“You never go into the new year thinking you’ll have trial after trial, but that’s just how 2019 was for me. Granted, most of it was my fault. I still can’t believe I made it through it. In January, my then-husband and I decided to separate and move forward with going through a divorce. No one thinks when they get married their marriage will end in divorce. It’s all rainbows and butterflies. You finally have your happily ever after. But that simply isn’t true. Marriage is hard work. It’s constantly fighting for the love you want, the type of life you want. It’s not just handed to you. I didn’t put in the work a marriage needed. I was naive about what it meant to have a partner. It didn’t make the divorce any less hard though.
After the separation, I was involved with someone else. I ended up getting pregnant while on birth control. I was at a complete loss for words when I found out. I was having a couple of early pregnancy symptoms so I decided to take a test. I remember buying a test at work, telling my coworker, ‘I’m sure it’s nothing but better be safe and make sure.’ I came out of the bathroom, test in my shaking hand and tears down my face. I was pregnant. I was terrified to tell the father. The only experience I have had with pregnancy was when I was married and we were trying to get pregnant. How was I supposed to tell this guy I had only known a few months?
When I told him, it went just as I expected. He wanted nothing to do with it and instantly told me to get an abortion. I never pictured myself in a situation with an unplanned pregnancy, but I knew I could never go through with an abortion. In my eyes, it wasn’t this child’s fault I slept with someone. I told him that wasn’t something I wanted and if he wasn’t going to be there to support me or be involved with the child, it was better if he left now. He ended up leaving and moving to Florida when I was 7 weeks along. So there I was a single mom to my daughter who was 18 months and newly pregnant, battling all the first trimester emotions and sickness alone.
I was ashamed, embarrassed, and so worried about what my family would think of me. My family was already going through such a difficult time. My mom had just been newly diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer and placed on hospice. How was I supposed to tell my mom before she died I had made such a mess of my life? I didn’t want her last thoughts of me to be I was a disappointment. I should have known the immense love a mother has for her children. She embraced me and told me everything would be okay. She never made me feel like I was less than. Her memory started to go but the initial amount of love she showed me was just what I needed to continue moving on.
As the months started to pass, my mom’s health started to go downhill as we expected. While I was at work one day, I had the urge to call my dad. He was at work too, but he answered. I had said, ‘Dad, I really feel like I need to come home and see Mom.’ He followed by saying, ‘Mom’s doing fine. I really think she’s okay. I will let you know when it gets closer and I think she is going to pass.’ I just knew something was up. I said, ‘Dad I have a feeling I need to be home. Can we get a plane ticket and you pick me up at the airport?’ There was a pause followed by, ‘Your intuition has always been right so if you need to come home, let’s make it happen.’
We bought the plane tickets and my daughter and I flew out that evening since they lived out of state. When I got there and she saw me, she muttered, ‘My baby,’ and went back to sleep. That was the last thing I had heard from her. The next afternoon, she ended up passing away. It was honestly so traumatizing. It wasn’t peaceful in any sense of the word, it wasn’t in her sleep. We literally watched her gasp for air. The only comfort that came was she wasn’t in pain anymore.
When my mom passed, I was still 18 weeks pregnant, not even halfway. How was I supposed to make it another 22 weeks? The day after she passed, I had a dream she was holding the baby in her arms as they stood in the clouds. She had kissed his head and said, ‘I will take care of him until he’s ready to enter the world.’ I woke up and clung to those words for the next 5 months. At that moment, I started to really question if I could raise not only this baby but my daughter as well. I decided to look into adoption again. I had looked into it before but things fell through. I just think when I had looked into it before, I wasn’t ready to accept adoption as a serious option. I had looked through adoption.com profiles over and no one clicked. I didn’t want to look through an agency because I heard they were more expensive for the adoptive family. I wanted to try and make it as least expensive as possible. It wasn’t their fault they had fertility issues and had to pay so much to create their family.
I started to type in the search bar of different social media platforms with different words or phrases that could lead me to an adoption profile. I finally came across Sacia and Drake’s profile. I knew instantly I had found this baby’s parents. We messaged throughout the next day and decided to meet up. I would constantly ask myself, ‘Why would God have me get pregnant when I was already dealing with so many things with the divorce and my mom dying?’ After we met up for the first time, it was solidified to me they were his parents. I finally had the moment of, ‘This is why it happened.’ I knew the reason I had gotten pregnant was to carry this sweet baby for them. Their wedding anniversary was just a couple of days after we met, so even though I knew, I waited until their wedding anniversary to tell them I wanted to place this baby with them.
There was still that worry about what people would think of me. I told my family what my decision was and for the most part, it was love and support. There were a few that didn’t agree with me and that was really hard. I had family telling me to get on welfare and raise them both. But I wanted more for my kids than that. Sacia and Drake were my rock. They were there every step of the way throughout the rest of the pregnancy and that’s right where I wanted them. I told them to have a baby shower, which a lot of people thought was strange, but I wanted them to experience all the joys a pregnancy brings. I didn’t want them to miss out on anything.
On January 13, 2020, I gave birth to a perfect little boy. I placed him for adoption. I had the experience of getting to hold him and experience how beautiful motherhood is, before placing him into the arms of a woman who will love him just as much as I do. I would have been a great mom. I already was a great mom to my daughter. People think I love my daughter more than him and that is simply not true. I love both equally. I loved him so much I looked outside of myself and my wants to see I couldn’t give him everything he deserved. I wouldn’t have been able to give either one of my kids what they deserved. As hard and painful as that realization was, I knew without a doubt it was the right thing.
I don’t like the term, ‘I gave up a baby for adoption.’ I didn’t give up. I never gave up on him. I fought, I fought through the normal of saying it’s okay to let a baby grow up somewhere where they couldn’t thrive. I chose to give him life, I chose to give him a family, I chose to give him everything and more. I’d be judged whether I got an abortion or kept him and that’s the sad thing. People have all these opinions on what you’re supposed to do but in reality, nothing is ever good enough for them. I needed to do what was best for me. I have gained more people I get to call family, so I feel blessed.
Those days in the hospital we all spent together are irreplaceable. The memories I made there will last me a lifetime. On the back of Duke’s head, there is a tiny birthmark and I tell myself that’s where my mom kissed him before he came to Earth. Our adoption is open so I still get to see him and know what’s going on in his life. His family and I are all very close. Sacia is honestly one of my best friends. I love when they have us over, they speak to my daughter and say, ‘Are you ready to see your brother?’ They truly consider us family and have never once made me feel like they are going back on how they pictured this adoption to go.
Adoption is beautiful. It doesn’t have to be something you look back on and be just sad. Of course, you care. Of course, there will be times where you will be sad. But you are also filled with gratitude your baby will be loved and taken care of.
Looking back on 2019 now, I really do think I needed all those things to happen to me for me to grow up. I needed to hit rock bottom to truly see how strong I was and to gain my confidence. Because of these experiences, I now know my worth is not defined by the choices I have made. I know even though I was not perfect and fell down along the way, I still have value as a person. I chose to get back up and push through. I have never been more proud of myself and the person I have become.
If you would have told me a year ago that my life would be what it is now, I wouldn’t have believed you. I am blessed to be in a relationship with a man who loves me for me, that sees my imperfections. In his eyes, I’m perfect. He and I started dating during my pregnancy and he was there for me through it all. I am blessed to have gained a son through him, and my daughter is turning into such a sweet young girl. I finally feel like everything fell into place just the way it was supposed to.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kira Bracken from Herriman, Utah. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more touching stories about adoption here:
‘The nurse came in and said, ‘Her new parents are ready for her.’ Only 15, I kissed her soft baby cheek, and placed her into the arms of her mama.’: Teen mom embarks on ‘beautiful’ open adoption journey, ‘I couldn’t have picked better parents’
‘I just want you to know, we are the family who adopted your son.’ She hadn’t gone a single day without thinking about him. ‘Can you be here in 2 weeks?!’: Adopted boy surprised with biological mom, now part of beautiful open adoption
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