Today I'm so happy to be able to share my sweet friend and fellow Alabama native, Catarina's story as a birthmom. Already at such a young age she has shown so much leadership in the adoption community. She has one of the most loving hearts and sweet spirits of anyone I've ever met. Catarina is beautiful inside and out and is going to be a tremendous leader and inspiration for many other birthmoms and individuals in the adoption triad. She has a beautiful open adoption with her birthdaughter, Katherine. I'm truly honored to be able to share part of her story with you today. To read more about Catarina and her amazing story, be sure to visit her blog Becoming a Birthmom and follow along her journey. She is now the Chair for the Alabama Chapter of United for Adoption where I will be working with her a lot from the Georgia Chapter, and keep watching for lots more from this young woman. We will be seeing more and more of her! Thank you Catarina for allowing me to share your story, and I'm blessed to call you a dear friend.
I had recently broken up with my boyfriend and moved out. I wasn't in a relationship. I was still hurting, still missing my ex. I was confused. I was on an anti-depressant, so originally I believed my medicine was messing up my cycle. The thought I was pregnant didn't even run through my head. I went into work one day and smelled the chicken frying, and instantly became nauseous. I freaked out thinking what if this is morning sickness? Sure enough it was, I got my coworker to run to the store and buy pregnancy tests. Of course the first one instantly said I was, the second did too. So did a third test. I didn't cry. I just instantly thought what am I going to do? The guy was in a relationship. I was still in love with my ex. I called my ex the next morning and met him before work and told him. His reaction, was totally unexpected. He loved me, he wanted to be with me still. I told the father later and he and I did not see eye to eye. I knew one thing for sure I loved this baby already.
Originally I was set on the idea I was keeping my little girl. I thought I could support her. I wanted to give her the world. Seeing that first ultrasound was magical. Hearing her heartbeat, was wonderful. Feeling her kicks, indescribable. Between us buying a house, and everything I thought things were perfect. But, in reality my boyfriend didn't have enough money to support us for me to stay at home. And I didn't make enough to pay for daycare. So, when my car broke down, and between dental issues.. Reality sank in. I realized, what I needed to do for my little girl. I needed to give her more than I could personally give her myself. So, I decided on adoption. I had thought about it before, I just didn't think I had it in me. I loved her so much, though and I never wanted her to see her family struggle to pay bills, or pay for field trips, or pay for clothes or her makeup, or her a car one day, or her college. I wanted so much more for her. I wanted her to have a younger couple who were financially stable, and loved each other very much. I wanted her to grow up in a Christian home. I wanted her to not have a broken family. While everything didn't turn out quit the way I expected, they turned out for the best for my little precious girl. I wouldn't change anything.
So, we found her parents via mutual friends. Tucker, my boyfriend talked to him and asked important questions. They set it up for us to go eat at Olive Garden together. I was so anxious, and nervous. What if they met me and decided they didn't like me, and I loved them? My mind was racing on the way. Tucker explained that I was shy at first, so they'd be prepared. What if it was awkward though? I asked them questions, like how they met, and how long they'd been married. I asked about their older daughter, they showed me pictures of her. They spoke so lovingly of her. I told them I wanted an open adoption. They were perfectly fine with that. I asked if they went to church and where, they were very involved in church. I could tell their world revolves around her. They were amazing. I loved them. When we got in the car Tucker told me he loved them and he thought they were the ones. I told him I knew they were the ones. So when we got home, he made the call for me, I knew I would cry and get upset, and I didn't want to do that over the phone. So, he called and I could hear the excitement on the phone. Tears swelled up in my eyes. This was really happening. I was really going to place my daughter for adoption. I found the perfect couple. I sobbed into Tucker's shirt, he held me and stroked my hair. This was going to be hard I knew it. But I felt such a feeling of relief we had found her parents. I felt so much better knowing that she was going to be in good hands. My little precious baby was going to have a wonderful family. My heart was breaking, but swelling with love at the same time. It's truly an indescribable feeling.
They started coming and picking me up for doctor visits. We built a relationship. I felt like not only were they adopting my little girl, but like I was family. I enjoyed listening to her tell stories of work. I looked forward time to our time together. I decided I wanted them there, if they wanted to be there when she was born. I wanted her to have that skin to skin moment with her. I felt like that was something she should share with her mom. They rented a hospital room so that they could spend the nights up there. I wanted her to stay in their room, unless I asked for her. I wanted to make this a great experience for them. I wanted them to experience everything as much as possible. I wanted this hospital experience to revolve around them.
Catarina now has a beautiful open adoption with her daughter and adoptive parents. To continue reading more about her story (including the day her daughter was born) click here.
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!