“Are you ready” the text read.
How can I be ready to sign over my parental rights to Lucy to someone else? I really got along well with my case manager – Amanda but I was not sure how to respond to this text. I knew what she meant. Was I dressed and ready for my Uber to pick me up? Yes. But could I get up and walk outside, mentally my answer was “no.” Amanda called me after I missed my second Uber.
“Talk to me, what is going on?” Amanda asked.
“I am a mess. I know I need to do this, but how do I do it? How do I walk away from a lifetime of being a mother to Lucy?” I responded.
Amanda replied, “If Lucy were to come home to you right now what would your life look like? Would you have the things to care for her? Is this about what is best for Lucy or about you? Today cannot be about you. It is about starting Lucy’s future somewhere designed to nurture her needs and her wants.”
In my heart, I knew my adoption case manager, Amanda was right. I knew Lilly and James were the absolute best parents for Lucy. I wanted her to be with them and for them to raise her. I was excited for their life together but for their life to begin, I had to endure my own heartbreak. I told Amanda to send another Uber and I promised I would be waiting outside. I made good on my word, I got in the Uber.
Amanda met me at the adoption agency office. She had my favorite drink in hand and said, “I knew you needed something to make you smile today.”
I hugged her and thanked her. This process would have been miserable, even impossible without her. Amanda was someone I was going to miss seeing on a regular basis, she made me feel like this was not a job for her, it was her passion. She kept me on track when I felt like my entire world was spiraling out of control. Amanda helped me understand that I did not need my baby’s birthfather to be happy or to feel whole. She encouraged me to start setting goals for myself and my future apart from my adoption plan.
Signing my Consent to Place Child for Adoption and Relinquishment of Parental Rights was excruciating difficult. I silently read the document. Reading words like “surrender custody of the child” and “consent is irrevocable”, I cannot change my mind. I kept reminding myself this is something I am doing for my daughter Lucy. It might break my heart, but it will protect Lucy’s heart. She will have stability, a two-parent family and have all her basic needs met, which is something I cannot provide right now. As tears silently streamed down my face, I signed the documents. While the document was being stamped with the notarization, I felt like I needed to run, to get out of this office. Even though the staff seemed so understanding, every part of me ached for my life to be different, for me to hit “rewind” on my life and make different life choices so I could be in a place to be able to parent Lucy and give her the life she deserved. Fear and anxiety swept over me in waves, and I was just trying to catch my breath. Thoughts kept racing through my head – My Lucy, my baby. Would I ever hold her again? Would I ever see her again? Doubts flew through my mind, going to dark depressing places. I knew I needed time. I needed a minute to really understand what just happened. I knew eventually I would be happy for them but right now I just needed to cry.
Amanda walked up to me and spoke. “I know you don’t want to talk to me right now, but you need to talk to someone. Can I call anyone for you? Would you like to speak with the adoption counselor again?”
I agreed to talk with the counselor, because I knew no one that I could call that would pick up, I was in this alone. The counselor listened to me, and she let me cry. She let me work through all my doubts and fears. Then she reminded me about when I was in the hospital with Lucy, Lilly, and James and had me tell her all about our time together. I shared the stories we told while Lucy slept in Lilly’s arms, the plans we made and the dreams we shared. By the end of the counseling session, admittedly I did feel a little better about everything. I felt like I had at least moved past the anger stage and was working my way towards finding acceptance.
Now looking back, five months later, I remember walking out of the adoption agency office after signing my adoption documents on July 19, 2021. I remember everything about that day, from what I was wearing to what the air smelled like to the color fingernail polish I had on. My phone beeped and I looked down there was a text from Lilly, “We love you. We wish we were with you right now to remind you that this is only the beginning. We will see you soon. Thank you. Thank you for making me a mommy too. I can’t wait to share with you how quickly Lucy grows.” My heart relaxed. My shoulders finally loosened. And I knew that difficult day in July had to happen for us to get to where we all wanted to be. That day in July and every day afterwards was not about me. It was about ensuring the best potential future for Lucy. I know in my heart that I had made the absolute best choice for her.
Choosing adoption means choosing an option with support, aftercare, and access to financial resources. Adoption is a beautiful choice and one that is increasingly becoming a more popular choice. If you are pregnant and are considering adoption, we are a licensed, full-service, non-profit Arizona Adoption Agency. We believe in adoption aftercare services and have a program on site to provide continued support through the Donna K. Evans Foundation. You can contact us 24/7 at (623) 695-4112. You are not alone, and we want to help. Thank you for considering adoption, you are making an amazing choice! Call or Text: (623) 695-4112.