How it All Began...
My name is Ciara. I'm a 26-year-old military wife from Colorado. I went through Angel Adoption a year ago when I was 25. I was around seven weeks pregnant when I first contacted them. They were fantastic! I would recommend Angel Adoption to any expectant mother who is looking at adoption. They set me up with some of the most amazing people that my husband and I have ever met — our son's adoptive parents. I brag about my relationship with my birth son's parents because of how strong it is and how positive it is. I started talking to my son's adoptive parents when I was only nine weeks pregnant and got to meet them twice while I was pregnant. They were exactly who my husband and I were looking for to raise our baby boy.
I chose adoption because of my situation in life. I have a biological daughter that I parent with my husband. She had turned one on December 23rd and I found out I was pregnant January 11th. Imagine my surprise! We also ended up getting sole custody of my then five-year-old step son on January 22. On top of that, my husband is on active duty in the army. To say we were overwhelmed would be an understatement. Adoption was the perfect decision for us.
I searched for adoption agencies online and just wasn't pleased by what I was finding, whether it being they were unethical or just didn't feel right. Then I found Angel Adoption. From the moment I spoke to someone on the phone to even now, they were super helpful. They ended up setting me up with an agency in my state to take care of paperwork, but they sent me the profiles of families to go through.
The only thing I was ever concerned about during my pregnancy was how it would all affect me after I had the baby and handing him off to these people I didn't even know. To help with all of my emotions, I joined a Facebook group called "Birth Mother Support Group," and talked to other expectant moms and birth moms. They answered a ton of my questions. If I had not found that group, I would have had a much more difficult time.
Angel Adoption kept in close contact with me asking how I was feeling throughout my pregnancy, but were never pushy. They never made me feel like I had to place my son just because I was talking with them. They are a very ethical organization, along with the agency I went through in my state.
Making a Plan
When I was looking through profiles, I was looking for a stay-at-home parent, a family who already had a biological or adopted child, people who shared similar views as myself and my husband, people who enjoyed being outdoors, and of course people who were looking for an open adoption. The family I chose met all of those and more!
My son's adoptive parent's checked up on me weekly if not more to just ask how I was feeling and how my kids were. We texted or called to just get to know each other and learn about each other. They even flew out to my home state twice while I was pregnant so we could all meet. They were never pushy and made it very clear multiple times that they supported whatever decision I made.
I chose an open adoption because although we knew we couldn't raise our son, we still wanted to have some sort of place in his life.
I underestimate everything in my life, so before the baby's birth, I didn't think much about the hand off. I had it in my head it wouldn't be as hard as I had heard it to be. That all changed the moment I had him. I felt a love for him that I have only felt for his sister. It was incredibly hard the first month, but I got a lot of pictures so that helped heal my heart. I am eight months out at the time of this writing, and bad days are now few and far between. I am looking forward to the future with my son and the relationship that continues to grow with his family.
If you are considering adoption, enjoy every piece of your pregnancy, as hard as that can be. I was so sick my whole pregnancy and had terrible heartburn the last ten weeks, yet I tried to enjoy every single kick and movement. Take a ton of belly pictures because one day they'll be nice to look back on. Make sure when you are looking through profiles and begin "interviewing" people that you choose the people who fit your criteria. If you sense any red flags at all, just move on to the next family. You have to trust your gut in this. Do not feel obligated to give your baby to someone just because they may have helped you in some way while you are pregnant. That is your baby still. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it. You'll find the right people.
When the time finally comes for the baby to be born take that time for yourself. The adoptive parents will have the baby's whole life to bond. This time is for you. Do skin-to-skin, breastfeed if you want to, change all the diapers, take pictures and videos of the baby, and enjoy that time being your baby's mommy. I don't regret breastfeeding my son. While it probably made it harder to hand him over, I am glad I did it. Ask for copies, or like myself, ask for the originals of everything. Take home everything from the hospital. I have my son's blanket he was swaddled in, his first onesie, his first hat, the ankle bracelet, and his footprints. The hospital can make copies for the adoptive family. Remember that this is your journey and you call the shots.