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!