Thursday, April 30, 2009


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

When I was 16 years old, my boyfriend and I found out that I was pregnant (1994). We planned to marry the following June. In April, we lost the baby at 12 weeks along. It was very devastating for both of us, even though we were not ready to be parents. We decided to go ahead with the wedding but pushed it out until September. Two days before the wedding (Sept. 24) we found out we were pregnant with my oldest daughter. She was born in May 1995. In June1997, we had my son, Michael. We separated December of that same year. I moved out of the house we had purchased together and was staying with some friends in a very small apartment, leaving our children with their father. I was only intending to be gone for a very short time, just to clear my head. Two weeks later, I was served with divorce papers and a restraining order preventing me from entering the home to see my children. After 5 months of court battles, our divorce was final on May 5, 1998 and he was awarded custody of our children.My first husband remarried in October1998. As soon as step-mom came into my children’s lives, she has been trying to push me further and further away from them. In 2002, she got what she wanted when they moved out of state. I get visitation: 4 weeks in the summer and every other Christmas. I have received only a few letters and seldom talk to them on the phone since they have been gone. I think the step-mom blocks me from contact as much as possible. I pay child support to their father. While divorcing, I ran into my very first love, Bill. (We met when I was 14 years old) We married in August 1998, one day before I turned 21. I had problems in my second marriage from day one. We fought constantly. We had a daughter together. After her birth (October 1999), our marriage deteriorated again and we divorced October 2001. I was awarded custody of this daughter and he has visitation. When we separated, I moved into my own apartment and a few months. Later filed bankruptcy due to the debt that was left after BOTH marriages. My lease was up, and I knew that I would not be able to find another apartment easily with a bankruptcy on my credit. My best friend of 17 years, Aron, told me I could move into his house and pay what I could afford for rent. After being through two marriages and being dumped on so much, I told him that if I lived there, he could not. He agreed and moved out to his cousin’s house. I moved into Aron's home in January 2001. By March, our relationship went to a whole new level. We both felt it was the right time to express our true feelings for each other which had been growing for quite some time. Both of us had been through nasty divorces and withheld our feelings. We decided that we would take things VERY slow, day by day and see what happened. After 17 years of friendship, we had been through everything together and knew we had a lot in common. He moved back into his house in April and we were still in agreement that there couldn’t be anything sexual going on between us for several reasons. We DID share the same bed and all that, but believe it or not, we didn’t even kiss until June 2001. It was wonderful and we both felt it!! Anyway, we talked about our future together and what we both had in mind for kids, house, wedding, etc. You name it, we talked about it. In August 2001, our relationship leaped to a REALLY high level quickly.

We were finally intimate and we found out I was pregnant. BAD TIMING! for both of us. From that moment on, our relationship was not the same. I actually moved out for about a month because of the tension and stress. I moved back in December of that year and had my own bedroom with my daughter. Aron moved into the other room. When I first found out that I was pregnant, naturally I told myself and everyone else that I was keeping the baby no matter what. Abortion is NEVER an option for me. And how in the heck could I even think of giving MY child to someone else??? But after several nights of crying myself to sleep worrying about how I was going to make it on my own with two small children, I sat down with Aron and told him I would go and talk to someone. I wasn’t going to agree to do the adoption, but I said I would talk to someone. He was relieved because he had felt all along that adoption was the best. We went to talk to someone the following week. We went through my church Adoption Agency, LDS Family Services. If I was going to do this, I was set on placing my child with someone with the same values and morals as myself. Aron agreed. We finally decided to place our baby. We picked the family and met them in February face to face. Immediately I knew that they were the family to raise our child.After we had chosen the adoptive couple, I called a very good friend of mine and told her that we had chosen the family. She asked what their name was and I told her. We only knew their first names at the time. She immediately began to cry and said, “They were my neighbors in my previous neighborhood and they are the best”. I knew that God had a hand in sending this adoptive couple to us. That was just too weird. The way we picked them was I had requested someone that knew Sign Language, as I am planning on pursuing a career in Interpreting. Adoptive mom is an interpreter. Aron is very much into guns, and adoptive dad is also. So this family was meant for us. At the face to face meeting, Adoptive mom had asked us if we knew what the sex was. At the time, we did not. She told us that if we found out, then we could give them some suggestions for names. So the next week, I got an ultrasound and found out we were having a girl. I tell ya, I was not emotionally prepared to find out what the sex was. I was a wreck anyway dealing with all the emotions of the adoption and all, and that was enough to kill me. I came home and told Aron it was a girl and he lost it. He had a 5 year old son and had always wanted a little girl. So that was really hard. I called Tawnia the next day and told her to call the couple and tell them that we were having a girl, and the name we had picked was Miya. So two days later, we received a call from Tawnia saying that they really liked the name Amanda and would be happy to give her the middle name of Miya. When I first heard “Amanda”, I said NO WAY knowing that my first husband’s wife had that name. But then I thought about it and it is a rather nice name, just has a bad face to it for one person. So I agreed. And I have now learned to easily keep both faces separate. Her name, we agreed, would remain the same throughout her life. We all thought it would be easiest that way. And then the story skips to April. I hope you aren’t asleep yet.

Amanda Miya was born just shortly after midnight, after a labor that had lasted for a couple of days. As she was being delivered, so many thoughts ran through my head: "Please don’t let this end. I don’t want her to go", as well as "Get this over with. I can’t stand waiting any longer. I want to see her". As soon as she was born, emotions ran high among everyone that was in the delivery room. Childbirth is such an emotional thing anyway, but I think the circumstances that surrounded Amanda's birth made it even more so. There were a total of 8 people in the room when she was born: myself, Aron, my sister, sister in law, my mom's best friend (my mother chose not to participate), the doctor, the nurse and a friend of the family that was working the floor that night at the hospital. As soon as she was born, they placed her on my chest. All I could do was stare at her and cry. She was so beautiful. Even though she had not yet been completely cleaned off, I saw right through all the icky sticky stuff and I saw how beautiful she was. She was 8 lbs 8 oz, 20 inches long. She looked just like her father. I stared at her for what seemed like forever and just awed at the sight of such a beautiful being, crying the entire time.

That night, after I had been moved to the recovery room where I would be for the next 2 days, I was still very emotional as I knew what would be happening in the hours to come. I tried to keep my composure the best that I could, as I knew that Aron was a wreck inside and I did not want to make it harder for him than it already was. Aron slept on the chair next to the bed and held “beautiful” (that’s what he called her) all night. He woke up several times during the night at the littlest sounds she would make. At one point during the night, I woke up and was not able to get back to sleep as I had too much on my mind, rightfully. I lay in the bed and stared at the two of them sleeping there. I cried as I tried to imagine how the events of the next few days would pan out. I was full of uncertainties and mixed emotions. I had no idea what to expect and it bothered me.

The next morning, the visitors started arriving. The first visitor that we had was Tawnia. She showed up in a panic, and asked if everything was OK. She said she had gotten a call from the hospital nurse telling her that Aron was threatening to take the baby out of the hospital, I was having second thoughts about the adoption and I was curled up in a fetal position on the bed when the nurse came to check on me. I couldn’t help but laugh and explained to her what had really happened that morning before she arrived. Amanda had spit up on all the blankets that we had in the room and Aron went out to get some more from the nursery, which was 2 doors down from our room. He was holding Amanda as he walked out of the room. The nurses immediately came running over to him and told him that he had to put her in a basket if he wanted to take her out of the room. He was not in the best of moods anyway, given the situation. He told the nurse that he was just going to get a couple blankets and he was going right back to the room. He then explained to the nurse that it was HIS child and if he chose to, he would walk out of the hospital with her. The nurse told him that she would call security if he could not follow the rules. He told her to go ahead and call security. He was ready to take them on. After he got the blankets, he came back to the room. Needless to say, security was never called. As far as me being curled up in a fetal position, I had no idea what the nurse was talking about. I just had a baby! I was trying to get comfortable. If she came in and saw me that way, it was when I was sleeping. Tawnia was relieved when I told her what REALLY happened.

Later on that day, my brother and sister in law came back to see Amanda. They held her and loved her, as they knew it wouldn’t be long before she was going to be with her new family. A few other friends and family members came over the next 2 days, one of which was my sister. She actually came a couple of times. One time in particular really stands out in my mind and will forever. As the visit was ending, the 3 of us (Aron, Jackie and I) all got teary eyed as Jackie said her goodbyes to Amanda. She gave Aron a hug as he sat in the window sill and cried. She then walked over me as I was lying in the bed and hugged me and told me that Amanda was a very lucky little girl. She told me that Amanda was our angel and she reminded me that Aron and I were the adoptive couple’s angels as well, for doing such a thing for them. She kissed me on my forehead and then left. I still get choked up thinking about it.

Another memorable visit was from my father. Coming to the hospital to see me was one of the most wonderful things he could have done. He did not hold Amanda, I suspect because he did not want to get attached to her. I understood, as much as I would have liked him to hold her. The simple fact that he was there to see her was enough for me. That day was full of picture taking, tears shed, laughter, phone calls, and well wishes from many. The evening was a very special, yet emotional one, as we all knew it would soon be time for us to say goodbye to Amanda.

I made special arrangements for a few close family and friends to come to the hospital and give Amanda a blessing. My brother, my father, and a family friend all came and helped give her a blessing. My mother’s best friend (the one that was by my side for the birth) and another family friend were there for the event as well. That was something very special.

After that was over, Aron decided that he would go home and try to get some sleep since he was to get his son the next day for a few hours. I was hesitant to let him go given my emotional state at the time, but I agreed. He called 2 times that night to see if I was OK. He told me one of the reasons he wanted to go home was to let me have some personal time with Amanda. He knew how important it was.

That night seemed to go by so slow, yet it went by too fast. I had several hours to devote just to Amanda. I talked to her and told her how much I loved her and that she was much loved and she would be missed immensely. I cried for a while as I held her close to me. I slept with her in my arms all night. The next day was the most emotional day of the whole experience. I remember it like it was just yesterday. I remember everything about the day right down to the clothes we wore. As I woke up and got myself prepared for the day’s events, I was so overwhelmed with emotion. I did not know what to feel. I was completely numb. I could not cry, I could not laugh, I could not smile, I could not frown, and I could not focus. The only thing I was able to do was function enough to get myself dressed and then just sit and stare out the window.

Aron arrived shortly after I woke up as his plans to get his son fell through that morning. I was so incredibly happy he came back early, but I kept it inside. As the day went on, I found myself watching the clock, not looking forward to 3 PM to come. That was the time that the adoptive couple was scheduled to show up at the hospital. As the time drew closer, the more emotional I got. I stood at the window with Amanda in my arms, held her close to me and cried. Aron gave me a hug and reminded me that we were doing the right thing. He told me to keep it together as I needed all the strength I could muster for the next few hours. I sat down on the rocking chair and rocked Amanda and just stared at her.

Shortly before 3 PM, Nicki arrived. She was the fill in case worker since Tawnia had gone out of town that morning to help another birthmother. She walked in and told us that the adoptive couple was waiting in the room next to us. I remember looking at Aron and thinking, “this cannot be happening”. She explained to us what would happen and asked us if we were ready for them to come in. I said, “no, but do it anyway”. As soon as adoptive mom walked through the door, she asked me how I was doing. I looked at her and I said “could be better” and the tears poured out. She gave me a hug and said “Thank you”. Aron had taken Amanda from me at this point and was holding her by the door. As soon as he saw me start to cry, he couldn’t hold it in any longer. He began to cry as well.

The only other time I had seen Aron cry was when his father had passed away a few years prior. The couple stood against the wall as we talked. I was very appreciative that they were not pushy and did not insist on grabbing hold of Amanda as soon as they arrived. They respected the fact that this WAS the last few hours that we would have with Amanda for several years to come. I was very grateful to them for that. We discussed the birth and the few hours after. The nurse came in and explained to them how to care for her the next few days after she was home. The 2 hours that we spent together went by way too quickly. They were full of tears, laughter, and reflecting.

Shortly before it was time for them to leave, adoptive mom asked Aron if she could hold her. Aron handed Amanda to her. Adoptive mom had brought an outfit for her to go home in, since I wanted to keep the only outfit that I had of hers, which was the outfit she was blessed in the night previous. After she was dressed, it was time for everyone to go their separate ways. Again, I began to sob. Adoptive mom asked me if I wanted to hold her one more time before they left. I held Amanda in my arms as I rocked her. I stared into her eyes for what seemed like forever. I was not able to speak at all. All I could do was stare at her. There were no words spoken, yet I was saying so much. She looked at me for several minutes as if she knew what I was saying to her. For the first time in my life, I was left completely speechless. A lot of people use that figuratively speaking, but I had never experienced that before that moment. Literally, I could not utter one word. I will never forget that moment.

It was time to say goodbye. I could not bring myself to speak the words of “Goodbye”. In my mind it was not goodbye. I knew in my heart that we would be reunited one day. After several minutes of complete speechlessness, I finally was able to say, “This is not goodbye. I will see you later”. Aron took her from my arms. I remember how empty I felt at that very moment. I kept my head down, as I could not look up to see Aron handing my baby girl over to them. It was too heart wrenching. I can only imagine what he must have been feeling as he handed his little girl over to them. I could feel his pain and his heartache. As I watched them walk out the door, I was so full of relief, anger, sadness, joy, comfort and confusion all at the same time, if you can imagine that.

To be sure that there would be no conflicts of any sort, we remained in the room until we were sure they had left the hospital. Walking to the car with empty arms was such a long walk. And the drive home was such an emotional one. I ached for Amanda. I heard her cries even though she was not there. With every song I heard, I thought of her. The next few days I was a wreck. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to see anyone. I did not want to get out of bed. I was physically in pain, but even more so I was emotionally in pain. My emptiness far outweighed the physical discomfort I was in.

The couple gave us some gifts at the hospital and it took me a week to get the courage up to open them. They gave me a necklace identical to one that they purchased for Amanda to present her with on her 16th birthday. They gave Aron a small gift as well, which he chose not to open at that time. They gave my youngest girl a gift, as well. I thought that was very sweet of them to do.

Now, all we have to hold on to are memories of the 2 days we had with her, which will be in our minds and our hearts forever, and some mementos that we kept from the hospital, such as her blanket, her blessing outfit and her hospital bracelet. I also hold onto the hopes that we can be reunited again and she will know and understand of our love for her and why we did what we did. She is never gone from our hearts or our minds.We both know and are firm in that we made the right decision for our daughter. As hard as it was to say goodbye, we did it for her. We were selfless enough to think of her needs first, as parents do. And... we did not give her up. We gave her more...
by Emmy

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