This a long but AMAZING story. I was just going to do excerpts but I ask you to bear it and read it. It is so amazing! I love this person so much she is one of my personal heroes. If anyone so much as dares to leave a bad comment consider it deleted. Jessa
February 1, 2005 : The day my angel was born. My "gift of faith".I was feeling contractions pretty hard and debating on whether or not to go to the hospital. I was sitting in the living room with Derek and Desiray (the couple I lived with during the time of my pregnancy) as we decided on if we should get in the car and go…not to mention call my mom to make the 4 hour drive from my home town in the middle of the night.I asked Derek to give me a blessing and then slowly made my way down the stairs to take a bath (probably my 6th one that day). When I got out of the tub, I called my mom and the decision was made. She was already on her way, so we headed to the hospital. I wasn’t dilated enough for the nurses to want to take me in and was about to be sent home until they called my doctors and he asked if my mom was on her way. I told him yes, and thankfully he decided to induce labor.
I remember Desiray sitting with me through the night until my mom got there. We watched “Full House” and I ate away at ice chips. Because I wasn’t fully dilated they had me walk around the hospital for what felt like forever, but it was such an amazing opportunity to have that extra time to bond with Des and prepare for what was coming. I remember laughing as we made our way up and down the stairs and how every time we passed a certain corner I would stop to watch “Boy Meet’s World” for just a moment. Oh the memories.I don’t remember ever being so scared yet so excited at the same time. I could go into the details of labor and all that it entailed but to sum up, I was induced at about 1:30 in the morning when my mom finally got there and had Tess at 5:01 the next evening. Yep, 16 hours of labor; 3 of which consisted of pushing. But it was all worth it. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and I could have never imagined loving something so small, so much. My heart was taken. I knew I would love her, but not like that…not like this. It is remarkable to me that soon my sweet angel will be five years old. She has had such an amazing life and I am so grateful for the light she has brought into mine.
During the days that I would ache for her in my arms, it almost seemed impossible for me to ever feel like I would be okay, but I look at her life today, and know that the decision I made for her was undoubtedly the best decision I could have ever made. The 3 days that I got to spend in the hospital with Tess will be three of the most memorable days of my life. Those were the days when I was her mother. I changed her dirty diapers, I rocked her to sleep, I held her and loved her as my own. On February 4th, I placed my angel into someone else’s arms…into her parents arms; two of the most amazing people I will ever have in my life. It was both the hardest yet most spiritual day of my life. The love and respect that Ryan and Angie showed for me that day will always be captured in my heart. I cannot put into words how amazing those few hours in the placement room were, for it is far too sacred, but I hope they know of my eternal love for them. Once I walked away from that room and said goodbye to my precious angel, James and I just held one another. The truth of what had just taken place had not yet sunk in, but we both knew that it would change our lives forever. I am grateful that James was able to be there for the placement and that we were able to say goodbye to our daughter together.It amazes me how fast time has gone by and what a little lady Tess has grown into today.Adia Faith: … that is the name I had chosen for Tess and will always sacredly carry for her.
In Swahili Adia means “gift”… defining her as my true “gift of faith”. This precious angel gave me my life back and helped me find the right path to take, and in return I of course had to give her the same. I had to recognize that my decisions before coming pregnant with her were the mistakes I had made, and not her life. She deserved to be brought into the world in the right way; into a home with two parents, who not only loved her, cause James and I could have given her all the love in the world, but two parents who loved one another, and just as equally important, were married. She deserved the blessing of the sealing covenant and being raised in a family who could guide her in the teachings of the Lord and our Savior, Jesus Christ.Ryan and Angie had all these features. I have never known two people who love one another so much, and their testimony of the gospel is an example to me each and every day. Tess has the most remarkable life; a life I could have never imagined for her, and I thank the Lord for guiding me to Ryan and Angie. I am grateful for the short 9 months I was able to call myself Adia's mother, and for the lessons I learned from her sweet little spirit. She brought me back to the church and so importantly showed me what it meant to love. Tears run down my face as I type of my love for her, for I know that words could never express. I cannot deny that there are my days where I miss her so dearly, but again I say, I know without a doubt that my choice to place her into the arms of Ryan and Angie was the right one.As many know I met my husband just 6 short weeks after placing Tess for adoption. So often people ask if I would have met him just 8 weeks sooner, would I have still placed? The answer is undeniably, yes! I was blessed to have Tess in my life for the time that I did, but her soul, her sweet spirit, always belonged to Ryan and Angie. She is where she was always meant to be, and I just consider myself lucky to have had her life entrusted to me during that short time of pregnancy.
I love you sweet Adia, I always have, and I always will!! I am grateful every day for your parents and there love they show towards you.Angie and Ryan share Tess’s life with me through pictures and letters, and even though I do not know if I will ever see her again, I have to say that just those gestures alone are amazing. Tess is such a little lady, full of pizzazz. I love hearing stories of her adventures with her parents, and even more recently what a great big sister she is. I have seen a few videos of her dancing and singing and just have to say…HOLY CUTENESS!! She is the most precious little girl and continues to bring sunshine into my life every day.When I look at pictures of Tess and her Dad I cannot deny my choice to have placed her for adoption. I know without a doubt that Ryan is and will always be her hero…exactly what I wanted for her. He's her Superman and I thank him for that love. He is a remarkable Dad who works hard for his daughters and wife. Something that I love so much about Ryan is the love that he has always shown for Angie. I never knew a man could love one woman so much, and he showed me what I deserved in life. Thankfully I have found a man who gives me the same love that Ryan gives to Angie. He truly is an amazing man and an even more amazing father.Angie is the most remarkable mother and it touches my heart each and every time I read of the fun Tess and her share together. I just know that Angie is Tess’s best friend and she looks up to her in so many ways. I could not have been a better mother myself. It’s a hard place to be when you feel that you’re ready to be a mom, but you have to say goodbye because you know it’s for the best; but each and every day Angie calms my heart and reminds me that Tess is okay and is loved more then I could have ever imagined for her. Angie is the most amazing mother and I only hope that I will be as wonderful as her with my children.
Such a sass Tess is told to be; my momma continues to tell me that she has to get that from me. Even though I am not with Tess every day of her life, and have not seen her since the day of placement it still touches my heart so deeply when I see little sparks of my attitude coming from her. Some of the stories Ryan and Angie tell me bring me to tears with laughter and others just make me proud to know how fast she is growing and what a little smarty pants she is. Truly she is becoming such a little lady, but I am grateful to know that she also enjoys the life with the boys. One of my most cherished pictures I have is one of Tess fishing with her Daddy. It is so amazing to me that she has that balance in her life. A Daddy to show her what it’s all about to be a sports fanatic, and the importance of hard work and determination,and to also have a Mommy who takes her dancing and shows her the fun and exciting life of being a girl, and the true meaning of unconditional love. Truly, Ryan and Angie are the most fantastic parents. This is one lucky little girl!! :)
One of my most favorite things to hear about lately are the adventures Tess has with her little sister Carlie. I have been blessed in my life to be able to get to know Carlie's birth-mom and am so grateful to her for allowing Tess to be a big sister. I never imagined this for her and am so happy it happened so soon. These two little girls are so full of life and just have the cutest personalities. Carlie is such a riot and it is so funny to hear about how they show their love towards one another. I hope that these two little girls will grow up in life as best friends and carry each other through both the happy and sad times.It is hard for me to stop here and I could truly go on and on and on about how much I love this little girl and her amazing parents. But to put it simply…she is my light and my angel. Each day I am reminded to live righteously because of her. I know it is because of her, and undoubtedly, my Savior, Jesus Christ, that I am where I am today. She helped guide me back to the Lord and the remembrance of her keeps me strong.
Adoption…it truly is about love. If anyone doubted this before, I hope you don’t now. I made the decision I did for my daughter so she could have a better life, and just look at the amazing life she has. What a remarkable gift. I am in awe at the love this decision has brought into my life. The Lord has truly blessed me.I love my little angel with all of my heart! A lot of people wonder why or how I could have placed her for adoption or phrased it more in an unknowingly way as "I can't believe she gave her up", but those are the people who don't ask, and the people who choose not to understand.I am sure I repeat myself in some of the following words I type, but Tess is so much to me, and the reason my life is where it is today. I feel as though I can't get the point across enough. Often my heart longs for her and I miss her sweet vanilla smell and her big beautiful eyes, but I know in my heart that I did what was right for her. That sweet little angel deserved everything and I was not able to give that to her.
Again she deserved a mommy and a daddy who loved her and just as important who loved one another. This little girl not only deserved but needed the eternal blessings of life and the eternal blessing of having a daddy by her side and a mommy who could raise her. I could have given her so much love, but I could not have been there for her in the way I felt was right. I understand and know in my heart that adoption is not for everyone, and I praise all of you amazing parents out there who found a way and chose a way to make it work. Your children are blessed to have such amazing role models in their lives. My love goes out to all of you. I also know that I could have made it work in someway, but I felt in my heart and knew with every fiber of my being that she deserved more then I could offer her. This precious angel not only gave me my life back, but she gave an amazing couple a new beginning and a better life. Not only did I make her life better, but I enriched their lives with a gift they could not give each other. I undoubtedly could have been a mother to her and never once through my soul searching thought I wasn't good enough, but I knew that in my arms was not the place she was meant to be. Through the Atonement of Christ and the understanding of those who can't have children of their own, I knew there had to be another option for her. I look at my life from the day I found out about her little precious soul, and where I am now and all I can say is....amazing!! Not to say that my life wouldn't be as amazing if she were in it still, but I can't take away from what she has now and have never doubted my choice to place her in the arms of another. I have been so blessed to have such a role model in my life, and who knew it would come in such a small package? I do not regret my decision in anyway. Yes I miss her, and so often my heart longs for her, but I know with all that I am that she is where she was meant to go. I know and believe that with all of my heart the Lord blessed me with her in my life so I could find mine. I expect that some of you will not understand, but hope in someway you might and will not judge me or any other birthmothers who truly choose this decision for themselves and their child. I am not ashamed of my daughter or of my choice. She is the reason I breathe and the reason I am so great today. What a precious angel she is...what an amazing gift. I thank my Heavenly Father every day for the love of her in my life...and I know that through Him, I can survive anything.
This life is amazing...do not give up on it, do not give up on yourself, a quote so many of you may have heard many times before (slightly changed) explains it perfectly...."The greatest risk of all, is choosing not to take one." I do not tell my story to try to justify my decision and I do not deny that this choice is not for everyone, but please respect that for me, I know undoubtedly as I've already said several times, that I chose this and am not ashamed, and I was not forced into my decision in anyway. It was 100% mine.
Yes I have my nights where I cry and even now 5 years later and having a little one of my own to hold and rear, I still miss Tess and long for her, but I would not change the way things are today. She was and still is my miracle. I knew going into this that there would be hard days and that time would not heal the wounds, but I willing accepted that to give Tess something more. First and foremost in my decision to place her for adoption was for her!! I do not wish to call myself selfless or a hero of any kind, but in my decision I tried full heartedly to think of only her! She came into this situation without a choice in the matter. I was 17, unmarried, not in love, and completely unprepared to be a mother. I made a choice that led me to become pregnant and I felt like I had to make the best of the situation for her. There are days where I wonder if she will resent me, or hate me for the choice I made, but the most I can do is let her know that I did it out of love and that regardless that she is no longer in my arms, I will always love her. I didn't let her go because I didn't want her, I didn't say goodbye because I had things to do with my life, I did it because I thought it was the best decision for her, and looking at her life I still believe that it is. Some may judge me, and others may have different opinions, but this is mine and I will stand up for it eternally. I love you sweet Tess. You are my angel...and forever will you be in my heart.
And a quote to top it all off...
"No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure especially if we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called children of God." --Orson F Whitney