The Hardest Best Decision

Very often, we share a lot of stories about foster care and adoption from the domestic or birth parent 1perspective of foster parents, adoptive parents, child welfare staff members, and
experts in the field. The voice that is sometimes not as prevalent, is that of the birth parent. In this issue of Partners, we are sharing several stories from parents–a family that adopted internationally, a family that adopted domestically, and a family that adopted from foster care – who are sharing what they learned on their personal journeys, and the “tools” that they found helpful along the way. This story is from a
birth mom, Izzy, who made an adoption plan for her son, Jacob. She shares why she decided to pursue adoption, how she found the right family, and what “tools” helped her the most throughout the process.

“Deciding to pursue adoption was not an easy thing to do,” said Izzy, a Wisconsin birth mom. “In fact, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I had to put my feelings and needs aside to do what was best for my son. So I knew from the first day, when I found out I was pregnant with Jacob, that I wasn’t ready to be a parent. I wasn’t emotionally or financially ready to be a parent; I wasn’t stable whatsoever.”

Izzy was a senior in high school when she got pregnant and did not have a continuing relationship with her son’s birth father.

“I was 17 years old and terrified about the whole idea of me carrying this child inside of me and the idea of child birth and having a baby at such a young age,” she said.

Even so, Izzy did her homework before choosing to take a path toward adoption. She said she, “looked at all my options, and they all overwhelmed me.” When she decided to focus more seriously on adoption, she said that she had so many birth parent 2questions running through her mind:

  • “Is this what’s really best for him?”
  • “Will I still be in his life?”
  • “Will he hate me?”
  • “How will I find the right people to raise him?”
  • “How will I handle not being his ‘parent’?”

Ultimately, Izzy knows that, “it took a lot for me to decide to have someone else raise him, but I knew inside it was the best possible thing for him and I still think that to this day.”

Izzy met the couple who would adopt her baby through her high school teacher. “My teacher knew that I was considering adoption, and she knew Becky and Ben were looking to adopt. So she pulled me aside one day after class and asked me if I was still interested in [adoption]. When I said yes, she gave me Becky’s name and number and we started talking.”

Izzy took her time and got to know Becky and her husband, Ben. To start, Izzy, Becky, and Ben got together at Becky and Ben’s house so Izzy could see their home and get to know them. “Over the process of us talking, we grew a friendship,” Izzy said. “I began to be more and more comfortable with the idea of them raising Jacob. It took a little time, but I picked Becky and Ben because, honestly, they are great people and I couldn’t think of a better couple to raise him.”

Throughout her journey, Izzy pulled strength and support from her friends and family, which she said is a “big thing” in the process of adoption. She also said that it was, “very helpful to have a social worker to talk to about the whole process. [The social worker] knew all about adoptions and the pros and cons to it.”

Becky, Ben, Izzy, and Jacob have formed a strong relationship and Izzy is very much a part of the family. “Becky is so open with the adoption, and she was from the beginning,” Izzy said. “She [and Ben] made me feel like I was a part of her family and not just Jacob. It really made it so much easier for me. All in all, I couldn’t have picked a better and more loving family to raise ‘our’ little boy.”

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