My parents raised me with a strong sense of hard work, character, and culture. My mom is a Nigerian immigrant who followed my dad here while he went to school. They separated when I was very young, my dad returning to Nigeria and my mom stayed here in the states. For a long time my mother was very bitter with my father regarding the circumstances of their separation. It left a deep impression on me and shaped my future relationships.
We did not grow up wealthy. On public assistance for a short time, my mother worked multiple jobs to provide and save. She soon moved us to an upper class suburb with a great school district. She went to school to become a nurse and eventually purchased her own home. My two brothers and I carry her hard work in my heart. We all graduated from college and hope to continue to make her proud.
In 2013 I was also in graduate school. I had an impressive resume, a dream summer internship with Colgate with three more semesters left before completing my JD/MBA. Around this time is when I became pregnant. My relationship with the birth father is complicated and still wounding. Ultimately, he disappeared.
I considered my options and decided adoption would be my best choice for my unborn child. I researched adoption agencies, flew to Utah to meet my new support system and began the process of finding a family. Not many people at home knew I was pregnant so, in many ways, it was a very lonely process. (I was lucky enough to become very close with my counselor and most of the staff at the adoption agency. I spent Christmas with my adoption counselor!)
Over the next few months I worked with my adoption counselor to consider my options. It’s very hard to verbalize the reasons behind the choice of adoption because much of the contemplation happens internally. What sums it best for me, is my son deserved the best I could give him. In my emotional and financial state I knew that I could not give him all he deserved, but someone else could. I knew what it was like to raise children when you’re focused on your own hurt. I am a child raised by a mother in emotional pain. I didn’t want to perpetuate the cycle.
This process of selecting a family was very scary. Lots of tears. Although I asked questions, prepared, and worked really hard to get to know the adoptive parents, I still have so many questions in my head now about his future upbringing.
I chose an open adoption. The term was something new to me and a scary option. What if my son was disappointed with me? Did I want to know that? What would I say when he asked me the hard questions of why?
I discussed my fears with my adoption counselor and the adoptive parents. It helped.
My son was born on January 22nd 2014. I spent three days with him in the hospital and two weeks later I met with the adoptive family again with my son.
I remember much grief in the weeks following the experience interposed by moments of peace. Eventually the moments of peace became longer. The letters, videos and pictures helped, but the pangs come back sometimes when I see other mothers with children the same age as mine.
But often, I am reminded of the great things about adoption. I have gained another family in the adoptive parents who are supportive and continuously pray for my well-being. The adoption alternative has allowed me to heal from the hurt of my relationship with the birth father and pursue my aspirations.
It’s not always easy, but I remain thankful throughout this journey.