Hi, My name is Chris and I was 26 years old when I found out I was pregnant for the second time. I didn't have a job, money, or my own home and on top of all that the father of my 4-year-old son was suing me for custody. I knew that if my son's dad found out that I was expecting he would use it to his advantage. When I told the father of the baby, he abandoned me saying he had other plans for his future. I felt extremely helpless! My first thought was an abortion, actually that was the only option for me. Again, with no money and no support from the baby's father, I had no way of paying for it. I was stuck, so I thought.
I was six months pregnant and in complete denial that this baby was going to be born. I would lie on my bed looking through the yellow pages at the abortion ads; this had become a daily routine for me, thinking, "there's no way I can have this baby." At this point, desperation kicked in and I had to figure something out. As I was looking through the phone book I bypassed the abortion ads to the adoption ads (isn't it ironic that they're both under "A" ? ). The facts were that I couldn't take care of this baby, I was risking losing my other son by having this baby, and I had no money, home, or job. The realization of my situation quickly sunk in and it was clear that I had to give this baby up. That's when I decided to call an agency. The name Journeys of the Heart really grabbed me and they were the first ones I called. My decision had been made.
I spoke with Susan and felt extremely comfortable with her, she was very compassionate, when I finished talking with her I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I knew from the first call that I was no longer alone. After meeting with Susan and telling her- About my situation JOH became my support. They helped me get through every obstacle I was facing. They paid for me to get into an apartment, paid for my living expenses through the rest of my pregnancy, David helped me with the legal problems with my son, and they had a therapist always a phone call away.
Susan Tompkins (executive director of Journeys of the Heart) has been a great friend to me over the last six years: when I was pregnant, after I planned an adoption for my child, when my mom passed away, the list goes on and on. Susan was there. In August of last year after careful consideration, I approached Susan with a desire to see my five-year old birth son, Patrick. She said something like, wouldn't that be wonderful? She wrote a letter to his adoptive parents, and we waited. Around Christmas time she heard from them. I couldn't believe it. What a wonderful Christmas present! They said it would be a great thing for him and for me. They considered him in the choice they made, and that meant a lot to me.
We met at Chuck E Cheese and Patrick showed up with a bouquet of flowers and a hug. Can you imagine! I melted. We had a Barbie and Ken water race where he won two out of three games, we bowled and played games. Not to mention we ate lots of pizza and I had a great talk with his adoptive parents. It was a dream come true.
Read what another Birth Mother has to say:
“I was scheduled for an abortion. I went to the appointment and they decided to do an ultrasound to confirm how far along I actually was. To my surprise, I was already 13 ½ weeks. I could have still have had the procedure done. I watched the ultrasound and my heart just sank. I told the nurse that I would have to cancel because I could not go through with it. I could not terminate this child. I also knew I couldn’t raise this child, either.
As you see, we as women go through so many trials and tribulations. It is up to us to make the right decisions for ourselves. I know as a parent I am making the right decision, not only for me, but for the child involved.
Most importantly, I am giving the gift of life.”
This morning as I am feeding my beautiful daughter, Elizabeth, I once again am thinking of her birth mom and what a wonderful gift she has given us.
We think- About her all the time and cannot express how much we love and thank her for making an adoption plan that included us as parents of Elizabeth, our 2-month-old daughter. We have embraced a very open adoption with Elizabeth's birth mother, birth sisters and the entire extended birth family. Elizabeth has two beautiful birth sisters that are in their 20s. We talk to them a couple of times a month to get updates on their young babies and how Elizabeth is doing. We feel like we have adopted a wonderful birth family along with Elizabeth.
We chose Journeys of the Heart Adoption Services because we felt so comfortable with them and how they continually support birth mothers and adoptive couples in all ways. The domestic adoption coordinator in Oregon is so wonderful and caring. She forms a true bond with the birth mothers and adoptive couples.
Elizabeth's birth mother is a gift from God. We cannot express in words how much we love her for letting us parent Elizabeth. She is part of our family.
We hope this letter helps you in your decision to make your adoption plan. We are always open to talk with you (simply contact Journeys of the Heart to reach us) if that would help in getting you comfort.
Patrick and Teresa
We are Craig and Michelle and Marcus! Marcus joined our family through adoption 8 months ago, when he was just 3 days old. Adoption has been a true blessing to our family.
When we decided to start a family, it took us some time before we realized that adoption was the path for us. After some disappointing years of unsuccessful attempts for a biological child, we began to explore adoption as an option for creating our family. After talking to Journeys of the Heart and learning more- About adoption, we felt excited and eager to create our family through adoption.
We started with the Journeys of the Heart office in Oregon. Jessica was very helpful in educating us- About the process and helping us prepare our portfolio to be viewed by birthparents. Very soon thereafter, we began working with Ann in the Chicago office. We were amazed with how smoothly Jessica and Ann worked together between the offices. Our portfolio was soon shown to a birthmother in Chicago. We were so excited to learn that the birthmother had chosen us to parent her child! Ann from Journeys-Chicago was wonderful as we went through the remaining process and waiting. This was such an exciting but scary time as we prepared for the arrival of a new baby but also waited for his birth and the birthmother’s final decision. Ann was great- About staying in contact with the birthmother and with us during this time, and she helped to put our concerns at ease.
It was such an amazing moment when Marcus was placed in our arms for the first time and we became parents. We will never forget the joy and awesome sense of responsibility that overcame us in that moment. It has been an amazing and wonderful adventure with Marcus since those first days and nights together in Chicago. What a miracle to watch Marcus as he grows and develops!
We have been sending pictures and update letters to Marcus’ birthmother and we will continue to do so several times a year. We are always excited to share updates of Marcus’ life with his birthmother, the women who cared for him so well during the months of her pregnancy. We would be delighted to hear more from our birthmother, but we understand that this may be difficult for her at this time. We want her to keep whatever level of involvement is best for her and her family. We are open to letting this relationship evolve over time.
Marcus’ birth mother will always be a special and important person to our family. We are so grateful to her for entrusting us with the care of Marcus. We are still often overwhelmed by appreciation and love for Marcus’ birthmother. Her difficult decision brought us the incredible gift of a child. We love and respect her so much for this.
Even though Marcus may still be too young to understand, we often tell him- About his birthmother and his adoption story. We made a special book for Marcus that tells this story. He loves to listen to us read it and he loves to look at the pictures. Our hope is that Marcus grows up with a positive attitude- About his adoption and that he knows that his birthmother is a wonderful and courageous woman and that she will always hold him in her thoughts and heart.
We are also grateful to Journeys of the Heart, both for helping to bring Marcus to our family, and for its wonderful staff, who were always so helpful and caring. We feel that Journeys works so well with birthparents and with adoptive parents. The staff at Journeys showed concern and respect for all throughout the process.
When Marcus was ready for a brother or sister, we return to Journeys of the Heart!
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