I was originally supposed to post this in the month of thanksgiving! Unfortunately I got sidetracked. I think this story is great to show another side of adoption we don't see all too often!!
I apologize this will be a very long post seeing as how I have never introduced myself on this blog. I suppose I should give you a little background. My name is Madisen and I placed a beautiful little girl in August, just a little over three months ago. At first I was very against adoption, but I also didn’t feel right about parenting. My boyfriend, now husband, Allen and I eventually decided that we would place her with an adoptive couple, only if we could find the perfect people. So my search began, I looked through hundreds of profiles on the itsaboutlove website. I didn’t know what I was looking for but I knew I would feel when it was right. I decided to email the first couple I looked at. I could not stop thinking about Josh and Jen, even though I hardly knew them. I began comparing everyone else to them, they were perfect. We began emailing back and forth and it was like I had known them my entire life, our emails were pages long every day, it was so easy to talk to them! I knew in my heart that they were going to be my child’s parents, but I couldn’t accept the reality of it. Finally, I went in to talk to a caseworker, and told them I already had a family picked out and could she please put them on hold, but not to tell them until we met them. We finally met them at LDS family services and hours flew by, the caseworkers wanted to leave but we had just started, so we decided to go to Olive Garden, a favorite of all of ours. :) We still didn’t tell them, I couldn’t bring myself to face reality. We became such good friends, we talked through email and started texting, they were the first people (besides Allen and I) to discover that it was a girl! We decided to meet again at a park, I brought my mom and brother and my dog, they brought their son Mason. We talked for a while and then my mom and brother left so we could talk. Mason just loved Allen, they played pirates with Josh for hours while Jen and I talked, they were already family. Throughout the visit, we kept looking for a time to ask them to be parents to our little girl, but no time seemed right. Finally as we were in the parking lot saying goodbye I nudged AJ, we couldn’t make them wait any longer, he asked them if they would please be her parents. I just watched their faces as they cried and hugged us and I felt such peace. We had a long time to get to know them, I was only three months along when we started talking, which I am sure frustrated Jen extremely, but at least she had time to prepare right?:)
Fast forward a few months. Two weeks before my due date, they came up (they live about 2 hours away) and we spent the day at the fair, it was so much fun but I think I did a little too much walking!:) After they got home we all crashed and a few hours later at 2:30 Sunday morning I woke up with terrible contractions. Everyone told me that first labors last forever, and not to call anyone until I was admitted, boy did I wish I hadn’t listened! I called the nurse and told her my contractions were about 5 minutes apart, she told me to sleep or go on a walk and come in when they were 2 to 3 minutes apart. I tried to wait for a while but anyone who has ever had contractions knows that sleep is not an option, I woke up the hubby and told him we were going on a walk. We live literally across the street from the hospital and by the time we had walked around the building, the contractions were a minute apart and we picked up our bags and headed over. I was admitted to the hospital around 4 and called my mom and Josh and Jen. To my surprise Josh and Jen were already awake, Mason had woken them up saying that they needed to come visit Madi and AJ, smart kid!:) They got up here just in time (with a speeding ticket to show for it haha), unfortunately my mom wasn’t able to make it in time, she was ready to be born! I remember being so scared, I didn’t have hours in the hospital to prepare like everyone told me I would, her heart rate started to drop because she was just coming too fast and the doctor told me it was time to push. They put an oxygen mask on me and had like 8 of the NICU staff in the delivery room ready in case there were complications. I remember crying for my mom and Josh was worried about me, we sent everyone but us and the doctor out of the room while Josh gave me a quick blessing, for a moment there was total silence and peace. He went out to wait outside the door and all the nurses came back in. I am so grateful Jen was there to support AJ so that he could support me ;) 5 minutes of pushing was all it took to bring Ella Madisen into the world 6 lbs 10 oz and 20 in long. She was perfect.
My doctor was amazing and knew that I would be placing Ella, as soon as she was born he held her out the door for Josh to see and showed her to Jen, Josh even recorded her first cry, and both her daddies helped each other with her first bath J
Long story short, we had just 48 hours to love on that sweet little girl, Tuesday at noon we were to sign the relinquishment papers. I couldn’t bring myself to do it, I needed to talk to Josh and Jen, they brought them in and we held Ella and cried together, they promised me that we would always be family, they told me that if I changed my mind, it was okay, they would help me figure out how to keep her. Every ounce of my being wanted to keep that little girl, but I knew that I was meant to bring her to her family. After I signed the papers, we went out to lunch, we didn’t want a goodbye, we wanted a ‘see you later’. I don’t remember much about the first couple of weeks, I didn’t leave my bed Aj held me while I cried. What I do remember is getting many pictures letting me know everything that was going on and for that I am so grateful.
Today Ella is a little over 3 months old, I will not tell you that it isn’t hard, but sometimes the hardest things are also the most worth while. I grieve because I want to be a mom, and because it is only natural to miss the sweet spirit I carried with me. I know now that Ella being part of my life has many purposes. She has saved my life and blessed the lives of many others. Before I knew I was pregnant I was obviously doing things that in the back of my mind I knew were not right. I didn't care, I had become callous because of everything that had been going on in my life. I had grown up in the church, yes, but I didn't truly have my own testimony. I am far from perfect, but at least now I have the desire. I have never had to rely more heavily on my savior than I did when signing those blood curdling papers and handing over sweet Ella. When I was reading my patriarch’s blessing a few weeks after she was born, I realized that it addressed a lot of my concerns.. Concerns I would have never had if I hadn't had the blessing of adoption touch my life, it provided me so much comfort and for that I am grateful. I know now the wonderful blessing that motherhood is, I know now that I desire to improve and strive to live a life my heavenly father would be proud of. Hopefully, she has been just as big of a blessing to them as she has been to me. She was only mine for 48 hours, but in that time, she changed my entire life and I will be eternally grateful. Sometimes it takes a huge reality check from our Father in Heaven to put things in perspective. Yes I made mistakes, but Ella is not a mistake. There is no doubt that she is where she needs to be.
I am eternally grateful for Josh and Jen for being so welcoming of Allen and I into their family, if I ever need anything or am having a hard day, I know I can ask. I am thankful that they are the most selfless people I know, giving me what I need even if it is hard for them. I am grateful that they thought enough of me to include my name as her middle name so she will always know who I am. I am grateful that Ella is able to have a wonderful big brother Mason who protects her with his pirate swords. I am grateful for their extended family, whom we have met and fallen in love with. I am grateful that I have a best friend in Jen who I talk to about everything, a lot of the time things that have nothing to do with Ella. I am grateful that we have such a strong connection, we know when things are going on with the other without a word! I am grateful that they are willing to let me watch her life and love her. I am grateful that when she was four days old, they invited us to their home so that we could be in some of her beautiful newborn pictures. I am grateful that when I am sick, I get a picture like this one telling me to get better :)
I am grateful that in EVERY picture I have received, there is a big grin on Ella’s face. She is happy and she is loved, which is all that matters. I am grateful that Jen is there for her 24/7 in a way that I couldn’t be at this point in my life.
I am grateful that Josh is an amazing dad and has to power to give priesthood blessings, to me and in the future to Ella. Most of all, I am grateful for my husband and for a Heavenly Father that has a plan for each of his children. I did not plan to be a birthmom, but my life has been forever changed and blessed. I am grateful that I can pray when times are hard. I am grateful that in three months, I will be able to see them sealed as a family in the temple, and that I will be able to attend her baby blessing where Josh has asked Allen to help him bless her. I could go on for hours about how I have been blessed. This Thanksgiving, even though holidays can be hard, find something that you are grateful about in your adoption experience. I am convinced that there is always something to be grateful for, especially in a trial as hard as placing your child. I know that many adoptions are far from perfect, even if there is nothing to be grateful for except that your child is healthy and taken care of, that is a huge blessing, be grateful for it! Try to find the blessing that come from your adoption experience, even if that experience is not ideal. Maybe your purpose is to counsel others! Adoptive parents, let your birthparents know how much you love and are grateful for them. you all are amazing!