An Adoption Story 25 years later

ImageThis beautiful little boy was once mine to keep, however I  allowed doubt, fear and other people’s influence to cloud my judgement. I felt scared and unworthy to be his mother, so I made the worst decision of my life and I asked “friends” of mine to adopt him and raise him as their own.

In the moment, I found myself caught up in the rhetoric that I was making the difficult but brave choice for my son. As his birth mother I was being selfless and giving a family a precious gift and I used that to justify my decision. I was told I was doing good, I made the right choice and gave him life. some days those sentiments echoed in my head and were enough to get me through the day..other days I found myself lost, aching for my child and so very alone.

Alone, lonely, and isolated are the words I can use to best describe how my life has often felt during the past 25 years. I have kept my secret for 25 years, always holding my breath, hoping no one would find out and judge me. Truth is the person who judges me the harshest is me. Twenty five years have passed and I still am unable to forgive myself for being young, for having sex before I married, for getting caught and getting pregnant..for being alone. I was the very smart and very good girl who was not allowed to make these mistakes…I had a bright future ahead of me, I was salutatorian of my high school class, I worked hard to pay my own tuition at a private school, I was going to college with loads of scholarship money. One night changed everything…my friends were having a party after the prom on Cape Cod…I went ..I drank vodka for the first time…I lost my virginity…I got pregnant.

I had a decision to make, I thought about abortion, but my very strong Catholic faith is part of who I am and I could not abort a child who did not ask to be conceived. I went deep into denial but managed to take good care of myself and my unborn baby, always went to the doctor, never drank or partied, went to class and kept a low profile. Adoption seemed like the best answer to insure both myself and the baby would ok, but no one tells you what you will feel after the baby is born and that was where I found myself.

My son, whom I named Kevin Padraig was born March 9, 1988 at 5:47 AM after a rather short labor and intense and difficult birth. Kevin weighed 8 lbs, 9.5 ounces and had  the fullest head of blonde hair I ever saw on a newborn.  I did not want to get attached to him after he was born, but the moment they placed him in my arms I looked into that gorgeous little face and I fell head over heels in love. The first words I said to him were “I love you beautiful boy” and the last words I ever said to him were “I am sorry” he was 8 at the time.  The road to hell is most definitely paved with good intentions and my intentions that morning were filled with pure love. That moment was the first and only time I was able to fall head over heels in love instantaneously with another human being. SInce then, I have become more protective of my feelings and have always been terrified of losing my other children. That is the funny thing about being a birth mother, we carry our lost children with us always and our experiences are part of our story forever.

I was born an illegitimate child to a woman not very capable of taking care of herself and really had no business taking care of me and I was terrified with the very act of giving birth at the age of 18 years and 11 months fate would turn me into my mother. There were no people in my life I trusted enough or believed in enough to tell me everything would eventually work itself out and be OK. I looked into the eyes of my child and felt totally unprepared and unworthy to accept the responsibility of being his mother. I planned to allow him to be adopted right form the hospital, but the more time I spent with him, the less I was inclined to let Kevin go. I was his mother, he was my son and we bonded in our time in the hospital. I knew I was about to become another statistic as a teen mother who was unwed and unemployed and I did not care..well I did care but in the moment I simply found myself in love with my bundle of joy.

Things changed drastically when reality struck…I was living with my aunt in an over crowded small apartment with eviction looming over my head constantly, I was depending on welfare to provide for my child and a “friend” stepped in with an offer that seemed too good to pass up. That was when the old monsters Fear and Self Doubt entered my soul and I felt like I was not good enough to raise Kevin and our story changed forever.

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