Edited by Meredith Bird
Sophia is a birth mother who placed her son for adoption through Hope’s Promise. She is now a vocal coach who teaches at a music studio. This is her story.
I’m a birth mom. My husband and I, as well as our families and many of our friends, are Christians. When I found out I was pregnant, I was newly married. My husband and I both wanted to have secure jobs before starting a family. At the time, only he had a job. We were barely making enough to pay rent and other expenses. Our friends and family told us, “God has a plan,” so we began to pray long and hard about what that plan was for our child. We realized there were many couples who had the resources and time for a child and would love to have children, while we were not prepared for a child yet. We weren’t praying for a child, but surely, someone else was.
We had little support from our family and friends. Many of them said our decision was not of God, and there are some who still won’t talk about or acknowledge it. Our families had a narrow concept of adoption at the time.
We met with one of the social workers at Hope’s Promise. She was very reasonable, presenting facts and options rather than trying to persuade us to make a certain decision. We ultimately put together a long list of our requirements for an adoptive family. We decided if we found the right couple who met most or all of our expectations, we would move forward.
At one of the ultrasound appointments, we found out that we were having a boy. Immediately, I thought of the name Jackson, a name I had never considered and didn’t necessarily like.
Looking at the adoptive family profile books, we narrowed our choices to two couples. Then we found out that both couples had just been matched with other children. The same day, we learned about another couple getting approved that week.
These potential parents seemed confident, like they had their lives together. After spending a few hours with them over lunch, we were stunned to discover this couple met all of our requirements and expectations. We asked them, “If you had a son, what would you name him?” They both have names that start with J. Even their pets have names that start with J. They responded, “If we had a son, we would want to name him a J name, like Jackson.” We were amazed and felt it was confirmation of our decision.
Our families weren’t happy about the adoption. Ultimately, though, we decided that just because we created the child didn’t mean our relatives or we must be in charge of his future.
When the time came to give birth, the labor was very slow. I was induced, but every time I moved, the baby’s vital signs went down. The Doctors performed a cesarean section, and I lost a lot of blood. The first thing I saw coming out of surgery, however, was the adoptive father holding Jackson. I had never seen a man so in love with a child before. In the hospital, together with Jackson’s adoptive family, we performed a placement/entrustment ceremony. It was so powerful.
The hardest moment for me was when my social worker came to our house with the legal relinquishment papers for me to sign. The papers would allow for an expedited relinquishment. This meant that we were signing away our rights as parents. Legal terms are blunt and hard, with no room for sentiment. We knew that from that day forward any relationship with Jackson would be determined by his adoptive parents.
Hope’s Promise has been incredibly supportive and transparent throughout the process. Since Jackson was born, I have remained in contact with the social worker. I also participate in the annual Birth Mother Coffee and Connection, which has been an incredible experience. It is strange for me to know I am a mom, and yet not a mom. Other pregnant friends my age don’t want to hear my story since I chose adoption for my child. Attending the Birth Mother Coffee has helped affirm the fact that we are mothers even when we choose not to parent.
Jackson’s adoptive parents have stayed connected with us, shared pictures, and communicate with us. He is now 2 years old, and our relationship with him is much like that of an aunt and uncle. He calls us by our first names, and we have great faith in his parents to make good decisions. We have been able to see him grow and to be involved in his life. The more I get to know them, the more confident I am about our adoption decision. I trust them to raise Jackson with love and care.
Meredith is an international adoptee from South Korea and was raised in Southern California. After earning her undergraduate degree in biblical studies and youth ministry from Azusa Pacific University, she is now pursuing a graduate degree in occupational therapy. She also teaches math to elementary and high school students in Castle Rock. In her spare time, she loves writing, art, photography, film and television production, music, and is an amazing volunteer with Hope’s Promise.