By Megan Bartocci
I made an adoption plan for my son in 2001. At the time, I was nineteen and had just started a relationship with the birth father, Mike, when I discovered I was pregnant. Immediately, we considered our options. We both agreed that abortion wasn’t an option. We didn’t want to get married for all the wrong reasons and considered co-parenting although we knew the task would be a difficult one. We agonized over our choices and spent hours in deliberation over what option would be best for our son.
We desired for our son to live in a stable home with a married mother and father. We wanted him to have a stay-at-home mom. More than anything, we wanted our son to be raised in a God-centered home with a love that extended beyond the house walls and into the lives of others. At the time, our still-growing relationship didn’t resemble the family we wanted for our son, so we made the heart-wrenching decision to make an adoption plan for our sweet boy.
Finding a Forever Family
We made an appointment with a social worker at Hope’s Promise and sat down to a stack of seven profile books. I remember thinking, “How am I going to choose the right family amongst all these beautiful families?” Before opening the books, Mike and I made a detailed list of the qualities that we wanted a family to have. We wrote our greatest desires and dreams for our little boy, deciding that the family with the most checkmarks on our list would be the family we would ultimately choose. We began by reviewing seven profile books. After looking through each book carefully, Mike and I separated the books into a “Yes” and “No” pile. While every family had wonderful qualities, there was one book that stood out from the rest. This family had the most checkmarks on our list. We agreed. Mike and I had selected the family for our son.
Adoptive Parents with a Heart for Open-Adoption
I was about seven months pregnant when Mike and I met the adoptive family. I wrung my hands in nervous anticipation of meeting the adoptive parents. I didn’t know what to expect or how to feel. During lunch, the adoptive mom asked me how open we wanted our relationship with our son to be. I turned and looked at Mike. At this point, we hadn’t decided on the extent of our involvement in our son’s life. While we both knew we wanted a relationship with our son, we didn’t know what it would look like.
The adoptive mom smiled and said they’d be willing to make an adoption plan that would make us both comfortable in our decision. I sighed with relief as the adoptive mom laid out several options: If Mike and I needed space, she’d be happy to send pictures. If we wanted to grow a relationship with our son and visit a few times a year, they would make it happen. If our son wanted to join us on the occasional family vacation, the adoptive parents were willing to make it happen. I was truly blown away by the level of openness and trust given by the adoptive couple to the two of us.
Planning for my hospital stay was challenging. The moving parts of my hospital plan were difficult to set in place. One thing was certain: I needed to be a mother to my son during the time we had together. I needed to bond with him. I wanted my son to stay in the room with me so I could feed and change him, wake up with him in the middle of the night, and share him with my friends and family. However, things didn’t go according to plan. During my delivery, there were complications that required my baby boy to stay in the NICU rather than with me. I was crushed. I watched as my plans slipped through my fingers. Understanding my feelings of devastation, my boyfriend Mike suggested that we bring our son home from the hospital for a few days before taking him to his new home. While we both knew that bringing our son home would make the relinquishment much harder, we also needed to make sure that, when all was said and done, we didn’t have any regrets.
A Time for Reflection
As I reflect on my son’s birth seventeen years ago to my life today, I am in complete awe of how the events in my life, as well as my son’s, have come together in ways that I didn’t even know were possible. God had his fingerprints on the biggest of decisions, as well as the small details. Mike and I have now been married for twelve years and have had three more children together. As for our birth son, we have been blessed to watch him grow over the years and continue to build a relationship with him. It’s a story I would have never dreamed possible when I said goodbye to him all those years ago. We watch our son play sports, spent weekends together to celebrate his birthday, and he accompanies us on family vacations from time to time. Mike and I feel blessed to be able to have heartfelt conversations with our son about our decision to help him process his adoption. Throughout this journey, there have been many ups and downs, but I find absolute comfort in knowing that my son is right where God wanted him to be.
Megan and her husband, Mike, live in Northern Denver where they are raising three children. Before she decided to stay at home with her kids, Megan worked in the hospitality industry as a Human Resources Manager. Now you will find her keeping busy managing her home, volunteering at her children’s school, and spending time with friends and family.