‘She told her daughter, ‘I’m sorry.’ She gave her a kiss and handed her to me. She left without her baby.’: Woman becomes close to birth mom during adoption, ‘There is no love without loss’

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“She told her she was sorry, gave her a kiss, and then handed her daughter to me. We all hugged and said, ‘See you soon, love you.’ She walked out of the room, without the baby she came to the hospital with.

Courtesy of Megan Garrison

I think that’s when the weight of it all hit me. With everything I am, I want adoption to be beautiful and peaceful for my new daughter, but I’m not blind to the fact that in order to call her mine, there was a lot of hurt that had to take place. And she’s not just mine, she’s ours, and she’s also hers and that comes with a responsibility I never want to take for granted.

In August of this year, we were visiting my family in another state with our boys in tow, and David looked at me and said he was ready to expand our family. We thought we were heading down the route of fostering as it was something we had started to consider now that we were out of babyhood. We were thinking toddler to teen would be perfect for our age range since we had given away all of our baby items and we were finally out of diapers! As soon as he said that, I felt the urge to text my friend who within minutes, said her sister-in-law was pregnant and looking for a family to adopt her baby. I just knew right then and there, we would welcome this baby into our family. Even though she was interviewing other families already, there was just a peace about it. A few days later, Savannah called. I was so nervous, but the conversation was just like talking to someone I had known for years. She asked all the questions I would want to know if I was choosing adoption for my child. She, of course, needed time to think, but within a couple of days said, ‘If you want to choose me, I want to choose you.’ It became official. Well, as official as unofficial can be, because there are laws about legally declaring this before the baby is born.

The first time we met was at her first doctor’s appointment. I drove over an hour and wanted to throw up the whole way. I was shaking, wondering if she would meet me in person and have a change of heart. I’m sure she was nervous, too. The first appointment was hard to sit through because they were SO rude to her and I had never experienced that in a pregnancy, only joy and care from my medical providers. It felt like they were judging her based on her situation and her medical insurance. She was connected to a new doctor after that appointment, who cared for her as a patient should be taken care of.

Courtesy of Megan Garrison

There was a period of time during the pregnancy, for about a month and a half, when Savannah needed a place to stay and although it was completely advised against from our adoption agency and lawyer, we knew it was the right decision to have her in our home while she got a plan together. There was no other option. This is when I realized how limited resources there are for expecting moms who have ‘aged out’ of the teenage pregnancy programs. It’s given me a clearer direction for helping more pregnant women in the future.

She secured a place to move but during that time, we spent many hours staying up late talking, ending up crying, and learning about each other and our pasts and hopes for the future. I can’t wait to tell Kaia how strong her mama was one day through lots of difficult parts of her life.

When it came time to have a baby shower, my friends knew we had nothing baby-related and threw us a beautiful shower while also honoring Savannah. It was really touching for all of us. I couldn’t imagine not having Savannah there.

Our story seems super unique and I believe it is. We always say it was a God thing. We got connected right when we both were searching for something in our life but at no point in the pregnancy or delivery did I want Savannah to feel like she owed us anything. Not even her baby was owed to us. I continually checked in asking if this is what she wanted for her daughter, to also be our daughter. Time and time again, she said yes. When it came time for delivery, there was a quiet moment where everyone was quiet, trying to get a few minutes of rest. The doctors and nurses rushed in because Kaia’s heartbeat dropped low and it took a second to get back up. It scared me to death. It was quick and turned out just fine, but it was terrifying nonetheless. None of us slept for hours. It’s amazing what adrenaline will do for your body. At the hospital, I took Savannah’s lead. I wanted to be there as a supportive friend, not as a prospective adoptive mom. She offered for me to be the first one to hold Kaia and for an hour, I held her on my chest and I am forever grateful for that.

Courtesy of Megan Garrison
Courtesy of Megan Garrison

We are very new to this open adoption but I think it’s changed us both for the better with a clear direction of where our lives should go and help others in similar situations. There is an emotional side of the adoption process I wasn’t prepared for — it’s so much more than people explain. You care for this baby that’s not yours. You can’t feel this baby move inside but you’re preparing for them. You care for their first mama to make a clear decision and whatever that decision is, you are okay with it. Kaia will always know she is adopted and that’s part of her unique story, but there’s no love without loss in adoption… and that should never be overlooked or brushed under the rug.”

Courtesy of Megan Garrison
Courtesy of Megan Garrison

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Megan Garrison from Richmond, VA. 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.

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