To begin this, let me tell you a little about me. My name is Krystal and I once faced the same decision that you are about to face. I found out that I was pregnant early in 2014. At this time I thought it was the best thing ever and thought I was ready to raise a child. There were also some scared feelings about raising a baby because I was not financially stable and I suffered from bipolar disorder. My moods were never stable and I was not on any medication. I was also angered at myself because I always wanted my child to be planned. In late 2013 I was charged with theft and was given 2 years’ probation. I moved up north further in Wisconsin to be with the father of my baby. He is disabled and was already a father of a handsome 3 year old boy. We spent hours, days and months trying to figure out how we were going to raise a baby with me not working at the time and he only on disability.
Time was flying by and before we knew it we were at the hospital for the ultrasound and found out we were having a baby girl. I was so happy to find out what we were having because I still thought I was going to be raising her. I have so many high school friends that had a baby before they even graduated high school. I figured if they can do it, so can I. Later that month her father and I were sitting down in McDonald’s eating when I brought up the idea of adoption to him. We had many arguments about how we were going to raise her so we both agreed to look up adoption right away. We found Adoptions of Wisconsin and called and left a short message. We went home and talked about it that night. It was a hard thing to talk about and also hard to come to the conclusion that we were both financially unable to raise her correctly. I had to also realize that me being mentally unstable and on probation was not the best situation for her. She was my first baby which made the decision even harder. I didn’t understand why everyone else could raise their children and I couldn’t.
The next day Claire at Adoptions of Wisconsin called us and gave us a lot of information on adoption. I was adopted myself and knew a little about the whole thing. She scheduled a meeting and when she came over we did paperwork and she gave us books about the families that were looking to adopt. There were a lot of books but it was easy for us to narrow it down to two families because we knew what we wanted for our daughter. All the books were wonderful and very informative. We called Claire a few weeks later and told her the two families we were trying to decide from. She set up a day for us to go meet the two families. That was a hard day for us because it was starting to become reality and we had to face the fact that we couldn’t give our daughter everything she needed. The best part was that we had two great families in front of us that could. We met both families and went home that night and thought about it together. It was an emotional night but we knew we needed to pick the right one so we tried to stay strong for each other.
After many weeks of thinking and comparing families, we came to a decision. We called Claire and told her our decision. We felt relieved that we could finally get to know the family and try to start feeling comfortable with our decision. The couple we picked didn’t have any kids but had tried so hard to in the past but had no luck. We were shy towards each other for the first week or so due to adoption being new to all of us. We loved that it was a journey we could all take together. We talked via email for the first month or so then we asked the family if they would like to come to the doctor appointments with us and this is when we really started to bond. Every other week we got together to see the doctor to hear her heart beat and then we would go out to eat. Part of me was scared to bond with them but it truly was fun getting to know them. We started to text and that brought even more bonding. I bonded with the adoptive mom shortly after our first couple of visits.
The relationship that the adoptive mom and I had/have is beyond belief. We did so many things together from texting to shopping. We went to Shopko and went shopping for maternity clothing and we had a blast. The men came with but they went and looked at other things, which gave them their own bonding time. A few weeks after we went shopping together the adoptive mother and I went on a girl’s night out together. We went out to a movie called “Into the Storm” which was really cool because we both shared a fear of storms so we both had a blast scaring ourselves. After the movie we went to Cracker Barrel to eat and we sat for a few hours eating and talking. We talked about choosing Willow Grace for a name which we both loved and I was so happy to be a part of picking her name out. We talked about our lives and what we both wanted for Willow. I am so happy for the relationship that I have with the family. I lost my mom when I was a baby so she is a blessing and a very helpful person with dealing with the adoption and everyday life situations. She always says that if she could adopt me she would. She has a huge heart and is so loving and caring. I couldn’t have picked a better family to raise Willow.
On September 4th we met up with the family at the hospital for a regular doctor appointment. I went into the room with the adoptive mother and we found out that I had preeclampsia. The doctor admitted me to the hospital and I was given medication to induce labor. None of us expected I’d be going into labor because my given due date was September 21st. The adoptive father ran home to get things for themselves and Willow. The adoptive mother would not leave my side which I am so thankful for. I was in so much pain and she was always right there to give me head massages, fix my pillow, and get me water, anything I needed. There was a point to where she felt I wasn’t getting the care I needed and she made sure that changed right away. She wasn’t scared to get me help. It was nice to feel so loved, it was an amazing feeling. It’s amazing how someone you met just a few months ago can show so much love towards you. I had Willow on September 5th and she was a healthy 5 pounds, 11 ounces and 19 inches long.
After I had Willow, the family had her in another room in the hospital and took full care of her to let me rest. I got to see her and hold her as much as I wanted. I chose to not hold her too much due to the fact I was still trying to adjust to the fact that she soon would not be mine. The adoptive parents told me at one of our previous get together that us allowing them to have Willow was next to the coming of Christ. Those words have and always will stay with me. Knowing that I am giving them the gift of a life time is what keeps me positive in my decision of adoption. At the hospital, the nurses made us and the adoptive family a baby book so that we could both have the memories. Even though the adoptive family had Willow now they were still supportive of us and checked in frequently to make sure we were ok and to ask if we wanted to see Willow. It was nice knowing that we were still important and not forgotten.
The morning of discharge was the hardest day of all of them for me and her father. We cried almost that whole day. That was when reality really hit us and we realize that she wasn’t coming home and wouldn’t be with us anymore. The adoptive family was so supportive though, they ensured us that we could come see her and that we would text as much as we could handle. Before we left we spent some time with the family and Willow. We all cried together and reassured each other that everything would be okay. We left the hospital before the adoptive family because we thought it would be easier that way. We only lived 5 minutes from the hospital but the drive seemed to take forever.
As soon as I got home I texted the adoptive mother and asked how everything was going. She was so open to talking whenever we needed. Claire came and checked on us as needed to make sure we were doing okay. Whenever Claire or the adoptive mother would text us we felt comforted in knowing that we were still a part of the process. The amount of support was amazing even after they had Willow in their home.
Giving Willow up for adoption was one of the many challenges me and her father faced in the time we have been together. It was by far the hardest of them all, but as hard as it was for us we realize now that we did the best thing for her. We always wanted nothing but the best for her and that is what we all came together to give her. Someday my daughter will look back and say I am thankful for your selflessness. In the beginning that was one of my biggest fears was that she won’t understand and might not want to ever talk to me.
I don’t know what challenges you are facing in your life but whatever you choose to do, either to parent or adopt, just keep in mind that you have to do what is best for you and your baby. Don’t listen to anyone’s thoughts about it but your own. People might not agree with whatever you chose but it’s your life not theirs and unless they have walked in your shoes they have no room to speak.