I can see clearly now …

My “come to Jesus” moment regarding why adoption is a part of my life came to light about 3 weeks ago in a funeral home of all places. Ironic…or fate? Ironic maybe because many mothers of adoption loss liken their experience with adoption to a living death..a sentiment I agree with.  Was it fate? I like to think so because in short amount of time the reasons, the whys and the hows came flooding back as if the Hoover Dam burst right then and there and drowned me alive.

Let me back up this up a little and explain so maybe it makes sense to you and quite possibly to me as well.  A death occurred in my extended family, I happened to find out about it via a post on social media ..I guess that is the new etiquette rule ..it is not official unless someone posts something on Facebook. Going against my better judgement I attended the wake knowing full well that being around my family is akin to walking into a forest of hungry bears and wolves wearing nothing more that a raw meat dress. However I am always a believer that family is family no matter what and a small act of kindness at your lowest point is always appreciated..I would hope that some day the gesture if and when required is reciprocated but I honestly doubt that would happen. The moral of the story is that I went to show support and I walked away asking myself….WHY?   I have been in therapy for 15 years ..my therapist has told me I owe my family absolutely nothing and yet I feel that tether and the obligation to pay respects no matter what (again WHY WHY WHY)

You might be thinking what does attending a wake have to do with my journey into adoption..allow me to set the scene. I walked into the funeral home along with my daughter, whom I bribed to go with me by promising dinner out afterwards at her favorite burger joint . I found myself armed with a false security that my family tends to behave when she is with me and hence the reason I stopped so low to beg her to come along. Up until now I was able to shield my children from the reality of what my family is like by keeping them far far away and only exposing them during happier times or in short spurts. This tactic seemed to work and also allowed me to remain kind when I spoke about my aunts and cousins…however the time arrived and my poor girl was sucked down the rabbit hole while trying to pay her respects for one lost.

Sitting front and center and holding court was my 87 year old Aunt. Most 87 year olds have mellowed out and can be cute and funny..not my aunt, she is just as miserable at 87 as she was at 57..although when she was 57 I did not see it quite that way. i walked over to where my aunt was perched on her chair, said hello and attempted to make enough small talk to keep the conversation light and drama free. We talked about how good she looks..she really really does, 87 with barely a wrinkle on her face..a phenomenon I swear  I attribute to the fact that my aunt feasts on the souls of the children born into our family that she sucks out and keeps in a jar somewhere in her house. She told me she may be 87, but she feels like she is 20..the bitch is going to outlive me I swear.

In our brief conversation, we talked about how both her son who is my maternal first cousin and I have done the Ancestry.com DNA tests. A very safe topic I was thrilled to talk about..however… my aunt explained that DNA was not correct..that her mother/my grandmother was actually almost full blooded native American,born in Arizona and moved to Canada (ah no..I found the grandmother’s birth certificate and she was english and Irish with some French and M’KqMaq born in New Brunswick and raised in Nova Scotia) told me some false information about my father that I was like well ok I actually found the real information out..and then says to me..what happened to you? I saw you 2 years ago at M’s funeral and you looked great, you lost a ton of weight..it looks like you gained it all back because you got fat again. If looks could have killed when I explained that a) 2 years ago I was very very sick (pericarditis and pleurisy as a result of Lupus) and b) why yes I have gained back some weight, however I am only up 2 sizes and I have been on prednisone for quite some time..she says maybe you should get sick again it was better for your waist line. Now if that does not tip the scales of insanity what happened next might just explain it all..

My aunt turns to my absolutely beautiful daughter and says “Your mother posts all kinds of pictures on facebook of you from your dancing..I print the pictures out and have them on my wall”. My daughter is looking at me like OKAAAY… Aunt then says to my daugher..”You look just like my sister Madeline (my mother) do you know who that is?” My daughter explains of course she knows who Madeline is (my mother died when I was 17 and of course they never knew her so I understand that she is simply a theoretical person to them that is natural)..my aunt goes on to say “I hated my sister Madeline. God was she ugly when she was younger and she never really got any better looking”. So my aunt is sitting there telling my child she looks just like her grandmother whom my aunt hated and thought was ugly..bitch. At this point I walk away before I explode thinking my aunt will calm down..go say hello to a cousin and my poor daughter texts..SAVE ME.

My aunt is telling my daughter that I hated my mother (who died by the way when I was 17 years old from lung cancer..I am now 48) because my mother was poor. She told my daughter that I was ashamed of the fact that I lived in the projects and I only wanted to be with my Aunt H who had money. Supposedly I am a nothing more than a gold digger who has nothing to do with them because they do not have money.  AND THAT WAS MY MOMENT..I felt small and demoralized ..I felt unsupported and hated and the worst part was my daughter..my beautiful daughter was sucked down the rabbit hole the one thing I worked so hard to avoid for almost 29 years since I had my first child.

Here is the thing..I realized at 19 years old when my first born child came into this world and I was for all intents and purposes alone that I wanted nothing more than to shield him and protect him from THAT negativity and THOSE toxic people. I already felt like an absolute failure by getting pregnant in the first place and if I stayed ..if I had to raise my boy in that environment it would have destroyed the 2 of us slowly but surely.

That is how Darth Jarol entered my life..that is how I mistook what seemed like a gesture of kindness (and I think there was some kindness there on some level) how I saw stability and sanity and everything my family lacked and confused it with doing the right thing. I was protecting my baby with every fiber of my being..I was protecting him from a woman who knew I was on public assistance (something I am not proud of) trying to survive and who would wait for the mailman and cash my check and take every penny I had for my baby ..including the ability to buy diapers and say oh well i needed the cash. How was I supposed to survive in an environment like that? Actually I am not sure if I even considered myself..how was my baby supposed to survive? The dysfunction, the negativity and the toxic interactions bubbled over like witch’s brew waiting to poison anyone caught up in that horrible web. I left because I needed to get healthy and clean from them..and my baby was my biggest casualty. When Darth Jarol invited us to stay it was with the intention that I would see just how incapable I was at being a mother..and she was right at the moment …however the point is every mother whether she is 15 or 45 the first time she delivers a baby is inexperienced and incapable..motherhood is a learning curve.

If my family had been supportive and loving ..if my family was not prone to stealing and lying maybe my son would never have been lost to adoption..but FEAR …the fear of being just like them..just like my family rattled me to my bones ..being destitute and homeless scared me and there was no way I wanted to raise my son in the projects. There was no way my son was going to have to shake his backpack every day to get the roaches out and there was no way my son needed to live in an environment where the upstairs neighbor was a dangerous schizophrenic who had outbursts at 4 AM and kept the building awake and threatened him in the hallways…there was no way I wanted my son raised in a place where there were dead mice in couch cushions and maggots in the trash outside or people setting cars on fire in the alley outside your bedroom door. My son deserved better..sadly I thought Darth Jarol was the answer not me.

So 3 weeks ago all those feeling came flooding back..the positive is I know why they hate me..it boils down to the fact they hated my mother ..the negative is I am feeling the angst and the guilt and yeah the anger of why I had to lose my beautiful baby boy..why another woman who is not his mother got to parent him and was able to cast me aside like a piece of trash once she got what she wanted. I blame myself mostly for all that happened .but in that funeral home ..at that wake I came face to face with the grim reaper of my soul….oh and my daughter? She NEVER wants to interact with my aunt again ..she could not wait to get out of the parking lot ..her first words to me? “That woman is a **** (yes she used the dirty C word ..no I do not approve and no I did not correct her) she said Mom that woman called me ugly and she called you a fat, ugly, gold digger we so don’t need that in our lives” ..truer words have never been spoken.

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Lost Again

It has been 8 days since the last time I communicated with my son K.  I don’t know how to describe the heaviness I feel from the grief of losing him once again. I know I should be grateful that we had 8 months and 26 days of reunion where things were pretty good. Instinctively I knew once he came home for the holiday season that things had the potential to go awry.  I never imagined just how awful things would get for him simply because we connected once again. What breaks my heart is there is absolutely nothing I can do and nothing I can say at this moment to turn the tides once again and go back to where we were even 2 weeks ago. The reality is even if we connect again there is always going to be a dark cloud hanging over us from some forces out of our control.  I have decided I am willing to spare this young man any more grief that my presence in his life has caused him with the parents who raised him and will bear the grief I feel alone . I never want K to feel that he has to be sneaky about our relationship or that he is betraying the family that raised him..however much I disagree with their reasoning..I never want for K to hurt like he did during this trip home and it kills me to know that I was a part of that hurt.

Adoption is a complicated and enormously difficult way of life for all the parties involved. I can understand that K’s adoptive parents feel that by reaching out to me K is abandoning them or rejecting all they did for him until now but I know that is not the case. K loves his adopters and would never abandon them in a million years no matter how frustrating he finds the relationship. I would be upset if he abandoned them because they are his family as well and for as much as I regret the decision to entrust them with him I know they did a wonderful job raising him and in their warped way want what is best for him.  Truth is K’s adoption circumstances are very atypical from most in that he was still an infant when he was adopted but he was not a newborn. He was not removed from my custody for abuse or neglect by social services (social services were never involved)  I willingly chose to place him with the people who adopted him for a multitude of reasons including feeling unworthy to parent him. K’s adopters promised an extremely open adoption and held to their word for a while and then slammed the adoption shut when he was about 8 years old. I regret not fighting harder to maintain a relationship with K but his adoptress felt we were better off taking a break. I had a newborn at the time and I agreed with her since I was a new mom and raising 2 other children as well.

I truly loved K and I still do with every breath I take, the hole in my soul without him for all these years has never healed..it may never heal but this has never been about me and for the last couple of weeks I think I lost sight of that. I was so excited that he was only 3 hours away from us and stateside for about 15 days that I got caught up in the possibility of seeing K and introducing him to his sisters. I understood that he did not come back to see us specifically and his time here was to see his family for the holidays but I held out hope that we could connect even for just an afternoon. K being home was a bright light in what was a very difficult holiday season for me and I think I held on to that light a little tighter than i should have. The holiday season is never an easy time for me..I look around and see family and happiness and am reminded of loss..I have lost my mother (18 months before K was born when I was still in high school) I lost my favorite aunt 18 months after K was born, I have lost babies very late in my pregnancy, we lost my mother in law when my oldest daughter was 4 weeks old, we lost my husband’s aunt Mary who loved him like a son after his mother died a yer ago this past September, we lost a community we were attached to for 18 years after my youngest daughter was bullied by a group of “friends” and unexpectedly this past July we lost our dear UJ.  I found UJ one morning when I went to go visit him gone..he was all alone and my heart aches thinking that there was more I could have done to help him. UJ died on the 27th anniversary of the day my mother died so to say it was rough is an understatement. To add to the stress, my daughter has a friend named E who last January was diagnosed and treated for brain cancer, I found out the last day I really talked to K that E is not doing well at all. It looks like E will leave us sooner vs later and my heart aches for this beautiful 15 year old girl and her family, friends and schoolmates. So in all the loss for the first time I saw hope and in doing so I lost sight that this was not about me ..it never has been.

I also confess that I unlike most people I know do not understand what it means and/or feels like to have family obligations. Other than my marriage and children I do not have any family (well other than UJ) where I have to be home, or I have to put up or I can’t wait to be with. I have not had to answer to anyone in my adult life and I think this has put me at a serious disadvantage in trying to understand or wrap my head around family issues. Spending time with UJ was always a blessing, it was the highlight of the holidays, cooking visiting and even trying to find the perfect present for the man who had everything and needed nothing. It felt strange this year to cook for the holidays in my own kitchen..oh and did I mention I had a total freak accident the week before Christmas? Yeah a heavy and sharp chef’s knife fell off the counter , cut my foot (thanks be to God I had my shoes on) and broke a bone..not my wisest move since I was not paying attention to what I was doing and the accident is my fault. I think my inability to relate to the family issues thing is a bridge K and I never anticipated crossing. While my belief system is you are your own person and the problems that your family is experiencing are not your burdens to bear and neither are any problems we might have..I fail to connect that people have other thoughts..a total ignorance on my part.

The last communication with K I have is he explained that I was pressuring him and he is in the middle of 2 sides he assumed were angry or pissed off at him and he felt caught between 2 families that hate one another. My heart is aching because I made him feel like that..I did this to him and I made him hurt and angry and that is unforgivable on my part. I am at a loss here, I knew his trip home was going to be stressful at times and I knew that C his adoptress was not happy that he connected with me, but I thought that her love for him would allow her to give him the freedom to make some choices for himself.  I do not care to communicate with her for the time being but I still hold a love and a respect for all she has done for K. I wish that C could let go of whatever demons she attached to me and see that our lives are enhanced by more people loving us not less.  K is the only boy she parented and he is the youngest of her 4 children, the oldest 3 being her biological children, but she has got to do the right thing for K and stop controlling him or trying to make him feel guilty for choices he has made.

As for me..I am not sure if I am going to recover from this any time soon. I am not prone to tears or letting my emotions go and I have not stopped crying since the first day of what I will call the beginning of the end (Monday December 30) a few of those days the grief was so crippling I could not get out of bed ..But I am out of bed and I am resisting the urge to message him or email him because the last thing I messaged him was I am leaving future communication up to him ..he does not need me to bother him. K needs to recover and find his happy place again with his GF in his adopted homeland. I hate admitting that I miss him terribly but I do..this is the third time I have lost him, and every time I do a little piece of me dies

Dear Adoptive Mother

The only times I seem to post lately is when I am running on pure emotions..usually not the happiest of emotions but emotions none the less. Lately I am taking the time to read the blogs and the words of other women who share my adoption journey as a mother of loss. The raw emotions in the words of these women often leave me feeling bruised and cleansed at the same time. There are others who feel my pain, there are others who walk this path and while our experiences are unique the majority of us a united in one bond of sisterhood.

What often strikes me as alarming is the same stories continue to repeat themselves over and over ..so many women and girls were forced to relinquish due to lack of support from family and friends, so many women and their babies abandoned and made to feel less than by the people who are supposed to love them best. The deeper tragedy is in how the adoptions are handled..women in the pre Roe Vs Wade era shuttled off to maternity prisons and treated like second class citizens ..told to forget what happened and move on with their lives their children better of without them. No names, no information, often times not even knowing if the baby they just birthed was a boy or a girl. The women in the post Roe V Wade era, some victims of the old closed adoption system others promised “open” adoption where they choose the parents of their child. Hopeful adopters who more likely than not have yet to resolve or grieve their infertility and willing to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to achieve their goal of parenthood.

Open adoptions filled with “Dear Birthmother” letters, booklets (and now online profiles)  and meetings filled with promises of joined families, blessings and love for a yet born infant. SO many promises are made in those days before the baby arrives. The potential adopters more often than not look so happy in their wonderful home surrounded by family..their lives perfect. The only thing missing from these pictures is your infant. This is all presented in such a neat package I swear I want these people adopting me. Most women who get caught up in this are reminded by their agency or well meaning family members they simply cannot change their minds seeing that the adopters will be hurt. So trying to do the “right” thing and not wanting to hurt these lovely people many mothers sign the consent to adopt shortly after birthing their babies heavily medicated and in physical and emotional pain. In those moments mother is an angel,a selfless being but who knows when the tide changes but she suddenly morphs from an angel to a person adopters would rather not deal with. Pictures and texts become infrequent and often disappear .promises made are quickly and easily forgotten. I read a quote where an adoptress talked about “no more adoption phone” and settling into family life. That adoption phone was probably the only number or way to contact the adopters the mother had . so tonight I am thinking about my own letter addressed to adopters..the ones who adopted my child and all the others who break their promises, turn their backs and close adoptions …

Dear Adoptive Mother,

I want to know how it is you decided that I and my fellow sisters are no longer a part of your family? While we were pregnant you actively pursued us, said things to make us like you and made promises to us in hopes we would hand our hearts and souls over to you a/k/a our babies. You told us we are angels, you told us all about your dreams of parenting and showed us how a baby would complete the pictures in your profiles. Your hurt became our hurt, we fell in love with you and chose you based on your words and actions. We believed you.

Then baby was born and we allowed you into one of the most intimate moments of our lives and often times allowed you to share in the cutting of the cord and holding baby soon after it was born. You hugged us, kissed us, took photos with us and held your breath until we signed the papers and filled with physical and emotional pain we said goodbye to our babies filled with hope because you made so many promises. We left the hospital with broken hearts, empty arms and lives that will never be the same again..you walked away with our children and from that moment you were different as well.

While we were pregnant you called or texted every day..now it is maybe once a month if at all. All those photos you promised have yet to arrive. We are hurting and those photos that you choose to send to your family and your friends mean more to us than you can fathom. Suddenly you are an expert on our babies and we are nothing..do you forget that we loved and nurtured that baby for 40 weeks? Do you forget that our babies are mourning as well?  Who are you to decide that we are no longer welcome in our children’s lives? Do you forget that without us you would not have that baby you longed to have?

Who are you to break your promises and to lie to us? While you may not think much of us..we love and respect you for nothing more than you are the parent of our children. You have no right to treat us with the indignity that you often do. Instead of making us walk on proverbial eggshells around you attempting to preserve what bits of a relationship we can in order to see our children..treat us with respect and dignity since we are the mothers of your children. Honor your words and honor your promises. You have no right to close any adoption unless we are abusing our children. Of course we want to know what is going on in their lives more than once or twice a year and no we are not going to come back and kidnap our children from you. Give us a little more credit than that old stereotype ..because for every little stereotype you have of us there are just as many for you. The only thing we fear with you is you packing up and running with our children leaving us to ache and wonder where they are and if they are alright. Remember this …we chose you..honor our relationship for no other reason than it is in the best interest of our children.

So Adoptive Mother I leave you with this ..we have held up our end of the bargain for the most part and now it is time for you to do in kind…let go of your fear and insecurity ..grieve your infertility. ..the little person you hold in your arms and in your heart is flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood. Those children are us..Our children deserve so much more than this..they deserve to know the truth

Thoughts on Adoption Fundraising

When I found myself pregnant at the age of 18 I knew I did not have the resources to raise a child properly. I lacked the emotional and financial resources necessary for a young woman in college (well I had yet to start college when the stick turned blue) needed to (in my opinion) properly raise a child. The fact that I was not married and the baby’s father was just as young and lacking the same resources as I did  somehow mattered very little to my family. Unwed/Unplanned pregnancies are part of my family culture starting even before my birth to an unwed mother in 1969. Unlike the rest of the family, I was actually riddled with shame and guilt that I was indeed pregnant. I did not have time to be pregnant because I had other plans..most importantly my plan included getting as far away from “those people” (a/k/a my family) as possible. As I stared at the blue stick i thought, I do not know how to do this and worst of all I have nothing to offer this baby. That one factor weighed heavily on my mind as my pregnancy progressed and influenced my plan to place my unborn child for adoption.

We all want what is best for our children. I used to believe that a two parent household where there was no danger of going hungry, no danger of being cold and no danger of always having second hand everything was what every child deserved..ugh if only I knew then what I know now. We all know that private adoption is very expensive. A healthy white infant can cost upwards of $40,000 to adopt and I am well aware those costs are daunting. Adopting through the state or public welfare system is virtually free or at the minimum low cost in comparison. I knew I was poor, doomed to life on public assistance, possibly life in the same public housing projects I was raised in and wanted out of if I decided to parent  and I did not want that for my child.  What never crossed my mind, was the people I held in such high esteem as pillars of their community and possessing so much more than I in that exact moment of my life including financial stability would need to fundraise to be able to afford their adoption.

I am not sure if I live my life in a vacuum or if I removed myself from all things adoption but I never once fathomed that people would expect others to contribute to the cost of their adoption. There are several Facebook pages dedicated to this very thing and what struck me as disturbing was how entitled some of the prospective adoptive parents feel to publicly solicit money from others to help them. One particular page that I became privy to featured the following comment by the prospective adoptive parent who was upset by the fact that several mothers who placed their children disagreed with her auction/fundraiser..she even went so far in previous comments to state that “Satan” sent these people in her path but Jesus prevailed. UGH but here is what she posted..I copied and pasted this before it was removed

“Hey guys, I just wanted to let you know that some of the hatred being spread on here will stop but it will take some work to keep it that way. I am reporting not just blocking people so that hopefully some of them will not hurt anyone else. This doesn’t bother me as they are only words but this is not the place for it so have patience and remember that God is leading us and he will get us thru these hating people. Thanks for sticking up for us it does mean a lot to me. Now back to the selling of necklaces.  Who is going to buy one. Let me know so I can get excited about each dollar closer to being a mommy.”

Each dollar closer to being a mommy? A young woman considering adoption for her child will never know this. The pregnant woman will think placing her child with this woman who longs to be a mother will be what is best for her child when by this person’s own words it is not about the child..it is about her. Those words make me nauseous to read.

These are the same types of people who will be offended if I or anyone else mention that for all intents and purposes they are asking people to help them buy their child. These people will be offended if it is mentioned to them that maybe if they do not have the money to buy their womb fresh baby and want to experience the joys of parenting that maybe they should look to foster and/or adopt out of the foster care system. These are the people who like to ignore that question and keep  talking about how they should not be denied the chance to have a baby. These are the same people who more likely than not will tell a pregnant mother whatever they need to tell her to gain her trust so she will give them her baby. These are the people who have the potential to close the adoption once everything is final and they have what they want. These are the people who will hide behind scriptures to justify their actions and behaviors.

Adoption is not the new pregnant and fundraising to defray the costs of adoption should not be socially acceptable in any way . The woman here should be ashamed of herself for those words but she will not be because anyone pointing out to her the harsh truths of adoption are satanic and out to hurt her. She is like so many hopeful adoptive mothers on social media so wrapped up in her own wants and desires that she can not possibly see any truths but the ones she fabricated to suit her own needs. If she truly wanted to adopt for the sake of a child she would not be trying to sell necklaces to buy what she wants but can not have and looking to help a child who is truly in need of a loving and stable home. 

Dear Adoptress

Dear Carol,

It is obvious that even though the boy is now a man, you refuse to open up his adoption. It baffles me that you are unwilling to share with him the details that he needs to know to even research on his own, like his adoption information including a letter I wrote to him are at the Bellows Falls Court House. I do not understand your reasoning behind this? Are you still afraid that he will chose me over you? If that is the case then I think that you need to realize that people can love many others in their lives and still hold their parents dear. You neglect to recognize with these behaviors that I am his mother, I always have been and I always will be. You are his parent, the one I entrusted to care for him and to keep true the promises you made when I entrusted you with my heart and soul all those years ago.

I wrote you an email a few months back after K’s 25th birthday and still no reply from you..the email was not threatening it was in fact very loving and guess what ? I know you never passed on any of the message to K. What you also do not know is thanks to social media that K and I have found one another and we talk several times per week. What I know is he has been searching for me, he has missed me and he wants for us to be in one another’s lives. Maybe you have figured out that K and I are friends on Facebook and maybe you have not..but we are and it has been a privilege to see through photos and posts the handsome young man he grown to be. I give you props for doing a great job raising him despite the bible thumping. I have love and respect for the fact that my son is happy and well-adjusted but I am still so hurt and angry that you failed to keep our relationship active so that he never had any questions about who he is and how he came to be.

SO in case you do not know..I am meeting K and M in Europe in a few short weeks..it scares the crap out of me but I am taking a leap of faith. I am grateful that K and I have a chance to start a new relationship as friends and it has nothing to do with you. I am grateful to get to know the young man who shares so many of my quirky personality traits and interests and looks like his younger siblings. I am looking forward to the rest of our lives and all the good, bad and everything in between.

It would be nice if you could open your heart and mind and merge our families as one ..but I am not counting on anything. Just know I did nothing to deserve what you did by cutting us out of his life..in fact if you think about it you would not have K if it were not for me. I hope you change your mind some day..in the meantime I will enjoy the time I with K and M

 

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.