moved the probe around on my stomach. “The baby is okay. It’s doing just fine.” Thank God. That was all that mattered.
In the following months, I would be making the most difficult decisions of my life. I needed to decide what was best for this child, while also taking into consideration my son and myself. I can’t tell you exactly what day I came to the decision of adoption because, honestly, I had been thinking about it all along. I knew if this child was going to have its best chance at life, it would not be at home with me. I met with a local adoption agency and waited. I received a message from a family of a friend, along with a picture, and that is when I knew. The family had other children of their own which, to me, was super important, as I grew up with two sisters and a big family. Their values and their lifestyle was ideal. It was everything I wished I had to give her.
A few weeks later, they made the drive to North Carolina so that we could meet. It’s so hard to explain, but I just knew they were the ones. As my pregnancy progressed, we bonded over this baby I was carrying. Looking back, I am so glad that we did. Shortly before I was due, they had just completed their home study and were ready to go! I ended up going into labor at 38 weeks, and my baby girl was born at 8:42 am on July 24th, 2015. She was perfect and I was so in love with her. We spent two days in the hospital together and those two nights, I will cherish forever. I wanted those 48 hours. I wanted 48 hours of hugs, kisses, diaper changes, crying, no sleep, and prayers.
The adoptive parents came and visited and it was the most surreal thing. Seeing the way they looked at her made it so certain. This was how it was supposed to be. The morning of July 26th, 2015 was a hard one. What they don’t tell you about adoption is, if the weight of the decision itself doesn’t make you change your mind, the paperwork might. There’s something about signing a piece of paper stating you have no legal rights to your child, and that you’re okay with that; it’s heavy. It came with lots of tears and heartache. The reality of what was going to happen was setting in. I held my baby, while also putting my signature on the line, agreeing to give her to someone else. As I worked my way through and signed on those lines, I reminded myself of my choice and the hundred reasons why I had made it.
She. Deserved. More.
It has been four years now and we have a wonderful and extremely open adoption relationship. We talk and send photos all the time, and we visit each other as much as life allows. My daughter is loved and cherished by not only their family but ours as well and will grow up surrounded by this love. Today, I’m a stay at home mom to three beautiful boys and a wife to an incredible man and I couldn’t be happier. My boys are my world and while motherhood is one of the most challenging journeys I’ve had the pleasure of taking, it has transformed me as a woman and as a person.
My Tiny Tags skinny bar necklace has my three boys' names on it and my circle tag has my daughter’s name on it. It’s so precious that I’m able to carry my boy’s names and her name, everywhere with me. Being able to wear a reminder of her every day, brings me so much joy.