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The moment I found out I was pregnant was very raw for me. It was a moment I was not expecting to have for years down the road. Being unmarried, I did not plan to get pregnant until after being married. Not only was it something I did not want for myself, being born to an unmarried mother was not something I wanted for any child I would have. It was the end of the day, I was expecting my period, and I was craving chicken wings. The thought crossed my mind that there was a chance I could be pregnant. It was something I didn't want to think about, yet I found myself in my yellow VW Bug driving to target to buy a pee stick. When I got home, I took the test. I bawled. I was angry at myself for getting into this situation; a situation I was not nearly equipped for.
I immediately felt so much love for the child growing inside me. I prepped and prepped, getting ready for my little girl to make her entrance into the world. Whether planned or not, the one thing Sarah always was, was loved.
One day, I was hit by a load of falling bricks. The thought came to my mind, Have I really considered all my options? Are we really supposed to be parents right now? I prayed and I researched. I came across an Adoption Agency called Heart to Heart located in Utah. I read about them and felt distinctly that we were supposed to place our daughter for adoption. My ex and I looked into the option more, and found ourselves wondering, looking for the answer to the question that was eating at us, Are we the best thing for her? If not, do we need to go to Utah to pursue adoption? I was reading scriptures and he was leaning forward, praying. In that moment, he looked at me and said, "We need to go to Utah." I felt it too.
Our finances were nil and we were in lots of debt. We could barely afford to support ourselves, let alone a precious little one. We had only been dating for five months. We were not yet equipped for the emotional strain a child would have on our relationship. We did not really know each other all that much! We found ourselves in Utah. After the new year, we discovered a family looking to adopt. They had three boys, and the mama couldn't have babies anymore. They really wanted a little girl. We loved them! We read all about their little family and saw pictures of them. The adoptive mother wrote a letter to the birth mom. In it, she mentioned that they felt there was someone missing from their family. When I read that, my heart stopped. I knew that our daughter was that person.
After meeting them in person, my ex and I knew even more that they were the parents for our daughter. We all believed that we didn't have to search anymore. Us for a family, them for a child. I invited the mama, Emily, to come to my 36 week appointment the following week. We went alone, mother to mother, to connect more. We wanted to show her that the baby was healthy. It was during that appointment that my doctor discovered that I had pre-eclampsia toxemia. I had to deliver that night. (Or so we thought) After being in labor for nearly 30 hours with no progression, our angel became distressed. It was time for an emergency c-section. I was the most afraid I had ever been in that moment. So many thoughts crossed my mind: Will she be okay? What's wrong? Why me? Will I ever give birth naturally? Am I supposed to be a mom? I was asked what music I wanted to listen to. "Bon Jovi." Pandora was turned on and "Dead or Alive," came on. God had a sense of humor that day. There wasn't enough time for meds to set in if we wanted Sarah to survive. Before I knew it, I was being cut open, I was screaming, crying. I could feel my insides being tugged at. Then my doctor said the words, "Baby's out," and I froze/ I looked up and there she was above the curtain, crying. And the pain went away.
I never knew my heart could love so much or so deeply. It pained me to know that I wasn't the best thing for her. To realize that I would never be the best thing for her hurt more than any pain I had experienced.
She was laid by my side after being stitched up, and the nurses began to wheel me out of the OR. Emily and Sarah's adoptive dad, Teral, were waiting outside. When they saw her, they cried. And I was fulfilled.
In the state of Utah, the birth mother spends 24 hours with her baby before signing adoption paperwork. I held her, I changed her, I rocked her, I fed her. I loved her like I was her mother and we weren't about to give her away. I saw my ex hold her, change her, rock, and feed her like we weren't about to slice our hearts wide open and give her away. And then we were there, in the hospital room with my social worker, and Emily and Teral's social worker, and the notary. A stack of papers were placed in front of me and I cried and signed. The nurse rubbed my back and I signed, and signed, and signed. Ink was smudged, I couldn't breathe, but I signed. And then the papers were all signed, and my daughter was no longer mine.
We were able to spend the rest of my hospital stay with her. I was in control until released from the hospital. Teral and Emily brought their boys to meet their new baby sister. They sat in chairs, side by side. Their oldest held her. Emily looked down at each of them and turned to me with tears in her eyes, "It no longer feels like someone is missing."
It was hard to place our daughter for adoption, but that family made it easy. It was hard because we weren't ready, but it was easy because they were. It was hard because we knew we could be so happy being her parents, but it was easy because we knew that she would be their greatest happiness. It was hard because we love her. But it was so easy because we love her.
I hope, more than anything else, that she knows how truly loved she is, and that she will always be happy.