Thursday, January 29, 2009

My adoption story

It was brought to my attention that I often mention adoption and Seth on my blog...and while most of you know that I placed my sweet baby boy for adoption many of you don't know the story. I was asked to share it (if I felt comfortable with it), and I would be glad to! Some memories are a little hazy....so forgive me if this is a little scattered.
*If you already know the story...or if you don't want to know the story please feel free to move on to other blogs.

**The names in this story have NOT been changed...it is what it is

The important part of my story begins in August of 2003. I was 18, just graduated hish school, I was over a week "late", and I was terrified.

I couldn't be pregnant...that kind of thing happened to "other girls" not me. I didn't "sleep around", it was just one guy. I never stepped out of line...I was a good girl.

Holly knew about the situation and she went with me to wal mart to get a home pregnancy test (Holly was my lifesaver through this whole thing). We went back to her place to take it. I was still in denial thinking that there is no way that this would happen to me....and then I saw the + sigh and I started bawling and shaking.

This is a nightmare...this can't be happening. I haven't been sick at all...aren't you supposed to be sick? Maybe it's a false positive.

Ben (Hollys boyfriend and now husband) came over and held me and let me cry on his shoulder (thanks Ben). Neither of them knew what to say. I didn't know what to say. I called gabe the next day to let him know..he was working and promised that he would call me back...he never did. For 3 and 1/2 months I went through my "hell" with only Holly, Ben, and a few other close friends to help me. I worked and spent time with my family pretending that everything was normal. I knew that if I didn't say something soon I would start showing and that would be even worse...and more importnant, I knew I needed to get to the doctor to make sure everything was ok. But I kept silent.
Finally, late one night in November I got a call from Gabe. His first question "do you want me to take you somewhere to get an abortion?". I was so angry! I couldn't believe that he would want to do that to "our" baby! I told him no and he asked what we were going to do. I told him that since he had left me to deal with this alone for almost 4 months I had made the decision to place "my" baby for adoption, and that he didn't get a say. He said he would be there and help however he could (lies). He apologized for the way he handled the news and that he was scared.

I'm scared to but I have to deal with it..why doesn't he?

I started to believe that he would really help me to break the news to my family, and to help me pick the perfect parents for "our" baby.
About a week later I was over at Hollys and I got a call from my mom saying that I needed to come home....

She knows....

I walked into the house and my mom was sitting at the table with my aunt and a friend of theirs. My mom said "Sunde heard that you are pregnant...I need you to tell her that it isn't true". I broke down bawling. The rest of the night my mom and I sat up and talked about what I wanted to do about it...and how far along was I...had I been to the doctor. My dad and brothers were out of town and due back the next day, we were going to have to tell them.

Dad is going to kick me out...my family is going to hate me.

I remember that it was a Sunday night and mom and I were watching The Wizard of Oz on TV (the part with the horse of every color) when they walked in. My mom got right up and took my dad back to their room...and it felt like an eternity before they came out again. I was told to go sit on their bed while they got my brothers together. They all came in and my mom broke the news to everyone while I laid in my dads lap and cried. Then everyone was crying. I couldn't have felt any worse... My dad said that I had to call Gabe and have him and his parents come over to talk. I called and Gabe said that he didn't think that his parents needed to know....dad grabbed the phone and told him that if he wasn't going to tell his parents then he would call them and they would ahve to hear it from a starnger because his daughter shouldn't have to do this alone (I love my daddy).
They came over and Gabe sat by me on the couch like he cared. Said that he would be there. Said that he loved me. Dad asked if we were going to get married

No way!

I told everyone that I have decided on adoption and that was that. Gabes mom wanted me to cosider her daughter that couldn't have kids.
My mom took me to the doctor the next day...and Gabes mom (uninvited) showed up as well...but no Gabe.

Not suprised

We found out that I was over 4 months along and that I was having a boy (for some reason I already knew that)! His mom was really sweet and wanted to be involved. My mom was letting herself get excited.
My mom got me an appointment with LDS family services and I met with my caseworker (no Gabe). She asked if I was sure about my decision and why I thought this was right

because I love him more than anything...and I want him to have everything. I knew I could be enough....and I knew that I could make a life good enough, but I didn't want him to have to settle for "enough". I wanted him to have everything. A complete family. A mom that would be around. A dad. Happiness. I could not make up the difference between myself and the family he COULD have. No amount of overcompensation would do.

I started the paperwork...medical history for both Gabe and I (Gabe wasn't there...how was I supposed to know). Drug history for both of us (again....how do I know?). Appearance (at least I knew that Gabe was good looking...I know something about him....score!). What kind of hobbies do I want him to grow up learning? What qualities do I want the people that I choose for my son to have? All kinds of questions that were so painful to answer. The case worker (Janna) said that she would have some files for me the next week.
During that week my cousin stopped by and asked if I would consider looking at a file from a friend of hers whos daughter and son-in-law were looking to adopt again. Of course I would! She sent me the file and I instantly fell in love with them...everything about them....and I felt like I knew them somehow. They had adopted a sweet little girl about a year before Seth was due. And the dad was perfect. He sounded like the man that I would want my baby to grow up and be.

I love them! But there is no way that choosing a family is this easy

So I looked at all of the other 10 files that Janna put together for me (most of the couples were redheads....I thought that was kind of funny). I had them all for over a week, and I really liked some of them....but I just kept thinking of the first file. I kept going back to that sweet dad....his beautiful smile (for some reason Riley was the one who stuck in my mind the most....maybe because I was so intent on Seth having a GREAT dad), and the story that was told in the file about how sweet he is. I loved Kristi and the fact that she seemed like the best mom I could ever want for my baby (better than me). I couldn't get them out of my mind. I took that to mean that they were the ones (Gabes sister was very upset that I didn't pick her). I asked Janna to contact them and let them know....she asked if I would be up to meeting them in person..

I can do that? I have a chance to meet the people that could be the ones that raise "my" baby as their own? Of course I want to meet them!

I was so nervous the day that we met. I knew they were great people, but what would they think of me? By now I was about 7 or 8 months along and starting to get big. When I walked into the room they both gave me and my mom hugs and it was like we knew eachother. I felt like I knew them from somewhere. They brought photo albums to show me...and I brought and ultrasound picture. We talked and laughed for a few hours....they were the best! I loved them! I knew that the baby I was carrying was theirs. We worked out how open we wanted the adoption to be....they were so acomidating....whatever I wanted they were ok with. We worked it all out....they even told me that I could name the baby if I wanted. I told them he was theirs and they should name him. It was time to leave and I didn't want to. I felt like they were a part of our family...like Kristi and I were sisters....I fianlly felt like everything was ok...and this is how it should be.
Kristi and Riley made another trip to see me before Seth was born. They brought me a blanket to wrap him in while he was in the hospital that I could keep so I felt like I had a peice of him. We had tied a few quilts for them too. They told me that they had two names that they liked and wanted me to pick between them...they like Christopher and Seth. As soon as I heard it I knew he was a Seth. Seth Riley Wright.
About 2 weeks before my due date I wasn't feeling well. It was 6:00 pm and my mom was gone for a few hours. I laid on the couch and talked to my brothers while my back ached every so often. I didn't think much of it because people told me that when you start having contractions you know it. So I just thought my back was hurting. When my mom got home around 8 I told her what was happening and she timed the pain and decided that they were contractions!

I can't be having contractions....it's my back...not my stomach.....who has contractions in their back? Plus it's like 2 weeks early.

Apparently my mom did and she didn't tell me! I was in labor! It didn't hurt like people tell you...it was mostly just uncomfortable. We waited until midnight and then we went to the hospital....

I can't believe this is happening....I'm having a baby.....I'm not ready for this to be over yet....I'm not ready to let him go....What if I can't do it?...... It's gonna hurt....Oh..I can't do this!!!!!

We got checked in and then the pain got a lot worse (still not as bad as people say tho). I don't remember much about the delivery...or the time that I was in labor.....but I remember that it was AMAZING! My mom was there and was so great. He was born perfect on 4/14/04 at 6:03 am 6lbs. 7oz. and 21 1/2 in long.
The rest of that day and the next was a whirlwind of visitors (none of which were Gabe...but his sister stopped by just long enough to cause a scene), tears, terror, and peace. Kristi and Riley were informed about Seths birth as soon as I went to the hospital and they promptly sent me a dozen roses and then started the 6 hour drive to get their baby! They gave me my space though and I got Seth all to myself for over 24 hours! I don't think I slept at all...and just held him...sang to him....and cried with him. My friends and family were all so amazing to be right by my side.
One the 15th at 6 we met with Kristi and Riley and LDS family services. We spent an hour chatting before I brought the baby to them. My whole family was there to meet our new family members and I felt like that needed to happen without the tears. I went to a different room to get Seth....the walk down that hall was the longest walk of my life....tears....

I love you...I hope you understand that this is what is best....I hope you will always know how much I love you, if I didn't I wouldn't be doing this.....they are the best family...you will love them.....i love you i love you i love you

I opened the door to the placement room and Riley stood up so fast and it made me smile....this was Seths dad...and he already loves him. I placed him in Rileys arms and he hugged me and Kristi hugged me and we cried.....everyone cried. It was the most beautiful moment....I was hurting and so sad....but as I watched this new family with their new baby I was so happy and so filled with peace....I knew this was right. And I knew this was Seths family.

Wow...I never thought I would be here....I never imagined that this would be part of my life....but here I am

We spent another few hours there passing the baby around, crying, laughing, and exchanging gifts (they brought me a beautiful hear shaped locket).
We left and my mom and dad took me and my brothers to baskin robbins and we cried.

My life is driving off with another family....I'm so empty.....will I ever feel "normal" again.....am I always going to feel hollow.....I'm so happy that "my" baby has a complete family....I know I did the best thing for him...I don't care how I feel as long as he is safe and happy...

The next day I had to meet with Gabe (who still to this day has never held or seen Seth) and Kristy and Riley to sign some papers before they could take him out of the state. I had cried all night long so I can only imagine how I must have looked. They didn't bring the baby and I was glad...I don't think I could have handled it. Gabe was nice enough....but never even asked me how anything went or how I was feeling (nice). Kristi and Riley had written me a letter telling me how their first night went....it was so thoughtful. After court I hugged Kristi and Riley and I don't think any of us wanted to let go. It was a beautiful day and I knew that I was going to be fine....and eventually it wouldn't hurt so much. I knew that time would never heal...but I knew that the pain would subside eventually. I walked outside and breathed in and it felt like the first breath of my life.

I wouldn't trade this experiance for anything....it made me who I am going to be.

Almost 5 years later and here I am. I still hurt a lot...and think of Seth every single day. Sometimes I cry. To this day, every year on Seths birthday I get flowers from Kristi and Riley and a note saying that on his birthday they think of me and the "gift" I gave them. I look at it as the day I gave him the gift of a family.

That's my story....you might not get it....and you might not agree with it. sorry that it's hazy and jumbled and super long. I'm not a writer...and I'm sure that you don't get the feelings that you could if someone else had written it....but I love my story.

15 comments:

Natalie said...

Girl you really know how to make someone cry, Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think that it means much more having a kid and thinking about giving the child up,it had to have been the hardest thing you have ever done. I really admire you for doing that it is very selfless and honorable for you to think about your baby and what's best for him than yourself and how much you will hurt. You are a strong person for doing that I don't think that I could have done it, I would be the selfish one, I know. I know that you still hurt from it but know that you will be blessed because of it. I have never really known much about adoption, but you have really open my eyes, thanks.......

Holly said...

Yeah, you should have warned us we needed to go grab tissues, actually I should have known! :) Beautifully written Ashley! You are apart of a huge miracle. I know you already know this, but I truly look up to and admire you. You are such a beautiful person! Thanks for sharing this with all of us!
Oh, and you look great in the scarf!!! :)

Jeremy and Genevieve said...

i'm crying ashley. i can't even imagine how hard that had to have been for you but what amazing strength, faith and courage it took for you to be part of the miracle for that family. thanks for sharing your story ashley.

Matt and Jenna said...

Ashley I Bawled through this whole story! It opened my eyes to how lucky I have been in my life! I too had gotten pregnant at 19...scared and so confused what do you do?? The difference was I had a guy who stepped up and took it like a man, and now I'm married to the most amazing person! I seriously look up to you for your unselfishness! What a difficult time and to go through it without the support of "the person that was suppose to love you" You really did the greatest thing someone could do! Thank you for sharing this story!

The Eve's said...

WOW!!! You are so brave!!! There is no way I could of done what you did. I remeber seeing you when you were pregnant in walmart in idaho falls. I think you were with Holly and Tiffany. You looked beautiful!! You are an insperation!!! Thanks for your story.

Annalee Taylor said...

wow. Thanks for sharing. Adoptions storys always surprise me and make me so grateful for Mack, your a hero thats for sure.

Holly said...

I know this story without you telling it (because I'm apart of it) and I still end up bawling when I read it. You gave an amazing family the most special thing in the whole entire world. You are an amazing person and not just because of this! I think it is great that you can share you story. You are right where people don't really know much about adoption.

The Hanna Family said...

Hey Ashley this is Kacie (Hart) Hanna. I always like to see what you are up to and I read your story and I bawled! What a precious gift to give someone! I just recently had my second child and I justy want you to know that you are an amazing person and so strong, it would be so hard to make that sacrfice, but you did what was best, I admire you for that! Thanks for sharing!

Brian and Danielle said...

Ashley, I am sitting at work crying and everyone is wondering what is wrong with me! that was beautiful. What a huge miracle that you have been a part of. Thanks for sharing your story. You are a very strong person!

Brent & Ashlie Eborn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brent & Ashlie Eborn said...

Ash!
Even though I knew 'the story' I never really "knew" it. It was so touching, I almost began to cry. (I'm kind of a hard ass, I don't cry much:) I wish I could have been there for you during that time. I think you're one of the sweetest people I know and am grateful to consider you one of my greatest friends! We have so many fun and dorky memories! BOO YAH ! LOVE YOU!

Shalee said...

Okay, I know you probably think it is random that I am reading your blog, but I am a blog stalker and saw the link on Chelsi's blog :) As an adoptive mom of two now, I just cried my eyes out for you and for the miracle that adoption is...every one!! You are awesome!! I just want to give you a hug!

Ashley said...

Found your blog through the R House. Bawled. What a beautiful story, what a beautiful spirit you have. Thank you, thank you so much for sharing it.

becky said...

ound you through the house ...just wanted to say....i was adopted and I am a part of a closed aoption...don't knowmy birth mom. Your story gives me hope that she still thinks about me after all these years. Some days its hard for me too. thanks for sharing

Cami said...

Thank you for sharing. You're story is beautiful.