My name is Deja. I am 21 years old and I was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. I placed my son Elijah up for adoption in October of 2016 and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made thus far in my life. When I was 4 months pregnant I found out that I was expecting. My first thought was to get an abortion. I thought I had my mind set so I started the process. I went to my first appointment where they gave me an assessment and asked various questions about why I wanted to do abortion. After the two hour appointment I made my next appointment which would be the abortion. I did all the paperwork, I took the dilation pills and then it was time to get the ultrasound to see the placement of the baby. When they put the probe on my belly I got anxious. Then I looked at the computer screen and I saw a baby. A baby with a heartbeat. A baby that was moving, kicking, and sucking its fingers. My heart dropped into my stomach. I couldn’t do it. I started crying and saw that I bleeding and thought I was losing this baby but I got up, put my clothes on and left. I remember speeding out of the parking lot, almost hitting a sign and I kept going without looking back. I stopped at the PDQ gas station and parked. I thought, “What am I going to do now? I can’t take care of another baby. I already have two kids I’m struggling with. God help me”. I wondered and cried about what I was going to do next and I still didn’t know.
Three days after that, I looked on the internet for adoption agencies and that is where I found Adoptions of Wisconsin. I gave them a call to set up an appointment. I knew that I couldn’t parent this innocent child and that he didn’t deserve to be taken off this earth because it wasn’t his fault he was here. That is where my journey began. I met a woman by the name of Megan. She was a pretty, young, educated woman whom I was drawn to at first sight. I knew she would be there with me through it all and she has been, even after my parental rights were terminated. I had the jitters in my belly. I was scared and anxious about this whole thing but I began to open up and explain to her why I wanted to choose adoption. She then gave me a folder with lots and lots of beautiful different families inside of it. I looked that over for about a week and saw a couple that I thought would be perfect. I called Megan and told her, and from there she set up our first meeting with each other.
We met at a little cafe in Sun Prairie. Boy was I scared and had knots in my stomach. I thought “What if they don’t like me? What if they don’t want an African American baby? What if they don’t want a baby boy? Are they nice?” Then as I saw them walk into the back of the café, my face lit up and conversation flowed so easily. I knew they were the right parents for my son Elijah! And that’s how I chose them! From then on I was set on them parenting my child and that I was going to go through with this. I always had the thoughts in the back of my mind – “What if I wanted to parent my baby? How I would be able to have this child I’d been carrying and hand it over to stranger? What would my baby think of me? Would he hate me? Would he think I didn’t love him?”
On October 4th of 2016 I got to the doctor’s office and they said they wanted to do the c section that day because Elijah was not gaining weight inside of me. Megan raced to the hospital and sat with me and comforted me while we waited. I was so scared. We then called the adoptive parents. I was so nervous because they weren’t answering. Shortly after, they returned the calls and were so shocked this was all happening that day. They rushed right over to Meriter hospital where I was. The adoptive mom was in the room with me the whole time during the c section. I felt so safe and so much love and support with her just being there but I was scared to be going through yet another c section. Didn’t take long until we heard this little mouse like cry and it was Elijah who weighed 4 lbs 4 ounces! I cried tears of joy as they took him and cleaned him up and rolled him out to see his parents. His dad got to even cut his umbilical cord! I was in the hospital for a few days to recover.
I had initially decided I didn’t want to spend much time with him. It felt too dangerous for me to get my heart too attached to this fragile baby that I knew I couldn’t care for. But I was already attached. I love Elijah so much and decided that I did want to hold him and get some pictures with him. I held Elijah maybe twice and took one picture with him and his new family. My family came and so did the adoptive parent’s family. Everyone came to meet this new bundle of joy who had so many people who loved him. Elijah spent most of his first days in the hospital with his adoptive parents which made me both happy and sad, but I knew what I had to do. When I was leaving, I went in to say goodbye to them and to my now, few days old baby boy Elijah. That was the hardest thing I think I ever had to do in my life. I cried and cried and told the adoptive parents, “Thank you and I love you guys and please take good care of our baby boy!” Megan was there and we went back into my hospital room where I cried even more. Then I left. I was so torn up but I knew this was right for me and for my baby boy.
Now after all of this, I’m close with the adoptive parents and they genuinely love me and love Elijah. All the worries I had went out the window. I still get those “what if” moments and sometimes it is hard but I still know I wouldn’t have had it any other way! I recently saw him and got to spend time with him. He is now 3 months old and getting so big! Such a handsome little man with amazing parents. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without open adoption. Thank you to Megan for making this the most comfortable and life changing experience and for being there through it all. Thank you to the adoptive parents for being in my life and parenting my son Elijah. He will always know he has two mommies and two families that love him with all of their hearts. And thank you Adoptions of Wisconsin you have really forever changed my life in the most amazing ways.