|Carolyn in pink with her hubby Dan and 2 of their kids, Ethan and Emily.|
When my daughter Erin first came to me and told me she was pregnant, I felt mixed emotions: joy- at the thought of becoming a grandmother; worry- she was only 18 years old, unemployed, unmarried and with a boyfriend I found to be questionable; fear- the future of a child was at stake! When I was finally able to get the big knot out of my stomach and think clearly, I knew, first and foremost, that the baby’s wellbeing had to be the priority. I only hoped Erin felt the same way.
In beginning discussions about the baby’s future with Erin, we covered all the options, i.e. placing vs. parenting. We went to LDS Family Services and started counseling with them. We also started attending their support group. I think it helped us tremendously in seeing that there were other families just like us, facing the same dilemma, and trying to make the right decision. I watched Erin struggle with her feelings concerning her baby, her boyfriend, the feedback she was receiving from extended family members, and I know it was all overwhelming at times. It was heartbreaking to have to sit back and watch her have to deal with it all, and only be able to support and listen and comfort and provide the guidance that I could.
As I watched Erin struggle with her feelings and her decisions, I had some struggles of my own. The baby wasn’t even here yet, but I already loved him/her as only as a grandmother can and my heart struggled with the possibility that this wasn’t the time for me to be a grandma. My head could accept that readily enough, by my heart ached mightily. I also had to be strong for my daughter, and run emotional interference for her at times with people in our lives who were less than supportive. I wanted everyone around us to cocoon her with love and support and understanding to help her get though this difficult time in her life. I fully understood, however, that others were struggling with this as well, and I could not deny them the right to their feelings. It was a difficult time for everyone.
When Erin made her decision to place her precious baby, I knew it wasn’t a decision she had made lightly. She had been considering it off and on for some time. When the decision was finally made, however, I could tell she was at peace with it, and that a burden had been lifted off her shoulders. This gave me a great sense of comfort. I also felt that her decision was the correct one. Once her decision was made, she never wavered. She went about picking her family with no hesitation. She was given quite a few families to consider, and she chose her family within only a few short minutes, knowing exactly which family her baby was to go to. No doubts, no question. I was so proud of her conviction and her strength. It gave me the strength I needed at that time.
When our precious baby boy was delivered into this world, I was filled with joy at what a beautiful sight he was! I drank him in, knowing that my time with him was short. He had some breathing difficulties, so we had to say our goodbyes in the NICU. My precious daughter didn’t even get to place him in his new parents’ arms. This was the most difficult day were have ever been through. Many tears were shed, but Erin still never hesitated. She knew her decision was the right one, and the gratitude in his adoptive parents’ eyes will never be forgotten. It’s been more than 10 years since that day, but I will never forget it. My daughter is a shining example of strength, selflessness, and pure love. She is my hero.
Thank you Carolyn for sharing your heart....I know this wasn't easy! Love you bunches!!!