Monday, April 22, 2013

Safe But Not Quite Sound

When I returned home, I wish I could say that I picked up all the pieces of my life and pulled myself together. I can't say that, however, at least I was safe, and back with my friends.  The same group that had always been there for me once again took care of me, allowing me a place to stay and making sure that I had food to eat.  Times were not easy for any of us but we stuck together and somehow made it work,  I used my friend's computer to check email and one night came across an adoption registry.  I decided I had absolutely nothing to lose and posted my details (and what little information I had on my birth-mother - basically her first name) in the hopes I might eventually learn more about her (and myself).  At this point I had no idea how my life was about to change.

Weeks passed and I realized that something was wrong with me.  I had developed a wicked bladder infection seemingly overnight and eventually (though I dreaded the cost), I had no choice but to seek out emergency care.  My dear friend had to drive me and he stayed with me while I was getting checked out.  After all the preliminary testing had been done, one of the doctors came in and shut the door.  He asked me when my symptoms had begun and I simply said "I'm not sure, it just kind of popped up".  His next words will be with me forever.  They hung still in the air and when the true weight of these words fell upon me it was like a knife had pierced my heart.  "That's not the only thing that has popped up, you're pregnant" he said.
I am not sure how long I cried.  I am not sure of anything those first few days.  I wanted to still be in denial, I wanted it to not be real and for it to be some sort of mistake.  But in my heart I knew that it was very true and on some level I had known since the day I had left this baby's father.  I also knew that I had some decisions to make.

In the midst of all this, I received an email from the adoption registry.  Someone had seen my post and had responded.  After reading that initial email, there was no doubt in either of our minds that she was my birth-mother.  I never expected such a quick response, but she explained that she had been watching the registries closely for a few years hoping to find me.  I was in no way prepared for this.  I had no idea what to say to her, especially given my current situation, but felt almost obligated in a way to pursue communication.  We exchanged emails and slowly began a tentative correspondence.

Meanwhile, consumed with the need to come to terms with my pregnancy, I decided there was really only one course of action to take.  Abortion was not an option.  I have always believed that I could have been a statistic instead of alive, and even when times were impossibly difficult, I have remained thankful for the life I have. Looking at the mess I had created, I knew that this baby deserved much more than I could offer. My life was so tumultuous and uncertain, that to bring an innocent into this chaos would be cruel.  I made the decision to give the baby up.  It was almost that easy, a simple rational conversation with myself as to what was best for the child. Only now, I had the heart-wrenching task of having to get back in contact with the father to discuss this decision with him.  I could only hope that he would see reason as well.

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