In 2010 I made a heart-wrenching decision to follow-up my adoption plan and to place my child with a nice family I respect. Of course, it was harder on me that(sic) I thought. However, I’d like to share the positive parts of my personal experience of working with ZOE for Life!™ – an agency which guided me through this process. ZOE’s team consist(sic) of professionals familiar with all aspects of adoption; finding a matching family; counseling, support, legal process and take my word, they were there for me. Their attitude is to be available to talk anytime and they never abandoned their promises done verbally.
About myself: I thought of having children for a long while. Being in my forties and single it wasn’t easy to make it happen. I need to find myself dependable from a man to help me. I ended up having a relationship with a man who wasn’t emotionally attached to me. Neither was me. I became pregnant and started thinking of the choices I had. Me and the father of the baby soon broke off. My financial situation left much to be desired. I went to school full-time hoping by the time the baby is due I’ll have a way to work as a professional. The cost of my living including food, power bill, phone bill rent and bare essentials was close to $1,000.00. In a short while I dropped out of school cause it became tough to come up with $75.00 monthly payment. I started to look for a full-time job but got only some part-time jobs. It became immidiataely(sic) clear that I can’t make it as a potential single mother financially. I started panicking.
I thought of having an abortion but I couldn’t bear it that my baby’s heart will stop. I felt I don’t wanna(sic) destroy a healthy baby. I couldn’t count on help from social services. I was eligible only for food stamps and small amount between $215.00 and 315.00 monthly in our state. I didn’t have much of social network to count on. So I didn’t have any survival plan by the time the baby will be born and started thinking of adoption. I’ve met lots of people socially who had adoptive kids and I noticed this is sometimes first thing they talk about. I always was wondering if they had difficult time raising them but they didn’t think so. I also talked to people who had been adopted themselves as kids. Some of them had certain problems with bonding; some appeared to be comfortable with the fact of being adopted. There was a young man I’ve met through my work who grew up in a foster home and he was one of the sweetest well-behaved, good-mannered and even-tempered people I ever knew. He told me he was planning on to work with adopted kids in future.
I started to get more information about adoption. It became obvious there were lots of adoption agencies around. Some of them promised 6 month(sic) of support for birth mother before or after birth. I wasn’t sure what should be guidelines to choose an agency. Or what kind of family should it be. Should they be wealthy? Or should they live close to me or lets say in New York? I figured the money shouldn’t be a priority. I wanted to find something about these people that will make me to trust them.
I contacted my priest and asked him if he knew any Christian family among the churchgoers interested to adopt a child or if he knew how to locate those. I thought that us sharing a faith should we have a relationship as a mother and adoptive family will be really good as Christians believe the life is holy so I could count on them that they won’t hurt my child and bring him or her up in good morels(sic). Their financial standing became a secondary issue as I’ve found my major criteria in choosing a family. I wanted them to be active in a Church. My priest advised me to contact ZOE for Life! Zoe means life in Greek.
When I dialed ZOE’s number I was pretty desperate for support and help. I asked if there was a way to get to know any family registered with them who is actively Christian. It was Carla who answered the phone and she assured me they can help. It was very relieving for me. And Carla sounded as she understood what I was going through. It was all very important for me; how people sounded on the phone and to know there was something we share in common such as religion. It would be very uncomfortable for me to start conversation like that one with a stranger who answered the phone. But ZOE’s people didn’t dole out their time and gave me confidence to start talking about what I had in mind. So far that was the most important decision of my life. I experienced that no matter how badly I wanna (sic)be a sustainable mother I’m not in a situation to provide for my baby right now. Also I thought I can’t secure for him or her a high standard of living, health insurance or access to education in future! There are many children without health insurance in the United States and it pains me my future child in 6 month(sic) after birth isn’t going to be insured. Most employers in my area tend to hire only part-time help due to weak economy so I wouldn’t bet on if I’m gonna(sic) get a health insurance if I work. I told it’ll take me indefinite time to get a well-paying job and I’m not sure whether I could afford to pay a babysitter if I went back to school or started working. I really wanted my future child to enjoy good start in life. Like they say – to go to right kindergarden(sic) , to go to right school and to enjoy better opportunities than I do. It really broke my heart. I can’t provide for him or her the way I really wanted and to have him or her suffer along the way while I’m having a difficult time financially and am single.
Carla put me in touch with Fadia. Fadia has many years of experience as a social worker and a consultant. We never had a signed contract so she spent many hours of her off duty time counseling me over the phone and helped me to navigate the system(sic). She was available to talk anytime which I appreciate a lot. I told her I wanna(sic) explore an opportunity to place my baby when he or she will be born with a nice family. I told her that the reason for that is my unsecurity(sic) to make it as a single mother at this time. During my pregnancy I often felt sick so I hold only some part-time jobs. I also knew I may not be able even to pay my rent by the time when my pregnancy is over. I wasn’t sure if I could start working right after giving birth cause generally(sic) it takes some time for the body to recover.
Fadia sent me a few profiles of prospective adoptive parents. I’ve chosen a young couple to meet with willing to have parental experience and except(sic) a child into their family. When we’ve(sic) met it felt like we shared a lot in common. I liked many things about them. They had strong faith in God were professionals and felt like warm loving family. I could hope they’ll bring the child up the way I probably would do myself.
During the time we were in touch Fadia never was pushy or indicated I had to let them know if I made a decision at certain time. She made me familiar with legal process, told me I needed a lawyer and assured me the adoptive parents also go through background check. I shared with her many of my concerns and fears. She told me that there is a way to talk to an adopted child when he or she is old enough to ask questions about his or her biological mother and father to make him or her be at peace with is so his psiche(sic) wouldn’t be traumatized. It was important for me to know I don’t have to go through life beating myself up that my actions and decisions may impact my own child negatively.
Fadia helped me to build a relationship with a prospective adoptive family. I sincerely hope everything we worked hard for will fall into place.
One thing I know for sure by now: having an abortion is a lot worse off choice for a woman to make compared with placing a child with another family. Every day lots of women in different countries are saying “yes” to a painful procedure intended to end the life forming inside of them. Afterward they are trying to store this memory deep inside and so go on with their life. When you actually give birth and you see how perfect the baby is as a woman begin to realize the abortion is not a good choice. Looks like there are welcoming homes out there. Maybe the supply of homes and loving hearts is more than number of available infants since many families wait many years to take a child in.
ZOE also helped me with my living expenses along the way. Since the freedom of choice was left up to me they basically took financial risk if I was going to change my mind. Without their help I’d face extreme difficulties.
Sometimes I ask myself had I contacted ZOE too soon without exploring other options besides having adoption plan? I really don’t think so. I contacted them just on time to think about many things, to get nessesary(sic) information to meet a prospective couple and to get to know them. It was a lot to learn.
Adoption will always be a rely(sic) painful difficult for a mother but the reality is it’ll be always around as an option. The process is changing along the way, there are opportunities available for birthmothers which weren’t in use years ago. So if you are in a circumstances(sic)to consider it don’t think about all negative stuff. Start getting information about it and you may feel more secure and comfortable with yourself as you get to know more.
If you know in your heart that in your circumstances you can’t be a parent you really want to be you have options to consider. Adoption is one of those. No more and no less. If you decided to do it there should be something in your decision you have a right to feel positive about. A lot of people will judge your actions as negative, unworthy. Some will call you brave. You may think low about yourself as you are being punished for your sins as it happened to you. U(sic) may feel guilty. U(sic) may feel you did a huge mistake and to play it back.
I’m putting faith in God. I try to find something positive in it to be at peace with myself. I hope for a second chance from God to become a mother again in better circumstances. I also have learned the hardest way possible. But you know what, most women have more than one kid so I pray I’ll be the one too.
Best wishes to all of you fighting the same battle I did. And thank you so very much for all your help and support. To everyone at ZOE, God bless you all for the work you do. Y’all make a difference in people’s life.
Editor’s Note: All names have been changed to maintain anonymity. Otherwise the letter is presented as received.