Please take a moment to read or listen to Jamie, Barbra, and Deangela who placed their children for adoption through KidsFirst Adoption Services. Their stories are below and you can watch their videos by clicking the button below.
I didn’t have a lot of love growing up; there was a lot of abuse in the home. My dad drank a lot and my mom stayed home. My brother had a lot of behavior issues that he would hit my mom and dad. By the age of seven my mom and dad separated.
From seven to fifteen it was nothing but moving around, being homeless, and living the street life.
Seeing my mom on drugs and sleeping with lots of guys who abused us was my life until my dad got custody of me and my sister at the age of fifteen. CPS gave my mom two choices, going to jail or give custody to my dad. She packed up her stuff and her last words to me were, “have a nice life, fat bitch.” That’s not what a fifteen year old broken teen wants to hear. Depression kicked in, and I tried committing suicide multiple times. I was very rebellious, mad, and angry, hurt, and had an attitude out of this world. By the age of 18 I was pregnant with my first child.
I was excited to be a mom but never expected the worst.
I met a guy that I left an abusive relationship for, he was my first true love and I couldn’t see my life without him. Well things can change in the blink of an eye. My first son was born April 23, 2004. June 5, 2004 my son was dead from shaken baby syndrome. I spent two weeks at the hospital seeing him 99% brain dead, catheter in his head from so much swelling on the brain and on a vent. I was in denial and didn’t want to believe the father of my child could do this to our son. He was arrested but quickly got out on bond. There was a protective order placed but we broke it, and I got pregnant with my second son. It was rough dealing with the trial, which lasted a long 3 days. Hearing on the confession tape that he shook our son like he had sticks in his hands was the worst feeling a mother could feel.
That’s when I knew.
Here I was sitting on the stand in front of a judge, my son’s dad, prosecutors, etc. and I knew I was going to be a single mom. I knew I had a struggle in front of me but I was willing to except that. My son and I were by ourselves for two years then I started dating a guy that was good to me, so I moved in with him. He loved my son like his own and would do anything for me and him but our friendship was too strong to be a couple. I thought it would be fun to have a one night stand, and got pregnant with my first daughter. Her dad abused me and was ok with that, I thought that was love.
He threatened to kill her so I decided to place her for adoption.
I was scared, hurt, angry, but I felt like I had to protect her.
A year and some months later is when I found my first husband. Not the best decision I have made but didn’t see it at the time, I got pregnant with my third son on the first night. I couldn’t see the worst because I leaned on guys for love, I can admit that now, but I couldn’t then.
This guy I was so in love with walked out after the first week. I thought it would be okay, that things would change. But he wasn’t there at the doctor when I found out I was having his baby.
I thought with me being pregnant it would make him change and want to be with me.
I let him back into my life after a few days, not knowing at that time he was already cheating on me and doing drugs. As time went on we started arguing and he would leave but it was never long before I would let him back. It started with shoving and hurtful words. I was wanting to be loved so bad that I thought ok I’ll let him back and things will change, which was not the case. Things went well for a couple of weeks then it ended both of us in Marion County jail. I’m seven months pregnant in preterm labor and all I’m hearing is if I have this baby while I’m there he’ll go to the state. As you can imagine, the stress from that wasn’t helping my preterm labor.
Luckily I was quickly released from jail, but CPS got involved and investigated.
I soon decided to let him go and put my kids first. Shortly after, the depression got worse, my anxiety was making me pass out. I had constant headaches, chest pain, stomach aches, etc. Soon after my son was born I got my own place with the guy I loved and my two children. It wasn't long before I was pregnant again. Before I knew it I was being rushed to Methodist hospital. I was losing my child to ectopic pregnancy. When I got to the hospital I was rushed into emergency surgery where I lost my baby.
The depression got worse but pushed it off because I had to be strong for my kids.
Not even a month later I found out I was pregnant again. One morning I received a phone call saying I was possibly having another ectopic pregnancy, which was scary. I was put through so many ultrasounds, blood work, and every other day to check my beta HCG levels. Thank God I was able to carry her. Between all this the guy I was living with was walking out whenever he wanted and couldn't keep a job. Again, my stress level was up, but I always found a way to pull through because I had my kids to provide for.
It wasn't long before I found out I was not only losing my house, but also my job.
I was still trying to stay strong for my babies. I had to move, find another job, and still provide for my kids. By this time I was wearing myself out but still telling myself that I needed to stay strong for my babies. I noticed I was crying on a daily basis crying out to Jesus to take some of the stress off.
Please just let me find a way to provide for my babies.
I wasn’t taking care of myself. Before I knew it I was having to find another place and job. Their dad was charging me to watch his own kids then would leave after I gave him the money. Then I noticed he was stealing, and the mind games and lies only got worse. So I moved into a house my own house and I was excited that my kids would have their own yard to play in.
Being a single mom, working 16 hour shifts day by day got difficult.
Things were not stable, I was worried about losing my job. After a multitude of family issues involving my mother and brother, CPS was back at my house again, by this time I knew I had to make a decision for my kids to better their lives.
I contacted KidsFirst Adoption Services, and because of that CPS chose not to intervene.
I was so stressed out, scared, worried, hurt, depressed that my mind couldn’t focus. After speaking with the agency I knew I finally had someone that cared. I was at a point I didn’t know how my kids were going to eat, how I was going to eat, or if I was going to lose my house and job again. It was hard to admit that I couldn’t provide for my kids. I lost my car so it was hard to find work. In May of 2012 I placed my 2 year old daughter and 3 year old son for adoption. Then in August of 2012 I placed my oldest son, age 7, for adoption as well. It was a hard decision but I don’t regret it knowing that my children have a stable and happy home where they can be successful.
I didn’t want my kids seeing the things I did as a child.
The nights I would cry of frustration, of being unlovable. Why I was not good enough for anyone, and why I couldn’t be successful, especially working the hours I was. The agency was my support system. I knew I could call and they would listen and reach out the hand of understanding.
I didn’t know which way to turn but the agency helped me and supported me through the process.
The compassion, love, caring, understanding, and not judging me was amazing. Being able to make the decisions of the family and my options were the priority for me and my children. I never knew how many options I had until speaking with them. As a mom I didn’t want my kids in the states hands. I was afraid to tell my story at first but the reassuring and support they gave me, I knew my kids would have a second chance at life.
I wanted the best for my children.
I wanted to share my story to help other women know that there are options. Don’t be ashamed of asking for help or doing the right thing for your kids. You have to put your kids first. My best advice I can give is that it’s okay to turn to someone for help. Domestic violence is not love and it will destroy your family. Please ask for help. You are loved and worth something, don’t ever let anyone tell you differently. I have amazing adoptive families that let me be a part of my kids’ life and keep me updated.
Adoption is not something to be ashamed of. I hope hearing my story will impact or affect the life of even one person.
The hardest thing in life is to give up a part of you.
Some would look at this as giving up money or even giving up your independence to be with someone for the rest of your life. This is not what I am referring to. I am referring to giving up a part of your soul and life. It is giving up a part of your life that you did not know would mean so much. Giving up my child for adoption was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. My decision came months before I gave birth to a child I was not going to be able to see grow up. It was before I would see her smile and hold her tiny body. It was before I would look into her eyes and pray for forgiveness. It was before I knew that this was the right decision.
My decision took every bit of courage, bravery, and prayer.
The situation that my life took on was not where I wanted my last child to be in. My other children have taken on the role of strong will and courage. A tiny body that had just seen the light of the world was not at that level yet. My life included a first time father that did not deserve the title. The verbal and physical abuse is something I would not wish on my worst enemy.
Adoption was not my first choice, but it was an option.
I am so glad that I connected with KidsFirst Adoption Services. They helped me so much through the entire process. I thank God for how comforting they were before I had my baby, during, and even after. I was connected to KidsFirst by a friend of mine who had experience with them. After getting connected with them they provided me with transportation to and from my doctor’s appointments. They were there to make sure me and the baby were alright.
They put love in everything they do.
I was given the choice to pick the adoption parents. This is one thing I loved the most. Thoughts raced in my head as I thought about which family to choose. Who can show my child as much love as I have for them? Who will protect her from harm? Who will take care of her and give her everything she wants and needs? That is when I decided on a small Caucasian family. Some people would question why I would choose to put my African American child with a family of the opposite race. Well for all of you who don’t know, love has no color. Love looks beyond what the world sees. Love shines within. The family was very nice, but the dad is the one who made my decision.
Reflecting on the situation with my child’s father, I knew that a father is what was needed. A mother is engraved with that love, but a father has to have it too. My child’s father did not have it at all. This father had all that love and not only for the baby, but for me. He shared with me that he loved me and the baby no matter what the sex of the baby was.
I knew then that everything would be alright.
January came around and so did she. My selected family even let me name her. Nevaeh is what I called her. Heaven is beautiful and so is she. As I was in the hospital, they were there to make sure my family was alright. They made sure they were watched over and fed.
Everywhere I turned I had support, not only from the adoption family, but KidsFirst
It has been two years since her birth. The decision I made was not for me, but for us. This was the hardest thing I have done and it will never be easy. A thought of her not being here with me and my family hurts. It is something that will be with me forever, but I know she is being taken care of. My love for her will never change.
If there is one thing I learned, it is: “adoption isn’t a birthmother’s rejection but an unconditional love that inspires her to put herself last and do all she for her baby.” (Mary Hines)