I Know How You Feel

I Know How You Feel

Dear Birthmother,

I know exactly how you must be feeling.  First, finding out that you are pregnant was I’m sure an extremely scary thing! Then to even let the thought of adoption is an obstacle in and of itself. But you are here reading my letter, and that my friend, is the first step.  Keeping an open mind in your situation is the key, and it is so great that you are exercising that by considering adoption for your baby!

My name is Kayleigh, and almost 3 years ago (which is so hard to believe!), I was in the exact same place that you are right now.  Searching the Internet for the perfect agency to help me place my daughter for adoption.  Scared, confused, helpless, and completely overwhelmed, I stumbled upon Adoption By Heart’s website.   This turned out to be the greatest thing that ever happened to me!

I was 18, jobless, education-less, living with my parents, and in absolutely no position to be raising a baby, when my then boyfriend, and I found out we were pregnant.  I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do.  So as a result, I didn’t do anything.  I hid my pregnancy from everyone for 6 months, or so I thought.  When I finally came out to my family, it turned out they already knew because of my growing belly- funny how that works! I will never forget the rainy day that my boyfriend, his parents, my parents, and me gathered in my living room to discuss what was going to be done about this ‘situation.’  We were told in no uncertain terms that we would be placing this baby for adoption because our parents were not at all interested in raising another child.  Unusually, both my boyfriend and I were adopted, and so it was not a foreign topic to either one of us.  Although this was the case, it had never occurred to me how hard it must have been for my birthmother to place me for adoption.  I could not fathom how I was supposed to give MY baby to someone else.

Over the next few weeks I had tons of things to think over; would I want an open or closed adoption, what kind of parents would I want to raise my daughter, how was I supposed to cope with all these emotions, was I even strong enough to go through with this? I did some research, and when I found CABH’s website, something inside of me lit up.  I mustered up the courage to call, and was shocked to find that the woman who answered the phone was a birthmother herself! I scheduled an appointment and was again shocked that the woman I was having a meeting with was yet another birthmother.  As I glanced around her office, I was encouraged to see that there were pictures with her, her grown birth son, and her husband and other children.  She told me that in the type of open adoption that they focused on was one in which the birth mother was honored, and one in which instead of losing a family member, you gained many, many more.   She shared with me that I wasn’t in this alone, not only do they require counseling before placement, but offer support groups before, during, and after placement.  This gave me hope that there was actually life after adoption!

After that initial meeting I was 100% sold on the idea of open adoption.  I was so excited that not only could I have a relationship with my daughter, but with her adoptive parents as well.  I had many criteria for the potential adoptive parents of my daughter.  I had a perfect couple in mind.  As my daughter was going to be African American I wanted her to be raised in an affluent African American household. I wanted her parents to be a fairy tale couple with a couple children already, a hefty income, and a promise to never get divorced.  Of course, this is expectation was completely out of reach, and I quickly realized it as I thumbed through a set of potential adoptive parent profiles.  Even though I knew this, I still held on to these attributes that I wanted. It became increasingly difficult to locate a family for me, but finally, after going outside of the profiles I had been given, I found my family!

Immediately upon meeting, I fell in love with them.  They had absolutely none of the attributes that I was looking for in an adoptive family.  They were white and not at all fairy tale-esque, but perfect for me, and more importantly perfect for my daughter.   Our personalities meshed right away and I couldn’t imagine a better match ! They already had adopted a little boy, were so excited to have a little girl to call their own, and I was more than willing to place my little girl with them.

3 weeks after meeting them, I went into labor.  This was the most emotional part of my whole adoption experience.  After my daughter was born via C-section, I had to stay in the hospital for about a week.  During this week, I bonded with my daughter, and all of my hesitations and fears came back.  I knew it was the right thing to do in my head, but my heart begged to differ. I questioned my entire decision to place her, and rejected the adoptive family completely.  I felt as if they were there to take my baby from me and I couldn’t even look at them.  It amazes me how during this time, I completely forgot how much I loved these people!  The day finally came where I was discharged from the hospital.  Handing her over was the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life.  I cannot express the amount of courage and strength, which you have inside of you too, that it took to do this.

Each day the hurt got easier, and my heart began to agree with my head in realizing that this was truly the best decision I could have ever made.  I began to go to support groups every month, then I began to lead these support groups, then I started to speak to potential adoptive parents, and then I started to speak to these potential adoptive parents, with my daughters adoptive parents. My relationship with her parents began to blossom into a beautiful thing.  We became extremely close and I finally experienced truly feeling like a part of their family.  The relationship that I have with her adoptive parents is one of the most amazing things in the world.  I never imagined that me, the girl who could barely imagine placing her baby, would have this tremendous relationship with the people who were the complete opposite of what I was looking for.

Over the last 2 years, my life has become something amazing and I 100% have adoption to thank for that. I am a full time student at Metro State University, studying to get my degree in Social Work.  I mentor women, such as you, who are exploring the idea of adoption, as well as continue my mentoring work with those who have placed their children.  None of these things would be possible if I had not chosen adoption for my child.

If you have any questions or would just like to have someone who can relate  to you to talk to.  Feel free to contact me!

My email address is [email protected]

Adoptions by Heart
4605 S. Yosemite St.
Denver CO. 80237
720-458-5858

*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.