In honor of November being National Adoption Awareness Month, Portrait of an Adoption is hosting the third annual acclaimed series, 30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days. Designed to give a voice to the many different perspectives of adoption, this series will feature guest posts by people with widely varying experiences.
My Child Was Created In Love, and I Always Wanted Her To Feel Loved
By Rebekkah McCurry
I was born in 1978, and in 1980, my mom divorced my biological father due to abuse. In 1982, my mom remarried an awesome man. My stepdad quickly started adoption proceedings, and I instantly had a large family. I gained a new set of grandparents (who paid for the adoption), new aunts, uncles, and a whole lot of cousins.
I was never looked at as "the adopted one." I was simply known by my name, or R's oldest daughter. My parents had two more daughters and they were simply my sisters. There were never words like "half" or "step" or "adopted" used in our home. After six years of adoption proceedings, my biofather FINALLY signed off on the papers.
Unfortunately, the celebration didn't last long. Just four months after the adoption was final, my dad was killed in a car accident. At the age of ten, it was my decision when to tell my sisters about everything that happened prior to 1982. I chose to wait until they were much older and could understand what happened. My mom respected my decision. She said it was my story to tell when I was ready. We finally sat my sisters down about six years later and told them. It has never been mentioned since, because we are still sisters, and we are family.
Fast forward to 2000:
In 2000, I was living in Georgia. I had a wonderful job, a decent boyfriend, and a beautiful one-bedroom apartment in a very nice area. In December of that year, I realized I was pregnant. Initially I planned to parent. I loved kids, had helped raise my sisters after my dad died, and I was pretty self-sufficient and independent. I knew I could do it.
I would be a single parent, as I knew in my heart that the boyfriend and I were not destined for marriage. We loved each other, but it just wasn't meant to be. I told my boyfriend about the pregnancy and we hugged and cried together. He said he would support me no matter what decision I made. I felt very good about everything, no matter how scary the future looked. The one problem was, I still had to tell my mom.
I will add that I am white, and the birthfather is black. So my child would be bi-racial. I never let color decide who I would love.
I wasn't going to see my mom again until May 2001, so I was going to have to call her with the news. Ugh! The agony of it all. I called her and just blurted out, "Momma, I'm pregnant!" She hung up on me. Oh boy, not how I wanted it to go.
She called me back the next day and said very calmly, "The general consensus is that you have an abortion." WOW! I was not part of that "consensus" or the discussion. I was actually speechless. My mom was a nurse and she was telling me to go get an abortion.
She then proceeded to tell me that I would not be allowed to ever bring the child to her home or come back home and raise the child myself. I was completely taken by surprise at how my mom reacted. My child was created in love, and I always want her to feel loved.
I started to rethink my parenting plan. I knew abortion was not an option for me. Parenting would obviously tear up my family, so I chose adoption. I knew in my heart that adoption was the best possible option I had. I never wanted my child to hear anything negative about how she was created.
The birth father and I started looking at agencies. After about four months of searching, we finally found the perfect agency for us. The entire time I was pregnant, I was going to my doctor appointments, eating right, but trying to stay as distant as possible. I knew it was going to be hard to do what had to be done. So I was trying to stay unattached.
I did not want to fall in love with the baby, because I knew it would be that much harder. I got to hear the baby's heartbeat, then I got to see pictures of the baby, and found out I was having a girl.
As time got closer to the end, the birth father and I were having sessions with the agency. I remember the day the counselor looked at me and said, "Have you picked a name?" We had never even thought of that. It was explained that even though we picked a name, the adoptive parents could change it. We were ok with that. The birthfather and I picked a name that was beautiful; unfortunately, it is not her forever name.
We also started meeting to look at profiles, and while there were a few that looked good, nothing screamed out "This is your baby's family!" I have heard from other birthparents that picking the adoptive parents is much like picking your spouse. You just get this feeling. We were running out of profiles and started to panic that we hadn't found the right profile yet.
Another counselor in the office mentioned to our counselor that there was an inactive family that might fit our desires. They had an older daughter and had adopted just two years earlier. They quickly called the family and a fast updated profile was put together.
The instant I opened the book I started crying. I knew they were the family for our baby. They too were a biracial family. Just two weeks before my due date, the agency contacted them and confirmed they were the family.
Ten days after my due date, my doctor induced me. Due to several complications, I ended up having a c-section. Instead of leaving the hospital in 2 days, I was there for 4 days. The adoption plan that I created stated that the adoptive parents would come to the hospital after I was discharged. Baby "K" would stay with me in the hospital; I would care for her and then hand her over to my counselor when the time came to leave.
The birthfather and I loved having those four days with K. She was wonderful. On the fourth day, we had her blessed in the hospital chapel. We got her dressed in her going home outfit, packed up her bags, and had a wonderful cry while she slept through everything. At noon, I was discharged and through tears and hugs, I handed K over to my counselor and left the hospital. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
Over the course of the next two years, I received lots of pictures and updates on her progress. The birthfather and I even got to visit with her twice and celebrate her birthday. I know that while it was the hardest thing to do, it was the best thing I could have ever done.
Since then, I have moved to California. I have a wonderful husband, and a very independent three-year-old. I have pictures of K around the house. Someday I will tell my daughter about her, but not now. Someday I know I will get to see K again. I cannot wait to see how she has grown into a young woman. I cannot wait to hear about all of her adventures and her life.
Rebekkah McCurry is 35 and currently lives in California. She is married to an amazing man, and they have two amazing daughters (4 1/2 and newborn). She stays busy working as an accountant and taking the children to dance, tae kwon do, and music lessons. She loves to read, cross stitch, scrapbook, do tae kwon do with her eldest daughter, take photos, travel, and play video games as time permits.
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