Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ashley's Story

This beautiful lady is Ashley.... her story is just heart warming! Thank you Ashley!!!

My Adoption story

I never thought much about adoption, I guess because I never thought I’d need to (who does right?). So it was a little surprising to me when I saw those two pink lines on the pregnancy test (that I KNEW would be positive), that adoption was the first thing that popped into my head. Looking back now, I know it was because I loved my baby so much from that first moment. But at the time I was upset at myself for even thinking about “giving” my baby to someone else. I knew that I could be a good mother to my baby…even without a father. Sure, I’d need to have at least 2 jobs, a bunch of babysitters, he would need to go see his birth father once a week, we’d have to live in a tiny apartment...but we could make it work because this was my child and I loved him.

Deep down I knew I didn’t want my baby to grow up that way. I wanted my baby to have a mom and a dad (after all, a boy needs a father), I wanted him to have a brother or a sister, I wanted him to live in a house with a yard that he could run around in, and parents that he would see more often than a babysitter or daycare. At the time, those were things that I couldn’t give him, and it broke my heart to know that there was a family out there who could raise my baby better than I could. But at the same time, it was deeply comforting to know that he could have a family that was ready to give him everything he needed and wanted.

The adoption process was scary to me at first. I didn’t know what to expect, would I get a say in who raises my baby? Will I ever get to meet my baby’s family? I wanted to be able to see pictures and be in contact…was that possible? Was this going to be one of those horrible things that I saw in movies where there are a bunch of babies in cribs in one big room and random couples are walking through deciding which baby they wanted? Like at the dog pound (not kidding….I really thought this)? I came to find that the agency I went through (LDS Family Services) was great. It wasn’t a scary process at all (heart wrenching yes). The caseworker (Jana) was great. In our first meeting we just talked. She wanted to know if this was REALLY what I wanted for my baby…to make sure this was my decision and not my parents or someone else’s. She wanted to know about me, and the things that I wanted for my baby. Then she sent me home with “homework”. Papers to fill out that asked questions about who I was, what my family was like, qualities that I wanted in the parents that would become my child’s parents, things that I would like my child to be able to experience, medical history of myself, my family, the birth father and his family. I turned the papers in and Jana said that she would look through them and find a few families that had these qualities, and at our next meeting I could start choosing a family. This is the point in my story where God had other plans…

It was about 3 or 4 days before I was supposed to go back and see Jana to start sifting through the files of families hoping for a baby. My cousin had been to an Amway meeting and ran into the woman who would soon become my baby’s grandma. This woman (Corby) overheard my cousin (Kristen) talking about her cousin (me) who was pregnant and considering adoption. Corby sat down and asked Kristen if she wouldn’t mind asking me if I would consider looking at her daughter’s adoption profile. They had adopted about a year previous and were just getting their paperwork back into the system to adopt again. Kristen got a hold of me and I told her I would be happy to look at their profile and consider them. Kristen got the profile to me the day before I was supposed to meet with Jana.

Theirs was the first profile I ever looked at. Opening that first envelope is a feeling I will never forget. I remember thinking “in this envelope could be my son’s future, his family, his everything”. And before I got the envelope opened I cried. This was the hardest thing I was ever going to do in my life. At that moment I was so sad, I knew it’s what was best though…so I did it. I opened that envelope and read the letter and looked at the pictures. I loved this family from the moment I finished their letter. I felt like I knew them. They lived in Utah, both Kirsti and Riley come from large families, and they had just adopted a little girl. They were so in love with each other and with little Kiley. Riley was sweet to the two most important women in his life, and Kristi sounded like the perfect little mommy. But this couldn’t be the family for my baby….it was too “easy”…wasn’t it supposed to take weeks to decide? They had just adopted a little girl….there are so many other couples out there that hadn’t had that opportunity yet…shouldn’t I place with someone who hadn’t had the opportunity to be parents yet?

I wasn’t even sure if it was OK that I was looking at a profile that wasn’t given to me through LDSFS let alone an out of state profile. I took it with me to see Jana the next day. We talked and she said that she would put through the out of state paperwork if they were the couple I wanted….but usually they like to adopt within the state. I felt it was best to look through all of the other profiles. There were a lot of great couples that had all of the qualities that I wanted…but I kept going back to that first one. For some reason it just felt right. I could remember everything about Kristi and Riley’s profile, but nothing about a profile that I had just read….they were the ones!

I called Jana to let her know that I had found the perfect family. She asked if I wanted to meet them, of course I did! She told me to write them a letter telling them who I was, what I was like, and telling them that I wanted them to raise our baby. I also asked if they would be willing to come to Idaho to meet me. I got a letter back from them very soon after, on March 10th telling me about the meeting with their social worker and how excited they were. They thanked me many times for choosing them and of course they wanted to meet me too!

It was only a week or two later that I got to meet Kristi and Riley. I was so nervous that day. My mom and I sat waiting in a small room for them. I saw them pull up and get out of their car…here we go.

As soon as they opened the door my fears went away. They hugged me. I felt that I knew them….like I was meeting up with family for a casual chat. And chat we did. We talked about family, hobbies, trips, feelings, everything. They even asked if I wanted to name the baby! I told them that since it was going to be their son they should name him. They still wanted my input so they gave me their top two choices for names and asked me to pick. It was so thoughtful of them to include me in that choice. They were amazing. These were the perfect parents for “our” baby. We cried. It just felt so right.

After that day we wrote and emailed about once a week. They were always so sweet to ask how I was feeling, what I was craving, if I was ok, is there anything they could do to make all of this easier on me? I knew they loved me and they loved our baby…that was enough.

I went into labor 11 days early on April 13th, 2004, and on April 14th at 6:03 am little Seth was born. He was the most beautiful baby that I had ever seen, and I couldn’t believe that I had just helped bring a baby into the world. I was full of emotions. I was so happy to meet my baby…I was so in love with him, but my heart was breaking that he would never really get to be my son…that I wouldn’t see him roll over for the first time, or crawl. I would never hear his first words or see him turn 1. I tried not to think of those things…I just tried to focus on this beautiful little miracle that would be mine for almost 2 full days.

Kristi and Riley were informed that their baby had been born and that they needed to pack up and get to Idaho. They had only had barely over a month to get ready for a new baby and here he was…10 days early! I can’t even imagine what they must have been feeling and thinking. They sent a dozen roses to my hospital room as soon as they heard that their baby was born. They were on their way and they would get to meet their son on April 15th.

The first day with Seth flew by. My room was flooded with friends and family most of the time, but I did get a few hours all alone with him. The room was quiet and I just held him on my chest and told him how much I loved him and how I would miss him. I explained why I was placing him…and I cried.

April 15th was a day I won’t forget. It was the day that I placed my little baby boy with his new family. I got to spend the day with him….getting him ready for that evening. I cried some more, and at 7:00 pm my loving family, Seth, and myself loaded into the car and headed to LDSFS in Idaho Falls. We were able to sit and talk with Kristi, Riley, Kiley, and Corby for about an hour before they got to meet Seth. We exchanged gifts we laughed and cried. At 8:30pm I went into the other room and got Seth. I kissed him and hugged him and told him that this was the day that he was getting the best gift that he would ever receive…a complete family. Walking down the hall with him in my arms towards the room where Seth’s parents were waiting seemed like the longest and shortest walk of my life.

When I opened the door Riley was standing there with his arms open for his son. He couldn’t wait to meet him. He took Seth from me and then pulled me into a hug and thanked me. Kristi took Seth next and she cried and gave me a hug as well. They were so grateful. We all passed the baby around and talked and took pictures for another hour and then it was time to say “goodbye”. I kissed Seth for the last time, hugged my new family, and left.

It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but I know it was best. I didn’t think my heart would ever stop breaking. For months I cried every day. The letters and pictures helped. I got emails or letters every week...and pictures as often as Kristi and Riley could get them to me. They have been so great!

It has taken 6 years, but I can honestly say that it doesn’t hurt anymore. Yes I still think about Seth, and yes, I miss him like crazy….but it doesn’t hurt. We have an open adoption, and I can’t imagine having it any other way. I love to know what he’s doing and saying and liking. I’ve been to see Seth and his family once and I’m going to see them again this weekend! I’ve received countless pictures and letters. And they send me flowers every year on Seth’s birthday (how sweet is that?).

I have since married the man of my dreams (Kristi and Riley made the trip to be at my wedding) and had a little boy of our own. I love my story and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. People ask if I regret the mistake I made…I tell them that it wasn’t a mistake. Without the choices I made I wouldn’t be the person I am today, I wouldn’t know Kristi and Riley, and we wouldn’t have out little Seth. This wasn’t a mistake…it turned out to be a blessing.


  1. thanks for sharing your beautiful story. I placed 6 years ago too. I don't hurt anymore either but I still miss him and think of him often.

  2. Thank you, Ashley! I love your very last comment, "It wasn't a mistake, it was a blessing!" Those are words I think we all need to hear and tell ourselves once in a while. You never know what blessings may come through our life experiences.