Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where did it go?


I am talking about time.

Do you ever sit back and really think about all the things that have happened in your life over a certain period of time? It seems to zoom by.

Exactly 21 years ago this morning, a naive, yet mature, 15 year old gave birth to a baby boy.

At the time she was an honor student, athlete, youth group leader in her church, and she was in love. She was in love with an 18 year old boy and they had plans, like so many kids do at that age. They dreamed of getting married some day, having a family and the life that so many people long for.....what they didn't plan, was a pregnancy.

Suddenly their world of future plans were staring them in the face. Right now. Not down the road, or someday....right now.

The girl was very fortunate. When she told her family, instead of chastising her and telling her that she had to have an abortion, or raise the child as a consequence of her actions, they were very supportive, and let her decide what path her life, and the life of her baby would take.

After some careful thought she made the decision that the baby she was carrying needed much much more time, money and attention, than she was able to give him and made a plan for him to have a family, that didn't include her.

Many people make generalized statements about how birth-mothers are so unselfish, and it is true. But to be honest, there is a little bit of selfishness there too. She knew that at 15, her dreams of college and all the years of growing up, would be gone if she became a full time mother. The baby's father was also supportive of whatever she decided. He came from a family that was not supportive and from what I understand, breathed a sigh of relief when the girl decided to not raise the child, as it relieved him of any parenting responsibility.

While this all was going on in their lives, we had no idea how our life was going to change.

It is a strange story of timing (once again), friends, and a little bit of luck.

We had gotten the heads-up from a friend that worked at an international adoption agency, in the town next to us, that they were looking for 5.....yes, just 5 couples to put portfolios together for their first (and it turns out, only) domestic adoption.

We put together all the necessary documents, but there was one problem. We were not of the religion that this agency required. To be honest....I was ready to lie through my teeth to be accepted. By that time, we had been trying to have a family for 8 years. Enough was enough. I would have memorized the bible, word for word, if they had asked.

To attempt to circumvent the faith requirements, we asked our family and friends if they would consider writing to the agency, telling them honestly, the kind of people we are. I later had a chance to read those letters, and was blown away at how great we sounded :)

My biggest fear at the time, were the two things in the profile, that I was certain that a 15 year old girl would be turned off by, but yet, we had to be honest about our current occupations, so we didn't get our hopes up. BigD is in a profession that many teens dislike/fear, and at the time I was obviously working full time, and we didn't know if I would be able to switch to part time or not. So, there was the distinct possibility that I would have to continue to work, though we were hoping I could be a full time mom, but if I did have to continue working, our intent was to work opposite shifts, so that one of us would be home caring for the child.

Ironically....the two things that worried me the most....were the two things that made her select us. She was wise beyond her years. The social worker told me that the girl thought that it was a good thing that I had an education and career, in case something ever happened that I needed to provide for the child, in the event that something were to happen to BigD.

Hell, when I was 15, those kinds of thoughts were pushed so far to the back of my head, I am not even sure they were in there to begin with.

We were not told that she selected us. Unbelievably, our dear friend from the international agency was the one the agency board selected to represent the girl. Our friend tried to have another s.ocial worker assigned, she was fearful that somehow her connection to us would cause a problem down the line...impropriety issues etc. The higher-ups didn't budge. So, our dear friend sat with this girl as she looked at all 5 profiles. She told me later, she was sweating, because part of her wanted to recommend us, but ethically, she had to remain neutral and in fact, until the baby was placed with us, the girl never knew that our friend knew us personally. Our friend told her after she made her decision, that she had made a great one, that we were known very well to her......this made the girl even more at peace with her decision.

So, 21 years ago this morning, my son was born. I was about 45 miles away and had no idea of his existence.

Two weeks later, BigD and I were getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with family when we got a phone call from our friend telling us to have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had known her for 10 years and she had never done that before. My little hmmmmm antennae went up and I told BigD that something was up and I thought maybe we had been picked.

This agency does not do direct placements soon after birth. They are advocates for the birth-mother and want her to be sure she has made the decision that is right for her and the baby, so they placed her baby in a foster home, to give her time to be sure, and not make a hormonal decision.

The Monday after Thanksgiving, we the THE call. The call that we had prayed for and dreamed of, for soooo long. Our son's birth parents had both seen him that morning, to say goodbye, and sign the final papers.

We had a son.

We were to meet him three days later.

So much of that week is a blur. There were bosses to be told that we were taking time off (unlike when you are pregnant, give birth and automatically get sick time etc , we had to take our time off as unpaid leave--that is an issue for another post). We shopped for all the necessities that are needed for a baby, we had gotten nothing ahead of time, as having a room ready before that, was just too painful. Walking past an empty nursery is miserable.

I probably don't even need to say that neither of us slept on Wednesday night.

Thurday, Decemb.er 1, 1988 was the best day of my life. We had to wait at the agency for over an hour as the s.ocial worker got lost coming from the foster family's home to the agency so I was a total wreck, worried there had been an accident, the paper work fell through, the birth-mom had changed her mind, etc etc.....little did I know, that was only the first time I would worry about my child....it actually hasn't stopped since that day :)

Every N.ovember 10 I think about the young girl and the big decision she made. He is MY son, but in a sense, he is hers too. I know he is a part of her heart and that she thinks about him frequently. (To read a little more about her and how I found her 3 years ago...you can go back and read my post entitled (I think), G00gle rocked my world).**actually I just went back to find it so I could put the link, and I remembered that I had deleted it because at the time I was afraid of recognition....I will repost that story in the near future.

So, if you will excuse me, I am going to go have a good cry (I do that when I am happy sometimes), look at some photos, and try to figure out how 21 years have gone by without me knowing. (Yes, I have talked to him this morning. He went out with two guys, and his brother, last night at midnight, and bought a bottle of champagne to celebrate---I forgot to ask him if they carded him!)


Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

That is a beautiful post! My older brother was adopted as well...

preppyplayer said...

Oh OHn,
many times your posts have made me laugh but this time you made me cry!
What a heartwarming story.

You both are so lucky and blessed, as is your son.
And that young mother?
A special spot in heaven.

Scandalous Housewife said...

Giant lump in my throat.

Perfect birthday gift for your son!

hope548 said...

Happy birthday S1!!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful story!

Athena said...

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful, heartwarming story. I'd be crying happy tears as well each November!

My Aimless Infatuation said...

Great Post! I see you have a great big ole heart,you have one lucky son to have you.

Unknown Mami said...

I am at work and I am doing my best to keep the tears from spilling. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story and Happy Birthday to your son!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story!!!

Demeter said...

What a blessing it was for your son to have found you two and for that mom who must be thinking of him every day of her life. He is definitely lucky to have you and she is too.

buffalodick said...

Powerful stuff today.. Thank God for you.., and you feel like you're the lucky one! That's good people in my book!

Susan said...

What a powerful and moving story. And I thank you too for visiting my blog and your great notes!!!

edenland said...

Oh my goodness, I only just read this amazing post, OHN.


You are amazing ... that fifteen year old girl was amazing, back then. WOW.

I love this. Gave me goosebumps.