I came across this beautiful and real blog a while back and it touched me so deeply! This is her story... Thank you Stefanie for sharing it with us!
My name is Stefanie and I’m 20 years old. I’m a birth mom to an 8 month old little girl named Olivia. This is my journey through adoption. It all really started in the summer of 2008. I started working at JCW’s. I started there when I was 16 and then quit to finish school. After graduation, I started working at the new store because they didn’t hire a lot of people and needed help during the day. And that’s when I met Nicholas. He definitely had this charm about him. Every time he walked into the room he had a smile on his face or cracking a joke which made everyone feel at ease. I felt so comfortable around him. He would flirt with me occasionally and give me some really good shoulder massages when he would stand behind me. I worked up the courage and asked for his number.
We started dating immediately after that. We would work together and just hang out together. Our relationship did start off very physical at first. I was attracted to him. He and I had no drama and that’s what I liked about our relationship. It wasn’t this crazy high school drama filled relationship. It felt like an actual relationship and that maybe a future could happen. But I guess, it was never meant to be and some stories don’t have happy endings.
On January 10, 2009, he broke up with me. I would love to say it was this mutual break up. But it was a full on roundhouse kick to the face. There was nothing wrong with our relationship. The only thing it was steady and just going with the flow. I think we were just with each other because it was comfortable and we didn’t like being alone. But this break up was like night and day to me. I didn’t know it was coming. Just that over night he decided, we were through. I was devastated. He was telling me that before with other girls he dated, it was just for fun. And with me, he thought about getting married and having a family but we obviously weren’t doing the right things to have an ETERNAL family. We’re both LDS (Mormons) and he wanted to go back to Church so he could have that family.
I knew from that moment on that I needed someone like that. That I had been inactive in the church for about 4 years and I wasn’t very happy. Nic woke me up from this dream that I was having and that I needed a higher power to get through life. I knew that I needed the Lord and to go back to church. And I’m glad that happened. Because on January 21, 2009. I found out I was pregnant.
I had been on birth control since I was 16 years old. I got a sinus infection and was taking antibiotics. Antibiotics and birth control cancel each other out. And also I found out I was allergic to penicillin so I had to take more medicine. Double whammy. After the reaction went away, it came back and I guess it was still in my muscle and just resurfaced. I went to the doctor and the doctor asked me if I had missed my period since taking the medicine. I was trying to think back to when I had my last period. I was a week late. I told the doctor and he asked if I could be pregnant. I told him no. I was in COMPLETE denial. I took a test.
The doctor came back in the room and said my test was “pretty positive.” Whatever pretty positive means… I’m on the verge of pregnancy? Ha. Who knows? I had texted my mom and told her. She asked me what I was thinking, the first thing I replied was, and “I’m scared.”
Are you kidding me? My first pregnancy- I shouldn’t be scared. I should be excited! But I wasn’t. I was single and 18. My boyfriend, who I thought was the love of my life, dumped me two weeks before. So I thought there was a possibility that he could still love me. It had only been two weeks. He and I practically lived together. So I was bringing all of his clothes, CD’s, and movies back to his parent’s house where he was living a few days after finding out. I told him that I needed to sit down and talk with him.
I told him I was pregnant. He asked me if I was sure. I said, Um. Yep. I went to the doctors 3 days ago and they took a blood test also. I should be about 6-7 weeks along. I wasn’t really looking for much in that visit. Maybe a glimmer of hope that he was willing to work through it together but he didn’t say a lot. I told my dad the night that I found out. He asked me if Nic and I were planning on getting married and I said I hadn’t told him. Nic told me that he had a lot to think about and he’d get back to me. I waited and waited. He didn’t even tell his parents. I posted on Facebook that I was pregnant and it got word to his parents. Nic freaked out and told me that I was immature for doing that and needed to place the baby for adoption.
I was so upset. I didn’t understand why he would say such things especially about his baby and the girl carrying his baby. The girl that he would tell everyday that he loved her and if she got pregnant he’d stay by her side, where was that guy? I was trying my hardest to finish dental assisting school so I could get a job and provide for my baby and make it as a single parent. I would threaten Nic constantly with child support and no visitation. Nic told me at one point that if I did single parent that he would fight for full custody.
He was doing so much to break me and to hurt me. I didn’t want anyone to talk to me about adoption. I felt in the moment that adoption was a cop out. That it was something that girls did who didn’t love their babies. Girls that abandoned them at the hospital and didn’t care but I was different. I cared so much about my baby that I didn’t want to do anything like that. My mom had me start going to LDS family services to talk to a caseworker about my options. Nic did come with me to a meeting at one point and practically said that marriage wasn’t an option and that he’d never see his kid. I wrote him a letter because when we did talk he acted like he wanted to be apart of everything and then to other people he sounded like this heartless father. But I knew that wasn’t him.
My sister (RuthAnn) came home from her mission in March. She and I shared a room together and I was probably 3 ½ months pregnant. I was just telling her everything that was going on in my life. That the dental assisting wasn’t working out (Something about waking up early made me super sick), I didn’t want to live in my parent’s basement for whoever knows how long, and I wanted Olivia to be sealed to me or be apart of a family. RuthAnn said to me, “Physically you’re providing a body but spiritually, maybe it’s meant for someone else.”
My older sister (Erika… I have 4 older sisters and 1 younger) sent me an e-mail saying that her husband’s best friend is looking to adopt. Their names were Dustinn and Valery. And I knew in my heart that I couldn’t just give my baby to some strangers that it had to be somebody I knew. And I knew them since I was like 14 or 15. They would come over to my parent’s house and play games (Erika and her husband lived there a little bit after they were married). I knew what kind of people they were and they were just so awesome and so sweet to each other. My heart started to soften towards adoption. It wasn’t that I was just abandoning my baby. It was that I was giving her what I couldn’t give her at the time. A two parent home, a family that she can be sealed to, she’ll be given whatever her heart desires. She won’t be growing up in some daycare. She’ll have a mom to take care of her.
My ultrasound was May 7, 2009. I was so nervous the night before because Nic was going to go the ultrasound also. I was thinking, what if I’m having a hysterical pregnancy. What if these past 5 months just weren’t real. Trust me. It was all too real.
My little baby had 10 fingers, 10 toes, the longest legs and beautiful profile. I was expecting a precious baby girl. Dustinn and Val were expecting a little girl. They have a son who is biological. I sent them an overnight package and let them know that I had chosen them to parent my daughter. I would let them know all the doctors appointments, all the drama that I had with Nic, just day to day things. They would tell me stuff with Bradshaw, their work, the nursery, baby names. We had decided on the name Olivia Kate together. I told D&V if I was going to keep her, I was going to name her Olivia Nicole. Nicole after Nic. Kate is after Val’s great grandmother.
In July, I flew all the way out to Virginia to visit D, V, and Bradshaw. It was a blast. I saw the nursery and in the room they had a frame and in the middle of the frame was a picture of me and the little ultrasound picture surrounding me. It was super sweet. I knew I picked the right couple. While I was out there, Val helped me put a scrapbook together of pictures of me and Nic growing up so Olivia can have it when she’s older or compare baby pictures to see who she looks like.
A week before my due date Nic decided he was going to step up. He was going to shove everything in my face that I had done wrong in the past 9 months. That everything was my fault. He was trying to convince me that the baby wasn’t his and that he wanted a paternity test and that he let me have all of this power. He was actually really just upset that I called him a sperm donor (which he was acting like one). We had a meeting with our caseworker and we finally just decided to keep our relationship based on Olivia and the adoption. After the meeting, he pulled me aside and he asked me if Olivia really was his. Duh. She’s his. I got pregnant around Christmas. Pretty sure we were dating. He just thought the dates didn’t match up.
He did apologize to me for everything that has happened that he should’ve done things a lot differently and shouldn’t have treated me the way he did. He can’t take it back but all he could do was try and make things right until she’s born. And you know, the 9 months of hell that he put me through that last week was totally worth it. D, V&B flew out on September 17. My due date was September 24. Me, Nic, Dustinn, Val, and Bradshaw would hang out and D&V’s cabin. Sunday September 20, we celebrated Bradshaw’s 2nd birthday with Val’s siblings. On the way back to my house for dinner, Nic was with me and you know, being about 4 days away from your due date it’s quite comfortable when the baby kicks. And he reached over to where she was moving and he FREAKED out. He was like, “I FELT HER MOVE!” I just laughed but then I felt sad because I realized that he NEVER felt that.
Monday, September 21st, we had a game night and movie night at D&V’s cabin. The whole movie Nic just wanted to feel Olivia move. He gave me a ride home and he told me that everyday he thought about what it’d be like if we were a family. That he thinks about it all the time. I couldn’t believe it. Just because of everything that we had been through. I told him though in the hospital it’s going to be really hard and if I started freaking out that I want to keep her he’s going to have tell me no. And he asked me, “Who’s going to tell me no?”
September 22nd, I hung out with my friend Andee (also a birth mom) and I had walked for about two hours and we ate some greasy JC dubs. That night I went to bed sort of crampy and woke up at about 6 or 7 in the morning on September 23rd with some constant pain. I had had false labor a couple weeks before so that’s what I thought it was. I took a bath and my contractions were still constant. About 10-15 minutes apart. I had a doctor’s appointment around 10:30 and D&V were going to go with me. I wrote them an e-mail and I tried calling Nic to tell him I could possibly be in labor. Well, he didn’t pay his phone bill so his phone was turned off. It was like the universe didn’t want me to have a baby that day. I tried turning on my car and realized that it was out of gas and wouldn’t go anywhere. It just died. So I called D&V and they picked me up. They had gotten my e-mail and were so excited.
I had to wait a while before the doctor actually checked me. She said I was dilated to a 3 and 90% effaced. I decided that I wanted to stay at home as long as I could before going to the hospital. I texted Nic’s brother and asked him if he could get a hold of Nic for me in some way. But his parent’s house phone was turned off because they were in the process of moving. We drove over to Nic’s house and he was like, “I thought you already had the baby! I randomly got all of your texts and freaked out. I was going to drive to the nearest gas station.” I went home and packed my hospital bag and Nic went to pay his phone bill while D&V ran some errands. We went to Nic’s house because it was closer to the hospital and we watched 17 Again. I lost part of my mucous plug while at his house.
My contractions were beginning to be 2-3 minutes apart and very painful just all the way around. Nic drove me to the hospital around 4:30 PM. We sat there for about an hour and I was almost a 6 and still 90%. They hooked me up to an epidural. Then we just waited. I had my older sisters Katrina and RuthAnn in the room, along with my parents, D&V, my younger sister Kimberly, a doula, Nic, and my best friend Jessica (who has recently passed). After pushing through 2 contractions, Olivia Kate was born at 9:36 PM. I cried when I heard her cry. I cried when I saw her. I couldn’t believe this little angel was brought into this world because of me. I was so happy and just kept saying hi. I just wanted to welcome her to the world. But after my tears of joy came, tears of sadness also. Knowing that after saying hello I had to say goodbye soon.
I spent two days in the hospital with that precious spirit. I never cried so much in my life. I thought I had everything planned out. That I was okay with the adoption that I felt good about it but once there was that little human in my arms, it was hard not to have second thoughts. I didn’t want to think about relinquishing my rights because my daughter means so much more to me than a signature. Nic and I cried and talked about our fears and hopes for little Olivia.
Nic and I placed our sweet precious daughter into the loving arms of D and V on September 25, 2009. That night, even though my heart was breaking, I felt at peace with everything. That everything was going to be okay no matter what life threw at me. And trust me, has life thrown plenty of things since Olivia’s birth. But nothing has brought me greater peace than knowing that she’s with the family that she’s supposed to be with. That she was meant to be their daughter. And I’m with who I’m supposed to be with.
It’s been 8 months since that day and I still tear up about it when I really think about that day and so much emotion and heartache. I knew I wasn’t really saying goodbye since our adoption is so open. I just couldn’t bear the thought of losing another person that I love. But because I loved her I was able to give her so much more than I could ever imagine. Looking at pictures of her now she is the happiest little girl. Nic and I have moved on from each other and live our separate lives. Soon after I found someone who is my soul mate, his name is Tayler. He knows everything about Olivia and loves her to pieces. Tayler and I are getting married September 24, 2010. We’re being sealed in the temple in September 2011.
I still stay in contact with D&V and keep with the blog that I started when I was pregnant. My blog is www.stefaniejinelle.blogspot.com
D&V are moving to Chicago so that’s a little bit closer than Virginia and I’ll be seeing them in the next few weeks. I haven’t seen them since January! Olivia can crawl and trying to stand up on her own. I’m pretty sure she’ll be walking sometime soon. She’s just so advanced and such a happy girl. I’m grateful I was able to make that sacrifice as a mother to put my child first. I can’t wait to have my own children someday and receive the blessings that D&V have with their children and to be able to bless my children’s lives.
10 Days Until Forever | Favorite LDS Adoption Book
5 months ago