The Hardest Thing I've ever done

 

At 9:16 am on May 12 Keegan Ty was born. On May 13, 1997 I did the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I signed my baby boy over to be adopted.

I found out I was pregnant when I was 16. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. I was sure the doctor's office would tell me the results were negative and there had to be another reason why I was so sick. I was in complete shock when the nurse congratulated me and then hung up. When my parents got home from work a few hours later, I had the task of telling them the one thing a teenage girl's parents never want to hear.

Later that night my parents took me out to run a few errands. I thought it was strange that they didn't bring my two little brothers along, but I didn't dwell on it. On the way home I found out why they only took me. They came to a decision after dinner and wanted to tell me about it. I was going to have an abortion. They told me since I was 16 they would consent and then this "problem" would be over. They told me not to tell anyone and they'd get it scheduled ASAP.

While I certainly didn't think I was ready to be a mom, I knew I wasn't going to be able to have an abortion. Here I was, still trying to adjust to the fact that I was pregnant and had only known for a few hours. I called my boyfriend freaking out and scared that my parents would force me to go through with their plan. My boyfriend and I left (aka ran away) and lived in California. His mom let us move in with her.

After a few months I grew homesick. Things in California weren't exactly working out as I dreamed they would. I missed my family because I hadn't talked to them in months. The only family member I did talk to was my grandma and that was occasionally. I couldn't enroll in school because my parents refused to let the school in Wichita release my records to the school in California. I was stuck in a house with strangers and feeling crappy. My grandma was heading to Minnesota from Arizona and offered to come out of her way to get me and take me home. I jumped at the chance.

Once I got back to Wichita things were tense in the house. My mom would barely say five words to me in a 24 hour period. I had been home for less than a month when my parents asked what my plan was. When I didn't answer right away they made it crystal clear they weren't going to help raise a child. I can't say I expected them to since I was the one responsible for my baby brother for his first few years of life. He called me mommy because I was the one taking care of him! During this talk is when adoption was first mentioned and kinda discussed.

I realized it would be a huge struggle to keep my baby and provide for him by myself. My parents made it clear they wouldn't help and they were the only family I had in town. My boyfriend was still living in California and hadn't bothered to get a job. I never had a job and was struggling to just keep up with high school.

I don't remember how but I was put in contact with Tiffany, an adoption counselor. Tiffany wasn't there to judge me. She listened to me and answered my questions. After a few sessions with her I decided placing my baby for adoption was the right thing to do. We talked about open and closed adoptions in depth. I chose to go with an open adoption. I wanted to know who would be raising my baby. We looked through profiles and I met a few couples. One couple stood out to me front the beginning. The first time I met J and D, I knew they were the couple I wanted to raise my baby. We had a few meetings and phone calls before I told them the news. They were obviously ecstatic as well as nervous.

During the remainder or the pregnancy I saw Tiffany on a weekly basis to work through everything. I also sat down and wrote a very long and heartfelt letter to my baby. In that letter I explained the reasons why I chose to place him for adoption so he could "hear" it from me rather than his adoptive parents.

Once I got checked in at the hospital and it was for sure that I was going to be there until the baby was born we started calling everyone. The plan all along was for Tiffany to come up when available. Once J and D found out I was in the hospital they drove in to be there. I wanted them to be there for the birth of their child. The labor was pretty uneventful. I got the epidural early on so there was a lot of sleeping and some talking. When the doctor decided it was time to push all of the men were cleared out of the room. D asked if I wanted her to stay or go and made it clear to me she would be fine with what ever my decision was. I told her I wanted her to be in the room and a part of this special day.

At 9:16 am on May 12 Keegan Ty was born. On May 13, 1997 I did the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I signed my baby boy over to be adopted.

 

 

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Tags: Adoption., babies, choices, family, pregnancy, teen

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Comment by Chelle on September 21, 2011 at 3:07am

You're a true mom. I can't even find the words to say everything I felt and thought as I read your story. Thank you for sharing.

Comment by Allie Robbins on September 20, 2011 at 12:54pm

Whoa..... that's such a powerful story.  I was a teen mom, too, and I don't know that I would have had the courage to do what you did.  I know that sounds cliche, but I mean it sincerely.  Having the strength and fortitude at the age of 16, and under such pressure, to make that brave decision is incredible.    Allie

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