Adoptimist Adoption Blog
May 29, 2014

Doubly Blessed, Part 1

My name is Coley and I’m a birthmother and blogger. I’ll be sharing my thoughts and perspective as a birthmother on Adoptimist. For my first post, I thought it would make sense to share my adoption story: how I came to be a birthmother and choose adoption for my baby.

At the age of 24, I left the health department and felt like a huge failure for the second time in my life. Once again, I was single and pregnant. When I was 19 years old, I became pregnant and married my child’s father because I thought a two-parent family was the best thing for my child. Noah was born in 1996 and was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and autism. His father and I had married for all the wrong reasons. And the difficulty of parenting a child with special needs was more strain than our marriage could handle. So we split up.

After awhile I began dating someone. When I realized we didn’t want the same things out of life, I moved on. I was on the Depo-Provera shot for birth control and thought it was practically foolproof. So imagine my surprise when I discovered I was pregnant! I immediately made an appointment with a gynecologist to find out how far along I was. I stared in disbelief at the screen as the ultrasound tech told me I was nearly five months pregnant. Because of all my complications with Noah’s pregnancy and birth, I was automatically considered a high-risk pregnancy.

I contacted my baby’s father and he was unsupportive. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I was overwhelmed, afraid, and even a little bit in denial. I knew I had to accept reality and begin making plans for my unborn child. Parenting just did not seem like the best option for me at that time. I was struggling so much financially and emotionally, just trying to put my life back together since splitting up with Noah’s father.
A few days after the ultrasound appointment, one of my regular couples at the restaurant where I waitressed came in for lunch. For some reason, I mentioned that I was pregnant. “Congratulations!” they said. I explained that it was unplanned and that I was even thinking of adoption. That’s when they mentioned that their daughter was adopted, in an open adoption arrangement. They even gave me her number, just in case I wanted to know more about it, pressuring me in no way and probably thinking I’d never call. However, I did call her just a few nights later.

I began to spend more time with this couple and soon realized that they were the right family for my baby. However, finding a good family didn’t make dealing with my choice any easier. Knowing that I would bring this baby into the world and hand him over to another family was extremely hard to deal with. I was trying to be strong and follow through with my adoption plan because deep down I knew it was for the best.

Our son Charlie entered the world four weeks early on Sept. 20, 2001, via an emergency c-section. He was healthy, yet small, and loved immensely by both his birth family and adoptive family! I spent three days in the hospital with Charlie and then I left the hospital empty handed and broken hearted. All throughout my pregnancy (and as I left the hospital that day) I held onto the fact that Charlie would be doubly blessed. Not only would he have one family that loved him — he would have two!

Read Part Two of Doubly Blessed

About The Author

Coley Strickland

Nicole “Coley” Strickland has become a strong voice for expectant mothers and birthmothers. At the age of 25, she became a birthmother, lovingly placing her three-day-old baby boy into an open adoption and the arms of his adoptive parents. She and fellow birthmother Leilani Wood went on to found BirthMom Buds, a website and nonprofit organization that provides support to birthmothers.

Coley has further given a voice to the bittersweet turmoil of birthmothers, becoming an active member of the adoption community, writing, speaking and sharing her story with others. In addition to her numerous blogs, she has also been featured on a number of radio programs, magazine and newspaper articles, as well as in the books: How to Create a Successful Adoption Portfolio by Madeleine Melcher and A Personal Touch on Adoption by Peter Berlin. In addition to her many other roles, Coley has been blessed to parent her special needs son Noah, who along with the son she placed, is the love of her life.

Visit Coley's site at
You can email Coley at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

About This Adoption Blog

The Adoptimist blog features advice, tips, and inspiration for adoptive parents who are actively pursuing adoption connections online.

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