Growing up, I always said I did not want children, but there was something inside telling me I wanted children; this may have been that motherly instinct every girl has. I had always said that because I have a little brother who I took care of a lot of the time and already felt as though he was mine. I love to care for him, play with him, and just be there with him he is my little baby. Whenever he needs anything, he knows to just ask, and I will get it or do it for him, this can be a negative thing as well. I also babysat very frequently, so I was known as, “The Babysitter” or “The Nanny.” I loved it though I cared for kids and was always able to return them to their parents, and often that was the best part! I never thought I would have my own children. I did not need them I had all different varieties of kids that i could choose to have around or return back to their parents.
In 2005, I became the mother of my own child, a beautiful baby boy. He immediately became my world. It was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. To meet this little baby for the first time and have so much love for him. I was just wrapped around his little fingers immediately and knew I would adore him for the rest of my life, it was almost overwhelming! I had never felt this way about a child before, not even my little brother whom I thought of as my own.
After being overwhelmed by love, I was suddenly plagued with fear. It was up to me to provide everything to this little human being that just arrived in this world. I was 19. How was I going to do it? I know I could not depend on his father, who shortly proved that theory to everyone; what was I going to do? This was a child I was not able to return to his mother, I was his mother! I finally calmed down and prayed. I found a sense of relief knowing God would not give me something I could not handle. I knew that everyday would be difficult, but knowing it was all for my baby, I would get through it. I went through everyday wondering, “Am I a good mother? Am I doing what’s best for my son?” I found myself skeptical of my skills as a parent and soon came to realize that it was not helping him in the least. I decided to live everyday as it came and learn from my mistakes.
In March 2007, two days after my son’s second birthday, I became a mother to a beautiful baby girl. This child really made me question my skills as a parent. In the weeks before she was born I had spoken with Adoption Assistance Agency and decided an adoption plan would be the best thing for her. I had learned to call it an adoption plan because saying, “giving up,” was so negative. I knew in my heart that was a positive thing that needed to be done. I did not have the capabilities to raise another child by no means. I knew my son was still too young to know what was going on, and I have every intention of telling him when he’s older about his little sister. Adoption Assistance Agency was and still played a big part in my decision. The family she would go to rushed to the hospital to see their new addition. The baby girl was placed in a loving home where she would be named “Nina”. I had chosen not to see her, knowing of the bond you automatically form with your child when you embrace and see them for the first time. I wanted her mother to have that with her. Her mother (this is sometimes very strange to say) was very sweet by giving me a beautiful silver locket with a clipping of “Nina’s” hair in it. I cried at the gesture.
Knowing I had my son at home gave me strength, which I very much needed at the time. I know going home after giving birth with no baby was going to be very difficult as a mother and just as a human being in general. My son’s amazing smile got me through one day at a time.
A week later, I was faced with another very difficult moment. I had to go to court and formally give up all my parental rights as a parent. The judge went through the motions during the relinquishment. Then at the end he spoke in a soothing voice and said, “Melanie, I want you to know you have done an amazing and wonderful thing here today, and I would just like to say think you for giving this baby girl a chance you could not.” My eyes welled up with tears, and I very quietly said, “Thank you.” I proceeded out of the courtroom with my caseworker, Colleen, from Adoption Assistance Agency, and my lawyer. We stopped in the lobby of the courtroom, and they both turned to look at me and said, “Thank you!” Colleen then gave me a much needed hug.
I did not feel like a horrible person for giving “Nina” a life that I could not. I know this was the best and probably the most important decision of my life. I also knew I could live with it. Some days, I will break down and just cry and wonder if it was “the right thing to do” and then, I stop and know without a doubt it was. It makes me more human when I do break down.
Two weeks after “Nina” was born I received a phone call from Colleen telling me there were some pictures waiting for me. Since I had never laid my eyes on “Nina”, I was so excited to see her face. I rushed over to Adoption Assistance Agency, and sat down with Colleen. She first gave me a scrapbook of the family that they wanted me to have. I was so happy to learn about these wonderful people, I nearly forgot about the pictures of “Nina”. Just then, she handed me an envelope with the pictures in it. I opened it up and just cried! She was absolutely adorable! I knew she would become an amazing child and be a joy to her family.
I look at my son and just know without him, I would not have been able to make a decision like I did and be comfortable with it. He is my strength! He makes me question a lot of things I do. Even the simplest things like, loading a dishwasher, I always end up asking myself, “Why are the knives pointing up? He is gong to end up cutting his finger!” Then, I promptly turn the knives around. As humans, we are all faced with many important decisions that affect our own lives, but when you become a parent, you are facing decisions that not only affect you life, but also affect the lives of your children as well. This is probably the hardest thing I have faced as a mother. I was so self absorbed in my own life and made decisions that only affected me. Then all of a sudden I had to make decisions not only for myself, but for my son, it jut threw me for awhile. Each day, I am faced with a new decision that will affect the both of us, so I make the decision very carefully knowing it will impact us both.