The KidsFirst Blog
Real talk about adoption.
Real Love in Real Life
Have you ever looked up the word “love” in the dictionary? I have and it says the definition is, “An intense feeling of deep affection”. This dictionary definition of love blew my mind. How can that be enough when it comes to human life and how we actually feel when we love?
I’ve had “deep affection” for a pair of boots before. I’ve also had “deep affection” for a pet before. The difference in those feelings of affection is very different depending on what you’re talking about. An intense feeling of deep affection does not adequately represent feelings when it comes to a small life.
The only thing that we have left once we leave this Earth is the decisions we have made and the lives we have impacted.
Unfortunately, we can never take back the things that we have done, but everybody has a different story to tell.
I personally strive to be able to understand the choices that I have made in life and to live the rest of my life making the best decisions that I possibly can. I have three daughters that I love more than an expensive pair of boots and any pets. I especially love them more than the dictionary definition of love.
I have had to make the decision a total of three times to love three little girls more than I love myself, my man, and my reputation. That in my opinion is real love in real life.
I have chosen to give my children up for adoption three times because in real life, I was never shown real love especially when it mattered most.
I did not grow up in a traditional family. My mother gave birth to me while she was in prison. She then continued to spend another 19 years in prison after I was born. My father wanted to be a successful drug dealer, so that left me going from home to home and place to place. From birth I struggled because I never was given an opportunity. I had no one. I was living in a group home when I was 18 years old because nobody wants a foster child who is over 11 years old. Trust me, after you turn 11, if you are not adopted or home with your family, you are placed into group homes until you turn 18. Unfortunately, things continued to be rough for me.
On my 18th birthday at 12 o’clock on the dot, the group home was forced to release me. I was an adult according to the state of Nebraska. My birthday is in February, so in Nebraska it was freezing cold. I was scared, cold, and had nowhere to go. I didn’t know what to do or where to go. Nobody had warned me that this would happen. I was given a check for $500, and they sent me into the snowy night. The public bus did not run until morning. I had no cash, just a check, which buses don’t accept. In the blink of an eye, I was facing homelessness.
I spent the next 10 years being homeless in different states and cities. I went from shelter to shelter. I would occasionally have an apartment a month or two and be doing really good all for it to come crashing down when I would lose my job and become homeless again. There were times when a few so called friends would offer for me to come stay with them to get on my feet and then I would be kicked out on the street. They would take all of my belongings. The world of going from place to place was all I knew.
With my homelessness came pregnancy. Finding myself in different situations over and over again and being a homeless woman, this was bound to happen. How selfish of me to get pregnant in the first place right? Wrong. Birth control is not easy to come by when you don’t have any health coverage. Condoms cost money that I didn’t have, and abortion isn’t something that I could live with. But at the same time, it isn’t fair to make my children to live this life of homelessness with no family or support. It’s something that I was not capable of doing.
Being a homeless woman is hard. You feel like you need the protection of a man, really just somebody to trust. I was living a nightmare that I couldn’t get out of. I had to choose to love my girls in real life. I had to love them more than how bad I wanted to be their mom. I had to love them more than myself.
With real love, I made the right choice. I couldn’t let them live in shelters without running water or be cold and hungry. What about their necessities like diapers and clothes? How would I give my girls a college education to be better than the life I was living? I was struggling to take care of myself, let alone other people. Growing up, all I ever wanted was to be adopted and to have a family for the holidays, to call my mom, and have support.
Real love in real life hit me hard. I learned what love was with each time I felt my baby move and kick, it would give me butterflies. I would dream of who they could become, and I wanted nothing but the best for them. At this point I had created life and I couldn’t provide them with what they needed and deserved. I reflected on what I went through and observed in shelters and made the decision that I didn’t want the faces of hurting children to be my children. I wanted them to live life, not life live around them. So, I gave all three of my girls real love in real life. I put my feelings aside to give them the life they should have, which was a family that was ready, a support system. Everything I couldn’t give them. I want to see my daughters as adults and be proud of all the opportunities they had in life and not have to look in their eyes and know I stopped their opportunity. I wanted to break the generational down fall and give my girls an opportunity to be bigger than I could ever be.
Choosing adoption three times in my life has been harder than being homeless in skid row. It has been harder than any man has ever hit me, harder than being hungry for days, and harder than any mental pain I’ve had, but in my situation, it’s also been the very thing that has saved my life. It made me a better mother and a better woman. It has given me a chance to fix myself, so that I could present to my girls a better me. It’s given me an opportunity to find God and most of all, my girls didn’t suffer through the process of me figuring it all out. I’m still figuring it out and I’m going on four years without homelessness. My oldest daughter is 10 years old. That would have been a long time for her to have had to wait, to have been cold, to have been hungry, and without what she needed. I love her more than anything. I had to choose real love in real life.
I realized this is my life and that it has value. I wanted to die, and I wanted to end my life because it seems to never be going anywhere, but when I think of those girls, I have to be strong. I have to win. I still see dark spaces. My girls being adopted puts a deep pressure on me to become my best, but I know that if I hadn’t made this decision, things would not have changed for me. I needed to grow and I’m still growing.
My story from start to finish in just 30 years of life could fill up the universe. Real love in real life can change your life too. It changed mine. Choosing to love your baby with a love so deep, that you give them up is not always negative.
Our best decisions in life are sometimes the hardest to make. I’m glad God chose me to be their birth mom.
I feel so blessed that I get to see them and watch them grow. My biggest fear with adoption was that it would make my girls no longer need me. But no they still need me and I’m right here. It takes a village to raise just one child and I now have a huge family. With my girls adopted families, we are all here for the girls. My girls will not be broken, alone, or forgotten. In fact, I’m a proud birth mom. They have everything they need, including me. Now that’s real love in real life.