‘We promise to love your child and speak of you often.’ My heart was filled with just their words.’: Young mom describes open adoption journey, ‘It’s the start of something beautiful’’

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“‘However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle.’ -Valerie Harper. At 20 years old, I hit my rock bottom. I was in the midst of destruction created by myself. From burning the bridges between my family and friends, to losing my job, to getting kicked out of my house, to engaging in reckless behavior that could have led me to no longer be alive, I did it all. At the lowest point in my entire life, I didn’t see a light or a reason to continue trying, but God had other plans. Becoming pregnant and choosing to place my son for adoption during this extremely dark time not only showed me a light, but it gave me my life back too.

Courtesy of Audrey Fontaine

I remember sitting in my car eating chili from Wendy’s for the fifth time in a row for dinner. There was a beautiful Texas sunset beaming in the sky that reminded me it was getting late, but I had no care for a routine being homeless and jobless. I was only thankful I got to something. I sat there in my trashed car that was now my home, and thoughts were racing my head. My instincts told me to get a pregnancy test, and something told me I already knew the answer. I drove over to the neighborhood Wal-Mart across the street, and I purchased a test. I was so nervous, but I had to know immediately, so I ran to the women’s restroom. My palms were sweating, and I began to pace while waiting for the results. I held my breath as I watched the two lines appear in less than 30 seconds. Immediately following my positive test, I texted and called the father only to hear his voicemail and receive no response. My heart began to race even more. The life I was living was something I knew I couldn’t continue, so I drove 30 minutes to his apartment, in hopes he would be happy and welcome me into his home as I was carrying his child. But I was wrong. Instead, I had the door shut on my face and the police department arrived to remove me from his sight. My heart shattered into a million pieces.

I was drowning in my thoughts at this point, and I really believed that I was alone. I felt so broken. All my broken heart wanted was to terminate my pregnancy. I had so many emotions flowing inside me as I scheduled the appointment at the abortion clinic. I arrived at the clinic for my first pre-visit appointment to get an idea of what to expect for the next appointment. I had no questions or even words for the doctor. I was struck numb leaving with only a sonogram picture of the baby inside me. It was so little, and it was right there inside of my belly. It felt surreal, yet I still planned to go forward with the abortion. I went to my car to lay down and stare at the ceiling, when the idea came to me: open adoption. I immediately went to Google search, and I clicked on the first ad that popped up and quickly called. After two rings, I was greeted by a kind woman who transferred me to speak to her son, an adoption attorney. For the first time in a long time, I felt hopeful after he explained how adoption worked. I knew God wanted me to take this path, but I wasn’t sure.

Courtesy of Audrey Fontaine

Weeks passed and I met up with my cousin-in-law. She had her close friend join us, and after discussing options, they arranged me to stay at my Great Aunt’s house. I was welcomed into her beautiful home and even discovered memories I never knew I had from when I was younger. The first thing she did for me was make me a sandwich and I gulped it down in four bites. It must have been almost a day since I had eaten any food, and I could almost feel my energy replenish within minutes. It was the best part of the day. I went to sleep that night and I was woken up by her almost 48 hours later. I was exhausted and I finally felt safe. I had lunch with the four people who supported me the most throughout this pregnancy journey and afterwards, we visited a women’s clinic to get some information on the resources I had during this challenging time. I kept thinking to myself that an abortion would be easier. All of this could be over with just one appointment. I would just get my life back if I killed the baby right? I wouldn’t have to face my father about this or feel like a disappointment, but I knew I couldn’t base this decision on how easy it was. I wanted this to end.

Roughly a week later, I had a private meeting with a nurse to discuss options again. I explained to her that abortion was the only option, and I was going through with it. She begged and pleaded with me to choose life and told me the joys it could bring me. I had tunnel vision on the easier route, and nothing was changing my mind. So finally, she asked if she could make me a deal. This complete stranger proceeded to ask me if she could find me a place to live if it would change my decision. Without hesitation, I said yes, and that’s how our conversation ended that day. As positive as that conversation was, I had just gotten kicked out of my aunt’s house for being awful to my aunt, coworker, and their family. I had no reason to, and there really was no excuse. I had no energy, and I was slowly giving up. I drove over to the father’s apartment one more time to give him one more chance against my better judgment. I waited outside for him and he wasn’t home. I told God to give me a sign to help me decide what to do. Seconds later, the nurse from the clinic called with news. She had found a place for me to stay at a maternity home a couple of hours away. It was the last bed left, and it was mine. I contacted the maternity home and set my arrival time for the following day. ‘This was my sign,’ I thought to myself, as a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

Courtesy of Audrey Fontaine

A month following my stay at the maternity home, I was finally in the right head space to contact my dad again, and we were occasionally reaching out to one another. He and my family knew I was pregnant, and my dad was trying to convince me that the only place for this baby was with another family. I was offended by that. I couldn’t understand why my dad wouldn’t think I was capable of being a mother. I hung up the phone, and I looked around me. I was living in a maternity home, because I couldn’t support myself. I can’t raise this baby and give it the life it deserves. My dad was right. It then hit me minutes after our phone call, and I gave the adoption attorney a call five minutes after talking with my dad. We discussed a plan to start the process of me placing my child for adoption and I willingly agreed. I wasn’t sure what I was agreeing to, but my heart knew it was the right thing to do.Within a few days, I was sent multiple profiles of parent’s who were wanting to adopt. I looked at two profiles who seemed nice, but then I opened profile C. I read it all, and I busted into tears. My heart had been filled with just their words alone. This was the first time in a long time that I was actually sure and set on something. These two people were MEANT to be my child’s parents. I don’t know what it was about it that got to me, but if I had to choose one thing they said that touched me, it would be the last part of their story. It was their promise.

Courtesy of Audrey Fontaine

‘We can’t imagine what is going through your mind now that we have shared pieces of our hearts with you. We understand you may be overwhelmed, we know we would be. But before you go we want to promise you a few things of how we anticipate raising a child. We promise to love your child unconditionally and provide a home where that love is felt daily. We promise to laugh often, wipe away tears and encourage your child when they are feeling down. We will be a strong support system that will always be cheering them on with the little and big moments in life. We will be at every ball game, dance recital, and school play. We promise your child will always know how much he or she is loved by you and the sacrifice that you made for them. We will speak about you often and have open communication with your child as they ask questions and want to know more about you. We promise to keep our communication with you open and honor whatever level of openness you want. You will always be family to us and will be treated with kindness and love.’

Courtesy of Audrey Fontaine

I informed the attorney of my choice, and he contacted the chosen parents to schedule a phone call that day. When we started to speak, it was as if the stars aligned, and I felt like I had known them for my entire life. We all cried. It was the light I had been searching for during this sad and lonely time. After this phone call, they helped me plan out a date to fly and see them in their home state. My dad allowed me to stay with him the night before, and he took me to the airport the day of my flight. I was met by these two wonderful people at my gate, and locking our eyes on each other, our hearts all felt okay again. I spent an amazing weekend with them getting to know their story. I got to meet all of their loving family. I sat in the living room on our last night with the future adoptive parents and their parents, and I knew I was in a room filled with love. Because of this, I felt so comfortable telling my story, and we all cried. I felt love for the first time in a very long time. In this moment, all of my fears were eliminated. I knew these two people would do everything I couldn’t. I wasn’t scared anymore, because I knew that they not only would adore this little baby, but they also loved me too. I felt at home and at peace. I went home that weekend and discussed moving back in with my dad. We came to an agreement and I began looking for jobs. I got a part time job at Chick-Fil-A and then I was given an incredible job opportunity to work at JP Morgan Chase. I worked at Chase during the rest of my pregnancy and afterwards for over a year.

Courtesy of Audrey Fontaine

I flew out to see the adoptive parents one more time before I was too pregnant to fly anymore. We had a gender reveal together, and we were having a boy! Oh how the tears flew down each and everyone’s face. How joyful of a time this moment and experience was for all of us. This was truly the start of something so beautiful, and the baby wasn’t even born yet. My heart was filled. Following that trip, I talked to the adoptive mother every single day. She was the most loving, patient and kind woman I had ever met. She would give me all the time I needed and let me vent to her about everything. She was always there for me, and we built the most amazing friendship. I truly needed someone like that, and she was more than what I could have ever imagined. Her support got me through the pregnancy and solidified my decision even more.

Letty Weeks Photography

On October 6, 2019, a little someone decided to come two days early and break my water. I had just scheduled my c-section for Tuesday the day before, but at 3 in the morning on Sunday, the adoptive mother and father were awoken by my phone call to the exciting news that their baby was coming early. They rushed to pick me up, and we went to the hospital. There I was greeted by my aunt, uncle, and cousin, and we all went into the room for my delivery. They rolled me back, and my aunt was the person I chose to be there with me.

At 7:57 am, my entire life flashed before my eyes as I watched my OBGYN pull out a perfect little boy. Seven pounds, 5 ounces, and 19 inches of pure perfection. Suddenly, my mind went from nervous to calm when I saw him for the first time. I wasn’t thinking about how I had just been awake while being cut into. All the worries and all the fears within my life were all washed away by simply the sight of this beautiful baby that was laying on my chest. I finally felt comfort and clarity.

I was rolled back into the room shortly after, and they let me finally hold him. He was the most precious thing I had ever laid my eyes on. I could finally describe what perfection was in that moment, and nothing else mattered except for him. Minutes later, the adoptive parents walked in with eager eyes. They walked up to me, and I handed them their baby boy. The exchange wasn’t sad either. I wasn’t giving my child away. I was placing him into the arms of two loving parents who would always be a part of me and my life. It was joyful and emotional. It was everything I ever wanted for my baby. 48 long and sleepless hours later, I signed my rights over. That was the first time I uncontrollably cried. I don’t know if it was the sleep deprivation or that I had my entire family with me. I was so overwhelmed by the love and support I had during this journey but that was just beginning. I left the hospital that day with a strong mind and heart. I wasn’t saying goodbye. I knew he was forever going to be a part of my life. It was meant to be that way. 9 long months with this baby inside of me, and I knew that I would do it all over again even though the entire 9 months was extremely difficult and painful.

Courtesy of Audrey Fontaine

Fast forward to today, and he is 15 months old. I have seen him twice since his birth, and I am in close contact with their entire family. I get pictures, texts, and tons of FaceTime calls with all of them. I moved on from Chase, and now work at Fidelity. I have an incredible relationship with my family and made new friends. I have rebuilt my relationship with Jesus, and go to church again. Looking back on my life in 2019, I would have never thought I could be in such a great place in life like I am now. I once thought my life was over, but God gave me a life inside of me which gave me my life back. Some days are hard, but I don’t regret my decision. I wouldn’t want it any other way. This journey has taught me about strength and sacrifice. Love makes a family, and it’s the truest thing I know.

My name is Audrey. I am a birth mother, and adoption is a brave love.”

Courtesy of Audrey Fontaine

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Audrey Fontaine from Dallas, Texas. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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‘They bluntly asked, ‘So, where is your real Mom? She didn’t want you? Is there something wrong with you?’ Everywhere I went, I stuck out like a sore thumb.’: Transracial adoptee says ‘it’s okay to grieve the loss of your birth family’

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