A Birthmom’s Experience: Crystal’s Story
I met Crystal when I was fifteen years old. Her story has stayed with me throughout the years. She has graciously agreed to share her story with us, and I know it will touch you just as it has touched me!
*It is important to note that Crystal did not place her baby through A Guardian Angel Adoptions. 17 years ago newborn adoption was done differently. With our adoption experience with A Guardian Angel, we were able to spend time with our sweet Birth Mom and the baby at the hospital. *
Crystal’s Story, in her own words:
As I sit at my laptop trying to figure out where to begin, I am listening to my children “falling asleep” in their bedrooms. They are giggling and playing and doing anything but falling asleep. As hard as it is to be a parent, I wouldn’t change it for a thing. I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way. But I also remember what it was like to wish I could kiss my son good night and read him bedtime stories, and to listen to him playing in his room instead of going to sleep.
I found out I was pregnant when I was 15 years old. I remember one morning waking up and knowing that something was off. I was only one or two days “late” but I already knew there was something wrong. My sister took me to a clinic later that day and I found out I was about 6 weeks pregnant. The clinic confirmed my pregnancy and counseled me on all my options. Later that week when I told my mother I was pregnant, and she asked me what I was going to do, I immediately told her I wanted to place the baby for adoption. Maybe it was my naivety that it was going to be easy, maybe it was inspiration; either way I knew this was the only option for me.
The next couple of months were really hard. Not only was I going through horrible morning sickness and a really bad breakup, but I was also trying to finish my sophomore year in High School without any one finding out I was pregnant. I was throwing up at least 3 times a day at school, so I am pretty sure people figured it out.
Summer vacation consisted mostly of sitting around the house. I didn’t dare go out of the house except to work and go to church. I didn’t want the judgment of a teenage girl “in trouble”. I was very lucky to have great friends at both places that were very understanding of my situation and my decision to place my baby for adoption. However I got just as much criticism as I did support. Some told me I need to keep my baby to remember my “mistake,” and a family member actually told me I wasn’t a true member of my family if I didn’t take care of my responsibilities. Others said I must not love my baby, if I could so willingly give him away. While these things were painful to hear I also knew that they were said out of ignorance. Sometimes I preferred this way of thinking versus the opposite. Some of the people that were supportive would put me on a pedestal and praise me for giving my child life and giving another couple a chance to have a baby. I don’t want to sound ungrateful for their faith in me, but I didn’t feel like a wonderful amazing person. I was really and honestly just trying to give this baby a better life than what I could have offered. I was a dumb mixed up teenager who thought this could never happen and when it did, I quickly tried to make it right.
By the time fall hit, I was ready to start looking at profiles for the couple that would adopt my baby. Instead of picking out homecoming dresses, and worrying if the guy I liked was going to ask me to the dance, I was looking through letters of prospective parents. Making this decision was not easy. All of the letters looked great. I knew all of these couples deserved to have a child, and I knew they would all be great parents. The only way I knew how to pick was to pray about it. So I did, a lot. The answer didn’t come to me quickly, but after a week or two of reading the letters over and over again I knew which family was the right one. Unfortunately, the birth father and I ended up disagreeing on the couple we wanted, and after a lot of discussions with me and my birth counselor, he agreed to let the parents I chose raise our son.
The next step was meeting the couple. They already had a son who was nine at the time, but they came alone. My mother and my sister came with me. We only had about an hour to visit, but that was all I needed to confirm my decision. Sitting in the room with Kara and Jay, I KNEW without a shadow of doubt that this couple would be my son’s parents. I wish I could describe it more, I wish I could find the words to convey how peaceful I felt in their presence. It was that peace that I would later draw on when I had to sign the adoption papers.
I gave birth to James on a cold December day. There were a few complications, not serious ones, but I did end up having to have a cesarean. I was thankful for that however, because that gave me 3 days of recovery time in the hospital, which means I had 3 days to spend with my son. These 3 days were the best and hardest days of my life. I knew I was going to have to say good-bye soon, and it wasn’t until I was holding him in my arms that I realized how hard this good-bye was going to be. My entire pregnancy I was so very sure of my decision. And it wasn’t until now that I saw his sweet face that I started to waiver. I quietly told my mother of my hesitations, and she put her arms around me and cried with me. Then she looked at me and told me Kara and Jay were going to be great parents, and that this was the home that James needed to go to. I knew she was right. I really and truly couldn’t have done it without my mother’s love and support.
When it finally came time to sign the papers and say good-bye, I felt at peace with my decision. I was glad to have my mom, my dad, and my sister there with me. I wish I could have seen the look on Kara and Jay’s face when they saw their son for the first time. I think it would have helped ease the pain a bit, however the agency (Not A Guardian Angel, a different agency) said that was against the rules and so I settled for a letter from them the next day.
Adoption is such a beautiful thing. As much as I miss that little boy, who is now 17 years old, I am so glad that I was able to go through the experience I did. I learned so much about myself, about who I am, and about how strong I am. And one day if he chooses to want to know me, I will welcome him, and his family, with open arms.
If you are a birth mom seeking help or information, click here. For more information on adopting a child into your family, click here.