There are a few times in life where the decision you make alters the course of your journey forever. One of those moments for me was when I gave my first child up for adoption 20 years ago today.
I was 18 when I got pregnant (19 when she was born). I was on my way to dropping out of high school and had no direction. I hid it for as long as I could and only told a handful of people. I lived as if everything was normal because I was in denial. Looking back I think I thought if I didn’t acknowledge the pregnancy that maybe it would just go away. I was so scared and lost. 😦
One month before giving birth I was in a bad car accident – that was it, my secret was out. I was rushed to the hospital and kept over-night. There was no way to hide it from the ones who loved me any longer.
By the time my family found out I had already decided on adoption. I am so lucky I had enough sense to even consider it. I’m sure they weren’t thrilled with the idea, but the alternative was to help me raise her and I couldn’t do that to them.
There was a lot of stress and sadness. There was doubt and confusion. But I knew it was the right thing to do.
It was a closed adoption so I don’t know where or how she is doing now. Am I curious? Sure, but I would never seek her out. I made the decision to walk away 20 years ago and feel it would be incredibly selfish of me to disrupt her life like that. If/when she’s ready I have made it easy for her to find me.
I want to take a second to thank my parents for supporting my decision and my friends for being there when I need to talk. Without you I would be completely lost.
To my daughter, I hope life hasn’t been to hard on you. From what I remember you were adopted by a great family and have at least one sibling who was also adopted. I pray you never think I didn’t want you, I just wanted you to have a better start than I could give.
I could say I wish things would have been different, but this experience is a big part of who I am and has helped me grow into the woman I am today. For that I am proud.