HAPPY FRIYAYYYY! I am ending this week with another adoption story, yet this time in their own words. I might’ve done one or two like this, but I think that these are so fun, because you get direct words from the person and really connect with the story. I would love to hear what you think about this style, so enjoy! 

***ALSO DISCLAIMER- TOMORROW IS WORLD ADOPTION DAY!!! Please draw a smiley face on the palm of your hand and spread awareness of adoption! Also, send me some of your photos too so I can post them! 

“I heard about unplanned pregnancies my whole life. But never in a million years did I ever think it could happen to me. I was adopted at age three from foster care and my adoption story is all sorts of messy, but with no regrets. I have 3 wonderful siblings, two parents that love me, and all that I ever wanted or needed that came out of it. I have adopted cousins. I live and breathe adoption in my life.

Fast forward to the age of 20. I was living in a crappy run-down apartment with people I didn’t know very well, working a minimum wage job with no car, barely making it by. I was making all sort of bad decisions with the newfound freedom of being 20 and being away from my parents. Remember that one thing that I thought would never happen to me? Well it did. I was on and off dating a guy my parents hated and was not being safe. I ended up also sleeping with someone I barely knew after breaking up with my boyfriend for the millionth time. I took a pregnancy test in a local grocery store because I was too nervous to wait to go home and take it. It was negative. But I just knew that I was pregnant. I proceeded to buy 3 more tests and head home. I was emotional and scared. I waited till the next day and took another. There it was, two lines staring right at me. I took another and I swear it was negative again. I was freaking out even more. I ended up getting the pregnancy confirmed by a local clinic here. I was 6 weeks pregnant and scared. I had seen the effects of adoption on my own story, did I really think I could go that path for my son? I was conflicted because I was an adult. I did have a house, I did have a job, I could parent. But was I really prepared for that? I could have provided ALL the love for my son, but I couldn’t have provided a stable home, income, resources for him. I did not want my son to struggle while I still grew up myself. The awkward telling the father (which turned out to be not the father…. that made things a little awkward and complicated), then my parents which was the hardest conversation to have happened.

I slowly made steps in meeting families, meeting my adoption counselor through the agency, and figuring out my life. I didn’t tell many people, or lied about it, which looking back I’m ashamed of. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, and so is adoption. I was just young and scared of judgement, and I honestly could have used the support from people if I had just told them what was going on. My beautiful baby boy was born in April of 2014 and I dealt with the emotions of going through labor and hormone surges and drops. I tracked down the guy I barely knew to tell him about this all. That conversation beat the awkward one with my parents by a long shot. The birth dad ended up signing a form stating he was not the father and to terminate all rights. This was so hard on my already emotional state. 3 days later I signed over my rights to be his only mother and became his birth mom alongside his wonderful mom and his family. This title I wear fiercely and proudly almost 5.5 yrs. later. My story is interweaved with grief, pain, hardship, and SO SO much love.

Carson's adoption is open. Openness is a choice that was made between the two of our families It is not a legal obligation and I wouldn't want it to be. His parents don't owe me anything. It's not about me. I've been told how nice it is that they let me see Carson, and I always think, "Yes, and it was nice of me to give them a baby." Niceness on either side isn't the reason for openness. It's about what's best for the little boy we all love so much. We are open and honest about our relationship, but we also have boundaries. I'm not going to expect to be there every day and they don't think I'm never going to be around. I might have bad days and I will communicate that I need a few more pics to cheer me up. That's the beauty of open adoption. It is always changing. 

Yes, placing Carson was the hardest thing I have done. I also think that is an absurd statement or question to ask me, "was it hard?" Have you ever heard other people question other means of grief? Do you hear people asking if someone who just lost their father, if it was hard? No. I didn't lose my son because he still is in my life, but I lose my identity of carrying a child for 9 months and returning home with no baby. I lost the identity of the mom I hope to be one day, temporarily.  Placement was so, so hard. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and I sincerely hope I never have to do anything harder because I don't think I could. But it is also the best, most amazing and wonderful thing that I have ever done. It was worth the hurt. 

I have made many mistakes in my life (and I will probably make a lot more) but Carson isn't one of them. Having Carson was the absolute best thing I've ever done. If I could live my life over, I think I'd make exactly the same mistakes again, because if even one little thing were different, I might not have had Carson, and the thought of that sounds awful!! I can't imagine my life without him. I can't imagine the world without him. 

I would place him with his family again. I would break my heart again for the sake of my little boy. I am a firm believer of everything happens for a reason and this applies. Carson came into this world for a reason. He changed not only my life but his family's. I strive to be a better person because of him, and I have learned so many hard things in life because of him. I have hard days. I feel like this was not the path I was supposed to take some days, but I do not regret my adoption at all. He is perfect and I can only wait to see what this crazy life has in store for us as our open adoption relationship grows.”

Such an inspiring story right? We are all so proud of you Shonda, and your story inspires us! Thank you for sharing it and being so open about your adoption. It truly sheds a light that is not bright enough. Have a great weekend everyone and Happy World Adoption Eve!!!