Tears, tears, tears...they continue each day with these amazing birthmom stories. Today I have the great honor of sharing my dear friend, Roanne's, story as a birthmom. Like many young women she found herself pregnant and alone at a crucial time in her life. The birthfather left her alone after they discussed abortion only to find out it was too late. Time and time again we see how God takes the ashes and turns them into the most beautiful love stories through adoption. Roanne has survived much brokenness, yet has risen to become one of the strongest women I've ever met. Through her becoming a birthmom, it catapulted her into the brave and Big Tough Girl that she is today. She has a wonderful open adoption with her birthson and his family and continues to share of their love for one another every chance she gets. Thank you Roanne for allowing me to share your incredible story today. I love you and you are an amazing friend - I am truly honored. And I continue to learn so much from you. May God continue to bless you and your precious family.
My name is Roanne and I am a Proud birth mom! I am a Big Tough Girl!
I was 19 years old when I found out I was pregnant. I was informed by the doctors as I was trying to enlist in the NY Army National Guard. When I told my boyfriend at the time, we decided to look into abortion. When we went to the doctors office, I was told that I was at least four months along. Abortion was not an option. We talked about raising our unborn child together. We picked out names. When I was around seven months along, the birthfather announced to me that he was leaving. His parents gave him $300 to walk away and forget about us both. I was alone and terrified. I was heartbroken. I was losing my best friend. I moved home to my parents. My mom and I sat and talked about what I was going to do. My parents told me that it was my decision and they would support my decision.
I told my mom that I wasn't ready to care for a child. I decided that adoption was the best option for the child. I wanted him to have more than I could provide. I wanted him to have two parents. He deserved more than I could give him. But, I just knew I had to know my child. I couldn't wonder every time I saw a child. My mom told me about open adoption. We started to research open adoption. My midwife gave me a name of a lawyer. I went to see him and he attempted to talk me out of an open adoption. During this time my mom went to a nursing class for her work. The teacher and a couple of the other students were talking about wanting children. The teacher mentioned she was looking to adopt. My mom really liked her and approached her about me. My mom came home and told me about her. That evening I called her and we talked about everything. I felt comfortable.
The next day I called my lawyer to set up a meeting. He once again tried talking me out of it. I was persistent. We met a week later. My parents and I spent a few hours talking with the couple. They brought pictures to show me. I felt comfortable with them. It felt like I had always known them. As we were leaving they asked what I was thinking. I told them they were the perfect family. After they left I told my lawyer that they were the couple for me. I didn't look at any other couples. I just knew in my heart that they were the perfect family.
The day I was induced, they called me every couple of hours to check on me. When my birth son was born they came to the hospital. They went by the nursery to see their new son. Then they came to see me. They walked into my room with an angel, a locket and a dozen roses. Ten red roses and two white roses. A red rose for every pound their new son weighed and the two white roses for how close they held me to their hearts. The angel was because they felt I was their angel. They came every day to see both of us in the hospital. At the time, in NY either the lawyer, the adoption agency or the birth mom has to carry the child out of the hospital. I carried my birth son out with his mom walking next to me. When we got to our cars I handed her newborn son to her and told her that here was her new son. The day after we were released from the hospital I went to court to sign the papers. My mom and my birthsons parents were there to support me. They were all in tears as I told the judge this was what I wanted with a smile.
A couple of months after I placed, I was living alone for the first time in my life. I was trying to work through my grief and depression. One night my whole world was turned upside down. As I came home from work and unlocked my door, my neighbor forced his way into my apartment. That night he sexually assaulted me. I was devastated and felt more alone than I ever had. The very first people I thought to call were my birthson's parents. They called my parents for me. My mom showed up at my door with my black Great Dane and we called the cops together. For years I allowed him to take what strength I had left. I tried to allow myself to heal by burying it. It is still very hard for me to talk about.
Two years later I allowed my demons to consume me. I attempted suicide. I slit my wrists because I didn't want to feel it anymore. I believed I couldn't handle the pain anymore. My best friend saved my life that night. She made me call and talk to a therapist that was offered through our work. My best friend also sat and reminded me how amazing of a person I am. I am thankful that she was there for me. She still reminds me every so often. I feel this helped me push to make my adoption the way it is. I needed the extra love and support and thankfully my birthson's family was willing to give me their love.
Being a birth mom is an emotional roller coaster. There are still triggers that I deal with. I suffered from depression in the beginning and hid it from my birth son and his family. They were my happy place and I didn't want them to know how much I hurt. Leaving after a visit was very hard in the beginning. I felt my heart break all over again. Over time it has become easier on me emotionally. I have discovered so many things about who I am. I found strength that I didn't know that I had until I needed it. In the beginning it was very hard for me to be a birthmom. I always thought of how they felt. I understood that they may feel threatened by me and did everything I could to show them how amazing they are as parents. I understood that I had to step back and was no longer a parent to the child. I never thought of my birthson as my son. Our relationship is very special.
The adoption has always been open. I knew I was blessed with how open it was from day one. They invited me to their house at least once every couple of months. They would treat me out to lunches. They told everyone who I was. I dreaded the first Mother's Day after he was born. My birthsons parents made a huge deal out of Birthmother's Day for me. We celebrated together. They have continued this tradition. The last few years I have spent birthmothers day with my birthson and my youngest son. My birth son was born on December 16. He was our Christmas miracle. Last year I started a new tradition with his mom and took her to lunch on Birthmother's Day. I wanted to celebrate with her how amazing of a mother she is. We celebrated each other and had a wonderful time. I was told that I will forever have a special place in their hearts and in their lives. We are family always and forever.
My birth son is 17 years old. He is an amazing young man. His family is my family. I can't imagine my life without them. They are amazing. My birth son was the ring bearer at my wedding. He is a big brother to not only their other four children but to my youngest. We text every day. He is becoming one of my best friends. I treasure every moment with him and look forward to our time together. We have a special bond that we both treasure. His parents have done an amazing job raising him.
Over time my journey has become easier. There are still hard days, but I know I am not alone. I have an amazing support system. I belong to positive support groups. I have a special group of women that I call my sisters now. I have a wonderful extended family. We celebrate every Christmas Eve as a family. They have opened their home not only to myself and my parents, but to my siblings and in-laws. I am invited to all of their family gatherings and special events. I consider my open adoption my first marriage. It has taken a lot of hard work and time to build the relationship and trust with my chosen family. I can honestly say that I have never regretted my decision to place my birthson. I learned so much about who I am because of my journey. I am proud to be a birthmom. My only regret is that I didn't have his mom there for his birth. Having a successful open adoption is like having a successful marriage. You have to think of what is best for everyone. I always put their feelings before mine. It was hard and hurt at first. Now, it just comes naturally. They have done the same with me.
I am told often that I was selfless in my decision but I wasn't. I had unconditional love for this child and believed in my heart that he deserved better than I could provide. When I had my second child, many of these same emotions came to the surface. How could I parent after placement. Didn't this child deserve what my first born child deserved. My situation was different. I still deal with this daily. I love both of my boys with all my heart. They are my miracles. I can't imagine my life without either of them. My birth son is the one person who reminds me daily how great of a mom I am to his little brother.
When I married my husband I wanted a family more than anything. Our son entered our lives almost exactly a year after. After my little one was born, we tried for another child. I had two miscarriages in a six month period. I was told to be thankful for the two children I gave birth to. I am always thankful for both of them. Only a handful of people in my life know about the second miscarriage. I was asked to hide it to protect a couple of family members cause they couldn't handle a second loss so close to the first one and just before Christmas. I regret following this request. It was very hard on me emotionally due to the time of year.
Open adoption taught me about unconditional love, not only of a child but of another family. My amazing family that I am blessed to have. I can never thank them enough for all their love and for the amazing job they have done. Seeing my birth son with my son is music to my soul. Seeing the love that they have for each other is amazing. Adoption is not an easy choice or journey. Do the research first. Know what you are going into. If you put the hard work in from all sides it can be amazing and beautiful. I'm proud to be a birthmom!
What a better way to celebrate love in February than to feature some women we love and admire so much... Birth Moms! We had the privilege of spotlighting some truly amazing women whose stories have truly had an impact on our lives in great ways!