Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I wonder what she is doing right now. Is her sweet mama holding her, kissing her cheeks and telling her how much she is loved? Is her daddy blowing raspberries on her tummy and grinning at the sweet sound that comes from her perfect mouth. Is her big brother, laying on the floor beside her swing, telling her a story? Honestly, it doesn’t really matter what she’s doing. I know that she is loved, and that’s all that matters. 

My name is Lydia and I placed my perfect little girl for adoption 2 days after she was born. The raw and painful memories of that day are still so very real for me. But, the absolute joy I got from looking at the faces of her parents radiating with pure love and adoration for that perfect baby girl were all I needed to reassure me that I was doing the absolute best and right thing for her. She had a family. One that had been waiting for her for far too long. 

Rewind back 4 months. I was 23, a full-time college student, about 5 months pregnant, and facing the most difficult decision of my life. The father of my child and I were not together. We knew that the life we would give to her was not one that we wanted. A life of constantly going back and forth, missing holidays, loosing precious time with the other parent. It wasn’t the life we had envisioned for our sweet baby and we knew we could do better for her. She DESERVED better. 

So, we settled on adoption.

I contacted an agency in my state. I was totally out of my element. I was adopted as an infant. Even though I was adopted by wonderful people, who loved me unconditionally, I had always wondered how someone could willingly be parted from their child. But, it’s easy to point fingers when you have no idea what you’re talking about. The adoption coordinator Amy, was the first to contact me. The amount of support that she gave me from the very first moment was absolutely amazing.

She let me know that what I was doing was a brave and noble thing.

Not something to be ashamed of. Amy and a birth mom advocate named Sara drove 6 hours just to meet me for dinner. They listened to me talk, walked me through the process, and most of all; reassured me that I was NOT ALONE. 

I began the process of choosing a family not long after that dinner. I remember asking Amy and Sarah how in the world I was supposed to choose. How does one decide who they will entrust their most precious possession to based solely on a few pages full of words and pictures. All they could tell me was that many birth moms had said “when you see them, you’ll just know.” So, with that in mind, I began to look at profile books. I had poured over each and every one that I had received from the agency. Nothing was standing out to me. Sure, every couple and family I read about were wonderful, and so deserving in their own very special way. Yet, I was so discouraged. Where was that feeling? The one where I just knew? Where were her parents? 

And then, there they were. 2nd to the last profile book. The first thing that caught me was her beautiful smile. It was so bright. And like the sun, made you feel warm from the inside, out. She was absolutely beautiful.

Her husband, had the look of a man you just knew you could trust. He had kind and loving eyes. At the moment, I felt it. That feeling they told me I would get. And, I just knew. These were her parents. The little girl, growing in my belly would come to know these wonderful people as “mommy and daddy.” Their profile book pages were filled with pictures of them and their sweet son in all sorts of settings. Having breakfast, delivering meals for charity, on vacation, swimming with dolphins. Everything I wanted in in life for my baby girl was right here. A mom, a dad, a big brother. A good life. I immediately let my adoption coordinator know that I had chosen the family for my daughter. 

The next evening, I was on the phone with them. Discussing all of our hopes and dreams for my baby. Within a month, they had driven 2 days to meet me, get to know me, and explore the place that I so lovingly called home. Over the 4 months that we were matched, Her mom and I communicated almost every day. Getting to know each other. Knowing that we would forever be bound together by the perfect human growing inside of me. I asked her if she would be present with me while I labored and hold my hand when I brought our little girl into the world. They promised that they would speak of me to her every day. That they would never forget me, or let her forget me. That they would tell her of my unending love for her and how much she was wanted. 

When the time came, and our daughter was born, they did everything they promised. They never pushed me or made me feel as if I was in the way. They so graciously agreed to let me pump breast milk for her, and while they were waiting to get cleared to leave with her, let me bring it to her every morning. They never hesitated to put her into my arms whenever I wanted and let me hold her for as long as I wanted. 

The night before they left, I went to their hotel room. I sat on the couch and held her tightly in my arms. I wept silently, unable to stop my tears from rolling down my face and onto her tiny sleeping body and willed every ounce of love I had for her to flow through my body and into her heart so that as she grows, she will never doubt that she is and forever will be so so loved by me. And when the time came for me to go, I stood up, walked across the room, kissed her tiny forehead, lips and nose just one last time and placed her into her mommy’s waiting arms. Her mom wrapped us in her arms and hugged me tightly, promising to tell her that I love her every day. And as I turned to leave the room, I looked back just once more at my beautiful baby girl, and her spectacular parents. They both smiled at me, tears falling from their eyes, reassuring me once more that it was okay to go, that she would be loved and cared for. That I made the right decision. 

The love I have for my daughter is a brave love. She is my world. And although I know that I made the right decision, there are days when I just don’t feel like getting out of bed. There is a giant hole, in the shape of my daughter that will never be filled. But knowing that she is loved. Knowing that she will grow up in a home with a mother and father who love her more than anything is all I need to be okay.

I will stand to the side. I will watch her grow. I will cheer her on and be her biggest supporter. And on days when I feel as if I’m falling apart without her, I will remember that I am strong. I am brave. I am good. I am proud. I am a Birth Mom.

This post was originally published on bravelove.org.

**”BraveLove is a movement dedicated to changing the perception of adoption so that adoption becomes a more explored path.” Their mission is to change the perception of adoption through honest, informative, and hopeful communication that conveys the heroism and bravery a birth mother displays when she places her child with a loving family for adoption.**

Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Her View From Home

Millions of mothers connected by love, friendship, family and faith. Join our growing community. 1,000+ writers strong. We pay too!   Find more information on how you can become a writer on Her View From Home at https://herviewfromhome.com/contact-us/write-for-her//

3 Things We Learned While Waiting For Our Adopted Child

In: Adoption
3 Things We Learned While Waiting For Our Adopted Child www.herviewfromhome.com

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage. Remember that old nursery rhyme? I can still hear it playing in my head. Growing up, I had always assumed that would be my story. The love and marriage part certainly happened for me in an amazing, storybook ending kind of way. However, the baby in the baby carriage didn’t come as quickly for my husband and me. As a few years passed, we began to feel a little restless and disheartened. However, God opened up His perfect plan for our family by leading us to...

Keep Reading

I Chose Adoption For My Baby, But I Didn’t Let Go

In: Adoption
I Chose Adoption For My Baby, But I didn't Let Go www.herviewfromhome.com

  I am often asked, when people find out I am a birth mother, “Why did you decide on adoption? Didn’t you want her?” In the tidy nutshell version of my response it was the logistical factors of being pregnant at just 16-years-old that was my why. Being a junior in high school when I saw those two pink lines in October of 2004, I still needed to graduate, plus I wanted to attend college. I did not have a job to support us. In fact, I did not have my driver’s license or even the few dollars it took...

Keep Reading

Dear Mama Reading This Right Now, You Are Amazing

In: Adoption, Child Loss, Miscarriage, Motherhood
Dear Mama Reading This Right Now, You Are Amazing www.herviewfromhome.com

To the one with healthy children in your lap, YOU are a great mom. Whether you work full-time or stay at home, you are amazing and deserve to be celebrated every day, but especially today. You sacrificed your body and your own well-being over and over again and I know you don’t regret any of it. You are enough and you are appreciated even when you don’t feel it. To the one holding a child someone else carried inside of her body, YOU are a great mom. Whether you faced infertility, surrogacy, chose to adopt, or have biological and adopted children,...

Keep Reading

4 Things a Birth Mom Wants Adoptive Families To Know

In: Adoption, Journal
4 Things a Birth Mom Wants Adoptive Families To Know www.herviewfromhome.com

The minutes on the hospital clock dwindled as I swaddled my infant daughter one last time before she was permanently placed in the arms of her adoptive family. In those final moments, I thought my heart might shatter into a thousand slivers without any hope of being mended. I was broken. Scarred. Devastated. When I left the hospital without my baby, it felt like someone was pounding on my chest with both fists and I couldn’t catch my breath. The emptiness that followed was inconceivable. A piece of me, my daughter, was gone. I couldn’t comprehend the magnitude of my...

Keep Reading

No Matter Life’s Season, God Provides What We Need

In: Adoption, Faith
No Matter Life's Season, God Provides What We Need www.herviewfromhome.com

When my husband and I adopted our older daughter Lilly 15 years ago, she was nine-months-old and weighed about 17 pounds. That might not seem like much, but she was a chunk of a little girl—so much so that people we met in elevators and restaurants in China often mistook her for a two-year-old. I had worked on my cardiovascular fitness in the months leading up to our adoption trip, and my regular runs on the treadmill prepared me to traverse the Great Wall with relative ease. My upper body strength, however, was a different story entirely. My arms and...

Keep Reading

Acknowledging the Loss in Adoption

In: Adoption
Acknowledging the Loss in Adoption www.herviewfromhome.com

  “Don’t do it! Adoption is the worst!” His voice echoed through my entire body, his words hitting every unprepared bone, and I clutched the full glass of ice water ready to plunge it in his direction. There were hundreds of people in the darkened bar room, on dates mostly, sitting in the crowd enjoying the comedy show. My insides twisted and lurched, I heard nothing but the reverberations of laughter, and my mind kept envisioning myself walking over to him and punching his face in. When the comedian began working adoption into her show, my body began tingling and...

Keep Reading

Adoption Is Love

In: Adoption, Journal
Adoption Is Love www.herviewfromhome.com

  I pull around in the car line and scan the group of kids for my daughter. Usually, I can find her easily, chatting it up with her friends as she waits for me to pick her up from school. Today, though, I don’t see her. I look again and I finally spot her. She is slumped on the curb, her head in her hands and her eyes downcast. My momma radar instantly goes off as I watch her slowly get up and drag her feet to the car and I can tell that something is wrong. She slides into...

Keep Reading

The Ache While We Wait to Adopt

In: Adoption, Faith
The Ache While We Wait to Adopt www.herviewfromhome.com

  There’s a persistent ache, but sometimes I can ignore it. I can turn up the volume of what’s around me and drown it out for a bit. I play hostess and invite the noise to come in: come fill up my heart, come fill up this empty nursery, come fill up this planner. I’ve got two kids, and they are experts at noise, so my days are full of it, and it works. The noise narcotizes the ache, making it manageable, day by noisy day.  In my former life as a teacher, I used to make my students write...

Keep Reading

How Being Adopted Made My Husband a Better Father

In: Adoption, Journal
How Being Adopted Made My Husband a Better Father www.herviewfromhome.com

My husband’s earliest memories of his adoptive mother are as blurry as the black and white photos he has taped inside a leather-bound family album. He recalls the gentle hands that tucked him into bed each night and the smell of her lavender scented soap, but these memories are intertwined with the last and most painful of all: sitting on the cold hospital steps, muffled whispers in the hallway, and the tight grip of his adoptive father’s hand as they made their way back to the car without his mother. Death was an abstract concept that he was unable to...

Keep Reading

Adoption Has Made Me a Better Mama

In: Adoption, Journal
Adoption Has Made Me a Better Mama www.herviewfromhome.com

I remember etching our family plans into a napkin at our two-year anniversary dinner. We were eating at Rio in Sisters, Oregon and I couldn’t wait to get back to the little cabin we had rented to watch Harry Potter and dream about babies. Weird combo? Probably. First we would conceive and carry a miracle baby in my actual womb. Then after a bit of time had passed, after we got “the easy one” birthed, we would enter into the adoption world. I think back to my barely 20-year-old self and think about how naive she was—I still only have...

Keep Reading