From the perspective of a birth dad, Tim shares his story about making an adoption plan, getting to know his son’s adoptive family and the importance of remaining in his son’s life.
It’s been a little over four years now. My son’s birth mother and I were not in a serious relationship. In fact, I didn’t even know that I was going to be a father until she was about seven months into her pregnancy — I hadn’t heard from her since we had broken up. I was shocked and scared and didn’t quite believe the news when I first heard it. But then I knew I needed to do the right thing and we needed to figure out what to do, either together or separately.
We were both struggling to support ourselves. I had just lost my job and moved back to my parents’ house. She was still living at home as well and had never finished college. I didn’t want to raise a child in two different households and I never wanted to have to say “no” to my child because I couldn’t afford something. I wasn’t emotionally ready for the responsibility of parenthood either.
My ex-girlfriend mentioned that she was planning on adoption but hadn’t made any real plans, so we got on the Internet. Holt-Sunny Ridge was the first agency we felt comfortable enough with over the phone to go visit in person. We were so thankful that our counselor was very personable and understanding. She helped us weigh a list of pros and cons of parenting together, parenting separately or placing our son for adoption. Just having an experienced professional as a sounding board was valuable to us. We also learned about what prospective adoptive families go through. It’s very rigorous — lots of home checks and all sorts of classes. That was very reassuring. We really felt that we were making the decisions, not anyone else. Holt-Sunny Ridge even helped my son’s birth mother with financial assistance, which was a great resource. Holt-Sunny Ridge helped us be honest with ourselves and ultimately make the decision that we felt was best for us and our families.
My son’s birth mother and I took a big stack of adoptive family profiles home separately. We came back with the same number one choice. And every single one of my family members also picked the same family. And then when we got to meet them, we sat in the room and talked for close to two hours. The meeting was also more reassuring that they were the right people and we were doing the right thing.
When I first met my son, I realized that you don’t know how capable you are of loving something that much, someone you’ve never met before, until it actually happens. I love how included I am in my son’s life. His adoptive mother has a photo-sharing website so every month I get to see new photos. My son has a book that his adoptive parents read to him called “My Family.” In it are pictures of me and my family. He knows who we all are, so from day one he’s known we’re still a part of his family. We use email and text all the time. My mother is heavily involved in his life, too. We all see each other a lot. I’m really excited that my son knows my face and knows who I am and hopefully when I start going to T-ball games and school plays, he can say, “That’s my birth dad.”
Placing my son for adoption was the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life. But I also know it was the most selfless decision I’ve ever made. I would never say that it’s easy. Some days are better than others. But when I see now how happy my son is, how many amazing opportunities my son is able to take part in, I get a smile on my face and I’m definitely more comfortable with it. I just kind of know deep down that everything’s going to be fine.
My son’s birth mother has chosen to not be a part of our son’s life for her own reasons, but she knows that Holt-Sunny Ridge is always there for whatever she could need. Even to this day, I am still able to go back there and get counseling if I need it. Or I will give them a quick phone call on a hard day, and they’re able to help me through it. I know they’re there and they have all of these great resources available to me. And I’ll continue to take advantage of it the rest of my life, as long as I need it.
If you want to learn more about adoption and making an adoption plan, please contacts us.