My life, to say the least could be one of the most epic roller coasters you could imagine at a theme park. If you combined the emotions of everything I have been through into one ride, I’d advise you to prepare yourselves. I could go on about my life story of growing up in a broken home with parents who were always fighting, being told by my alcoholic mother at the age of six that I was ugly and being beaten for no reason. And then there was the day my neighbors called the cops on my parents for yelling so loud and I ended up in a foster home in Anaheim, California. The name of that place still haunts me, Orangewood. Thankfully, that was the only time I’d ever ridden in the back of a police vehicle. Long story short, my dad rescued us from that place. From then on I lived an amazing life with a single father. While my dad felt defeated that I didn’t have a mother, he thrived and was an amazing father to me. In 2006 my life took a turn for the worst. While I grew up living with my dad full time, being separated from my mother haunted me. I still wanted her. Because she had an alcohol problem, there were many moments of no shows and letdowns. She wasn’t coming for me those days. My dad was always right there to catch my feelings.

In 2006 on June 12th, my dad gave me the worst news of my life. I was 18 years old and told that my mother had committed suicide. Suddenly I felt more lost than I could ever know. The world was empty. How could she leave me? I was her daughter. I loved her. Was I a bad daughter? What did I do? Can I please get her back? Dear God, please bring her back! Those emotions raced through my mind as I bawled my eyes out. From that point forward, I promised myself that I would never leave my children like that.

From then on, I lived my life, trying to find my lifelong partner and rebuild the family that I had once remembered as happy. I was anxious and impatient to start my story with someone else. About a year later, at the age of 19, I moved to Palm Springs, California to chase a boy. We bought our first house together and not long after my 20th birthday did I realize that I was only settling for someone I wasn’t truly in love with. I just wanted to feel comfortable. I decided that it was best to end things, as I did not want to lead him on. I didn’t want to move on. I did not want to end up married and having to divorce someone I was never happy with. I also wanted a family. I cannot build a family on a broken foundation.

Near the end of 2008 I met a wonderful man. He gave me all the joy I was searching for. We were the best of buds. We had a quirky relationship of total similarities and sometimes complete opposite feelings. Yet, somehow we matched. He managed to fill every void inside of me. I never wanted him to leave. A couple years after we began dating, I felt our love fading away. I was young, 23, and didn’t know what I could do to save it. He went out with his friends and made some, not so wise, choices. I ended that relationship. I felt it was too painful for me to continue living with someone I felt I couldn’t trust. I had no idea how to save the relationship, so my first instinct was to run away. I began dating other people. That is when I met the person who would change my life. I continued with this relationship, still thinking of my previous relationship with the person I loved. I dabbled in some “not so wise” choices of my own. After a short 6-month relationship, I ended up pregnant with my first child. The man I fell pregnant with was still seeing his ex and wanted nothing to do with the pregnancy and me. I carried out my pregnancy alone. When I first was pregnant, the first person I called at the 3-month mark was the one person I was truly in love with. Somehow, I don’t know why, but he calmed me down. He, without saying it, showed me that everything was going to be okay. He was pained inside. The damage I did to him by leaving our relationship after only a few short months later being pregnant by another man, created a range of emotions that flooded through him. It was not fair. I wanted my baby. I knew it was going to be really difficult, but I couldn’t imagine giving him up. Adoption at that point was not an option. I was narrow-minded. I had friends and family members offer to adopt him. I thought they were crazy. At that point in my life, I couldn’t understand people who gave up their children. In 2012, I made another promise to myself. If I am going to keep my child, I am going to not be selfish. I am going to give up whatever is needed and do what is best to raise my child. And I will carry that forward.

When my first-born was 14 months old, I made the attempt to date again. Here I found myself desperate for love but I had a lack of self-confidence. My body was not the same as it was prior to a baby. Neither was my mentality.

I met a man, who claimed to be Native American. I was taken back in an amused way. As I kindly cringe while writing this, I was somehow attracted to the idea of the Native American culture. Also, as I was dating this man he appeared to be a successful person who carried a Bachelor degree in forensic psychology. In this moment, I would’ve explained myself as wide-eyed and in awe. I was attracted to the idea of success. I felt like we could work together and build a relationship. A strong one. Nothing ever fully pulled me in with this guy though. After a couple of months his lies began seeping through and I began to learn that his talk of being successful was all an act. This man had two children of his own. I learned about a month into our relationship that he had no job. He eventually obtained one making 12 dollars an hour, but how was this not adding up? My relationship with him was always a turning page in a short chaptered book. He went from a successful educated man, to a 32 year old with 2 children making 12 dollars an hour. I began to question why he wasn’t having any success in finding a more suitable position considering he had a pretty decent degree. He could start entry level somewhere making more than a mere 12 dollars an hour. Well, that is when I learned he had 2 felonies on him and spent a year in a penitentiary in the isolation ward. He was high risk due to his attitude and anger. I was so disgusted and feared I didn’t bother to ask any more questions. Shortly after finding all of this out, I found I was pregnant again with my second child. Suddenly I felt trapped and feared for not only myself, but my first-born. I was in a dangerous situation and was scared to get out of it. I felt obligated to follow through with his wishes and demands. Arguments with him were awful. I don’t know how many times he told me that I was a stupid “female dog”.  While he never hit me, he was very verbally abusive.

One night when I was at home, safe in my own home, he called me. I told him I could not see him anymore. Surprisingly he took it well and got off the phone quietly. I wasn’t sure if I should be scared or if I should be excited. Most of me felt that a house load of bricks was just lifted off of me. But after all of that, I was still pregnant. I was pregnant with my second child and no one knew. My family knew that my relationship with that guy was bad news, how would they react if they knew I was pregnant? The fear started setting in.

From that point on. I was scared. I felt lonely. I could not talk to anyone. I started counting every penny I had. Seeing where I could cut corners with raising one baby and making room for another. This is still the narrow-minded me refusing to place my child for adoption. No! He was mine! I created him!

I soon realized that I did not create him, God did.

My pregnancy with my second son was rough. I worked a full-time job that required long distance travel, and then had to come home and be a full-time mother to an active toddler who loved to run and climb. Some days I’d be in the car on a 2 hour drive puking into paper bags that would suddenly fall into my lap while driving on the busiest freeways in Orange County. That was definitely not fun. I soon realized, there was no way I could do this alone. I finally considered the adoption route.

The strangest thing was, once I considered adoption, there was no turning back. I already knew deep down inside that it was the best choice. I knew where my baby belonged. It wasn’t because I wasn’t worthy and it was in not because I didn’t love him. It was because I loved him TOO much to infinity that I couldn’t be selfish. I had to own up to my very first promise from 2006. I was never going to leave my baby, and I was never going to put him through a rough life he didn’t get to pick. It wasn’t his fault I got pregnant. He deserved the best.

I searched out adoption agencies and chose one that stood out to me the most. After many traumatic stories I heard about adoption, I still had the power to continue going. I made the call. My trembling fingers dialing the number, my rattling voice as I was transferred to the person who would direct me. I was so scared. And I was so alone. I was so depressed at that point; I didn’t know what was carrying me. I know now that it was an act of God. He drove me to that appointment, He guided me. I remember the day I sat on that couch speaking to the adoption counselor. She must have thought I was a nutcase. I could not stop crying. Regardless, I still knew as bad as it hurt, I was making the right choice.

We set up multiple meetings and I cried multiple times. I had a picture in my mind of who I wanted. It was the only way that I could move forward with the adoption.

There are many in this world, such as myself, that cannot bare their own child. The family I wanted, I wanted them to be a first time family that wasn’t blessed with the human pipes we all have, as shallow as that sounds. It is hard for me to explain my reasoning for this but I am going to attempt it.

The love that I have for my first-born son is utterly out of this world. I could not imagine my life a single day without him. I would travel to the moon and back a thousand times to get him and do for him whatever he needed to stay healthy. I wanted a family for my second born to have this same feeling for their child. This was the only way I could have peace in knowing that my son would have all the love I could never physically give to him.

After selecting one couple, we never had the opportunity to physically meet. I wasn’t sure if they were the match. Then, I met the parents I knew were “the ones”. The adoption counselor shared with me that it was going to be the most “awkward” first date feeling and boy it sure was. How do you explain to someone “no I am not a drug addict, but yes I am normal but no I don’t want my kid.”  A raw description I gave, but I feel like many people think adoption is only a substance abuse solution. I’ll raise my hand to say that, no it is not. And I would not call it an “out” either. It is a solution, but it will never be an out. Those feelings will live beyond you.

I was choosing the life of my son, over my heart and my life. I wanted him to live on a happy life, no matter how badly I hurt. My only fear was that he was going to hate me. He would wonder all the feelings I felt when my mom passed away. I was so scared.

Well the day came and went. I met and matched my biological son with his parents. And I have never had any doubts. They are amazing, genuine and strong. They have stuck together through infertility and continued to move through a rocky adoption process and I commenced them for that.

The day I went into labor, June 10th, was an amazing and smooth day. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on June 11th, 2015 at 3:07am. I never cried. I was so strong through it all. I couldn’t cry. God was holding this baby boy and me and blessing us. I never kept him in my room. Not because I didn’t love him, but because I wanted his parents to have the bonding experience. Since I already had a son waiting for me at home, I knew what a special moment this was and I wanted them to have it all. My mental strength was maxing out though. I adored all the time I did have with this beautiful boy while I was in the hospital. Visiting every few hours. The hours were just that. And they were winding down. On June 11th, it was after visiting hours.

I chose to go visit my baby boy in the nursery. I wanted to whisper in his ear and tell him how much I loved him. I was expecting to go to the nursery and he would be there, waiting for just me. But when I got there, I saw his parents. I don’t know what it was about that moment that hit me, but that was the first time I was truly hurt. It hit me. While I wanted them to have all the time with him, a surge of jealousy came over me at that moment. Once they left the room it was the first time I cried. I started to lose my breath. I couldn’t even do what I wanted. I couldn’t talk to my baby boy. I felt like I wasn’t allowed to say my words. I walked back to my room holding my breath, trying not to shed my tears. But I couldn’t hold back. I was gasping for air. It was hitting me like a ton of bricks.

As I laid in bed that night I would sleep off and on. I cried when I would wake up and then I would pass out from crying too much. The next day when the doctor came in to check on me, I couldn’t even speak. I told them as much as I could which took a few minutes from my gasping pain to get out the words “I need to leave”. There it was again. My first instinct was to run, and I did. I signed all the paperwork, took my last dose of medicine, and got the heck out of that hospital….without saying goodbye to my baby boy. It hurt too much to give a formal goodbye. I think I would have died right there if I had even tried. I am almost positive my heart would have outright stopped. The day I checked out of the hospital was June 12, 2015. Nine years to the day that I was given the news that my mother had committed suicide. Boy, you can imagine what a wreck I was.

To change this from a tear-jerking story, my adoptive family changed all of my emotions from that day right around. I was walking out of that hospital thinking I was never going to see this little boy again. They have been nothing but open with me. We have a respect for each other that no one could imagine. After I recovered from my loss, which will never be entirely gone, I could not imagine anyone better to raise this boy. They ARE without a doubt his parents. God used my body as a vessel to deliver their baby. I feel it, and I know it. I will always love him and I will always love them. We are a family created through god. The family I was seeking all along and never knew it, but I never once felt angry or felt like God was against me. Somehow I always knew He was working with me, but now I have a clear comprehension for my struggles. I am a happier person today than I could say 10 years ago.

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps” Proverbs 16:9