Lydia's Story: It's a Boy!
Anger, resentment, bitterness, guilt, and frustration. Negative words can be so powerful. My heart, my mind, my body and my soul were being consumed and riddled to pieces with such feelings.
I had always made sure that I would not be a woman who would bring an unwanted child into the world, and here I was—pregnant. I was pregnant by someone I really never cared for in the first place...just a friend, who one day did not take no for an answer. Here I was, with horrible feelings toward him, knowing I had to forgive him and go on with my life. But how?
Continuing to throw myself on my bed every night, I would just cry myself to sleep. I ate very little and could barely make it through work. There were decisions to make, and I was in no state to handle them. My child would definitely have a life, but with or without me was the dilemma.
I did not want the biological father to have anything to do with me or the child, so it was a fight from day one. I knew I cared nothing at all for the father, so I cut all ties with him after a couple of months of arguing about my rights. He had violated my rights and my trust, so I was alone in this crisis.
Counseling was an immediate necessity. Talking to friends and co-workers was tough. Many people, even close friends, just did not understand. I was in a horrible emotional state and needed to work out just what I had gone through and what was to come.
My family doctor was the first one I visited after I had been violated. I was so humiliated that I could not even explain myself. He ordered a pregnancy test, but it came back negative. I just knew that I was pregnant. One week later I went to my gynecologist, after taking a home test. Finally, two unbelievable months after the fact, it was confirmed that I was pregnant.
I went to "family services" in my local area for counseling and received good help and information about adoption. I called and talked to almost every agency in the yellow pages and began reading everything I could find on adoption. Because you must list the name of the father in the adoption procedure, I was incredulous at finding that it would have been easier for me to get an abortion than to place my baby for adoption!
I had prayed so hard at first that I would miscarry. Now, my prayers were for my baby's new parents, even though I did not know who they would be yet. I found Independent Adoption Center in a newspaper. When I first called, a director answered at home as it was a weekend. At this point in my crisis, I was still confused and upset. His wife helped to calm me down and put my fears to rest, as best as possible at that point. They explained how the Center could help me on my terms and reassured me that no matter how far away I was, I was not alone.
I received adoption information and began my relationship with the Center. The Center was nonprofit. They helped me anticipate possible phases and feelings I might go through and asked how I felt about all kinds of things about the child and the family. They were so helpful. My situation was not so overwhelming anymore because so many people talked to me and told me they cared. I called couples who were still waiting and couples already working with a mother. Every phone call was filled with compassion and concern. Many welcomed me to call again and let them know how I was doing.
Wow! I did have control. Not only control of the adoption process, but control in my own life. With the support of my family, my boss and his wife, and a couple of friends, I was not an emotional wreck anymore. I was making good decisions, feeling healthy and taking care of both myself and the unborn life inside of me. I felt great.
When the time came to choose parents, I was so touched by Barbara and Gary's story that I called them a couple of times. They sent me pictures. They had dogs, which made me a little nervous because I'm not a dog lover. But something in their story told me they were the ones. They had been through a crisis and had suffered a loss as biological parents, and I just knew that their arms were extra empty and that I had a Little Wonder to fill them. Then the big step... we decided to meet. When we finally met, we spent time on neutral ground first. We went to the Adoption Center for group and personal counseling. We were all so nervous. However, before I came home, I made a decision to place my baby with them. We had really built trust in each other! Through phone calls and correspondence, I felt better and better about my decision.
None of us were too sure about the open adoption process, in which everyone knows everyone. We took one day at a time, and it proved to be a wonderful experience.
I was feeling great by the time I took maternity leave from work. I moved into a weekend home just up the lane from my son's grandparents-to-be, so that I could be close to the adoptive family. I was supposed to decide as time went by how much interaction I wanted with the family, but it was as if I was part of their family and we all became very close.
The family took me on short day trips to different national forests and on picnics. We had Bible studies in relatives' homes. They took me to the doctor and to hospital visits.
My doctor was so compassionate and understanding. What a comfort he was throughout my ordeal. I was so comfortable, and I just knew everything was going to be okay.
Barbara and I did many things together. We even shopped for the child together. We talked to different people and many asked us questions. I know that we touched a lot of lives with our story. It became easy to explain that I was the birthmother and Barbara was the adoptive mother. People accepted us enthusiastically.
The big day came on the exact date I had expected. The little one began giving me trouble the day before, so I had to go into the hospital the night before he was born. He made his appearance at 9:30 p.m. the next day. He put me through the most painful day of my life, but I never regretted my decision! A boy! It was so incredible to see the family rejoicing! They were so excited to have a boy to carry on their family name.
The next day I decided to hold him. I stayed with the family until I was ready to go home. I was surprised that I did not grieve like the counselors said I might. I was at peace and was rejoicing with everyone. One afternoon I do remember being jealous of their happiness, but then I realized that I was such a big part of their happiness—and my own happiness with a husband and children was still yet to come. I know that family is happier and more full because of a special little boy named Brett.
Now I am not ashamed or embarrassed about the pregnancy that I went through. I am proud of the decision I made. I hear from the family once in awhile. Barbara will call out of the blue just to thank me again. It's wonderful. I'm married now and have another child; my life has gone on. I thank God for making me a better person through my trials.