Hannah's Story - Choosing Adoption for My Daughter
September 2, 2017: This day changed my life forever. This was the day I found out I was pregnant.
My boyfriend took me to CVS to get a pregnancy test to be sure, but deep down we both already knew I was pregnant. There was life growing inside of me! I got so scared and tried to ignore the fact that I was pregnant at first.
Is Adoption Right for Me?
I went to my best friend's apartment and cried to her. I knew I wasn't ready to raise a baby, but I also knew I didn't want to have an abortion. She asked me if I'd ever thought about adoption, and I hadn't. We found Lifetime Adoption online, and the next day I called them. The Adoption Coordinator I worked with, Veronica, and I talked about adoption and what I wanted. I still wanted to be in my child's life if at all possible. She said that what I was asking for was very much possible and that I could be picky about who I would choose to raise my child. It was then that I made the decision to put my baby up for adoption.
After finding out exactly what I was looking for in adoptive parents, Veronica mailed me profiles about ten different adoptive couples. The first few just didn't have the spark I was looking for, so I was getting discouraged. Once I saw Matt and Jessica's profile, I smiled. Veronica told me to take my time looking at profiles, but I'd decided on Matt and Jessica the moment I saw their faces. I wanted to talk with them as soon as possible to see if they were as great in real life as on paper.
A Perfect Match
As soon as we spoke with each other, we knew. We spoke about what we hoped our relationship would look like and we talked about our girl. I knew they were meant to be her parents. I sent them a sonogram photo and it meant the world to them. We were all so in love with this baby who wasn't even born yet.
My Pregnancy and Daughter's Birth
I had to see my doctor two times a week since I had a high-risk pregnancy. February 6, 2018 arrived and I had yet another prenatal appointment. But this time, the doctor induced my labor. I was surprised and I thought I was going to have more time.
During my pregnancy, I worked out my hospital adoption plan with Veronica. The adoptive mom, Jessica, was next to me and my best friend on the other side during labor. Jessica held my hand and encouraged me the whole time. I don't think I could have done it without her there. I asked for Matt to cut the cord and even though I couldn't see, it was emotional. It was honestly such a beautiful experience. At 10:02 pm on February 7, 2018, Olivia was born at 6 pounds 4 ounces. We cried together and stared at our girl. We'd brought her into the world together. I breastfed Olivia during the day and Matt and Jessica bottle fed her at night so they could also bond and I could rest.
The moment when a birth mother hands her baby to an adoptive mother is one of the most sacred and heartbreaking experiences a person will ever go through. I handed my firstborn and most precious gift to another woman, trusting that she will care for and love her unconditionally, and she doesn't take that for granted. We were mourning and celebrating at the same time, I won't ever forget that day.
The night I signed off my parental rights was very emotional. I held my daughter the entire time and told her how much I loved her. I told her I was doing what was best for her and that one day she would understand. When I got to the last paper, I stopped and stared at Olivia to make sure this was what really needed to be done. I was going back and forth in my head for what seemed like forever, but it was just a couple of minutes. I signed. Afterward, Matt and Jessica came back into the room. We all cried. I was mad with myself for not being able to take care of my child. If I'm honest, I was mad at God too, for giving me such a perfect gift just for it to be taken away.
I chose adoption for my baby because she deserved everything, and I wanted her to have the best life possible. I made that decision because I trust Matt and Jessica and knew they'd be the parents my daughter needed them to be.
Why I Love Open Adoption
The first four months after placement were hard. I was asking myself if I did the right thing. Then, I would see them together as a family in one of the video updates they sent me. I knew then that they were meant to be. We called each other, texted, and Face-timed frequently and they posted updates to a private Facebook account. Matt and Jessica make an effort to make sure that I know almost everything that is going on in her life. I was there for the adoption finalization, her first Christmas, and her first birthday. I don't want Olivia to have to wonder about me, why I did adoption, or if I love her.
Matt and Jessica are so fantastic. Whenever I visit, they make sure I'm comfortable and honor me. I appreciate them for allowing my daughter and I to have the relationship that we have. Matt and Jessica love Olivia so much that I have never regretted my decision to place her with this adoptive couple.
These past few years, I've learned patience and how to love someone more than myself. I found my faith again. I get to see all of Olivia's milestones and to watch her grow into a sweet little girl. I knew I would be in her life, but I'd never pictured it to look as beautiful as it does. That's not to say that adoption is all sunshine and rainbows. It is hard, it can be work, but it's so worth it.