In an effort to promote life-affirming choices, we will be sharing the stories of women and men who have been affected by adoption, abortion and other life issues. Our deepest gratitude to Katherine (named changed for privacy reasons) for being the first to share her story. Please read and thank God for those who open their homes and lives to adoption. We hope this story will warm your heart this Christmas season!
I’d actually known the birth father since I was about 15. He was a neighborhood child who would come over on his bike. He was really bad news, and I believed somehow I could change him. Once, he had some illegal drugs on him, and I told him I never wanted to see him again.
I’d just gotten out of a relationship that was healthy at one point, but it had denigrated badly from where it started. Before I had broken up with my then-boyfriend, I ran into this neighborhood kid again, and he was working, and supposedly left the drugs, and was doing fine, and he had given me his phone number if I ever wanted to call him. I went over to meet this neighborhood kid, thinking NOW I was 18 and I could do whatever I wanted. So we were sleeping together.
Things progressively got worse with him. I ended up finding out about a week before graduation that I was pregnant. When I told him, he was very upset and blamed me for it. I went home.
He was in and out of trouble with the police for driving after his license was revoked, and other petty things. I didn’t realize there were other girls that had children with him already. He had two others already: One had Down’s Syndrome, a girl, and the other was a boy.
I had tremendous pressure from my father’s side of the family to keep the baby. There were at least three of his sisters that were pregnant before marriage, and they were the ones mainly pressuring me. One even suggested I give the child to her, which was absolutely out of the question for me.
When I was about 6 months pregnant, I really started looking at my options. I called the priest at my church and talked about what happened, and he helped me find a birth family. I went through all the meetings and the counseling sessions, and it was what I wanted to do. I didn’t want my son to be an only child, so Father had found a family with another child so he wouldn’t be alone.
My aunts were relentless up until the day I delivered the baby, even coming in the room when I asked them not to, and making my father extremely uncomfortable. The birth father, meanwhile, wanted nothing to do with it, had signed the papers under an appropriate amount of pressure from the adoption lawyer (I almost think he was fighting it because he had control issues, as I found out later) and was in jail at the time.
The pressure was so bad, I placated my aunts and took the baby home for a week. As long as I was taking him home, I wanted to make sure he received his immunity from me through the first milk. I did that, and then I sent him to foster care until he was ready to leave and go with his family. I would go visit him every few days to make sure he was being properly cared for.
The day he was to go with his birth family, I personally took the baby over to the rectory, and the family had driven up from a different state to come and get him. They seemed very nice and I’d never met them before this, so I was glad that I had the opportunity to meet them before he left.
For the first six months or so, I was quite sad and depressed, which is to be expected after such a traumatic event. As time passed, it got better.
The birth father is now father to at least six children including mine, and I know this for a fact. There is no way he would have supported mine, especially since he doesn’t support the ones that were not given up for adoption.
I really wanted to give this child the opportunity to be everything he wanted to be, no matter what. Most of all, I wanted him to have a father, and he wouldn’t have that if I kept him.
I decided I didn’t want an open adoption because I didn’t want my son thinking that when his parents were disciplining him in the teenage years he could make up excuses for not listening to them, saying, “I have another mom, I’ll just go to her.” The crazy ideas of teenagers. This left no room for that.
I pray for him everyday and I hope that someday he’ll come looking for me. I made available a letter when he turns 18 (21 maybe?) that he can go and look up in the county he was born in, and can read why I gave him up and that I would love for him to look for me. I love him still to this day, and I would want him to find me, and become a part of this family if he so desired.