I became pregnant at 19 years old. I was a freshman in college, scared, nervous, and alone. I didn’t realize I was pregnant until I was seven months along, leaving two months to figure out the fate of this child. I was far from ready to be a parent; I still had college to finish, career goals to achieve, and places to travel. I didn’t have the money to raise a child. I begged the biological father to consider adoption because he wanted to parent this child, even though his life was very unstable, and we were not together. I spent every other day calling him, listing reasons why I thought adoption was the right choice. I wanted this baby to have two married parents, good educations, and good careers. I wanted him to be raised with good values, morals, and be able to experience everything life could offer him. I put my own feelings aside and only thought about what was best for my child in that moment. I hand selected these amazing, loving, and caring adoptive couple to become his parents through a local adoption agency. The minute that I met them in person, I felt their joy to be parents, and I ultimately felt how much love they would provide for this child. I told myself there was no turning back on my decision.
We only had two months to prepare for the arrival of the baby. At 39 weeks I was induced and delivered via C-section after 21 hours in labor. The minute I saw that sweet baby boy’s face, my whole life changed. My whole life did a complete 180 degree turn, even though I did not parent my child. Internally, I was forced to grow up and mature. Because my life did a complete 180 degree turn, I lost a lot of friends along the way because I was finished with that phase of my life. I had a part of me in this world now and I knew my choices had to be different. From then on, every decision, no matter how small or large, was always geared towards what is best for this child, not whatever I wanted. This wasn’t a moment to be selfish, it was a moment to be realistic about this child’s future.
Five days after my C-section, I was back on my college campus walking around like nothing had happened, because less than five people knew what was going on in my life. There was loneliness and pain that filled my body. Even if I told people about it, no one would truly understand what was happening inside my head and my heart.
I didn’t tell anyone my story, besides a select few, until my birth son was a year old. It was such a daunting secret to keep for 365 whole days because of pure embarrassment, until I realized this was a positive experience. This is a good thing! I get to watch a couple live their dream of being a family.
From that day forward, I never covered this secret again, realizing there are other women out there who might be considering adoption, but don’t know anyone with that experience. My mission became to educate the public on how positive and life-changing adoption can be for birth mothers out there. This is a hard experience to hand your own DNA, a piece of you, and a piece of your heart over to someone else, but it was worth it.
Here we are almost four years later, and I get to see pictures, videos, visits, and be a part of my son’s journey through life, knowing everything he needs and wants will be fulfilled. This child did NOT deserve a split parent home, average education, and living paycheck to paycheck. He deserved an EXTRAORDINARY life. He deserved the amazing childhood that I got to experience. As a child I never worried because I had two happily married parents that took my brothers and I on amazing trips around the country, and made sure we got top-notch educations. I felt my son deserved that same chance, that same life that I got to experience.
I got a second chance at life to better myself and be a role model for him as he gets older. I chose a better life than I could have given him because that is what he deserved. Because of one decision I made I got to graduate early with a Bachelor’s Degree from a four-year college and get accepted into a rigorous graduate school program. Currently, I am one semester away from graduating with a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology, I am marrying the man of my dreams in November, and I get to watch my son being raised by the most amazing parents. There is not one day that I regret my decision. Because of one decision almost four years ago, so many lives have changed for the better.
Shelbi is our Motha from Missouri. Read more about her here.