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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Carmen's Adoption Story

My story starts Aug. 31, 2011, with the birth of my first child. From the moment I learned I was pregnant, I knew I wanted nothing more than to be a good mother. Growing up, I dreamed of one day having that stereotypical “white picket fence” life: marriage, children, a comfortable life. When my daughter was born, this was the life that I had I mind.

Unfortunately, that was not in the cards for us. We struggled in a single-income household. Still, as a single mother, I worked full-time and went back to college for my associate’s degree.

Fast forward several years later to 2017 when I learned I was pregnant again. This time, though, my child’s father removed himself from the picture. Through much thought, prayer, and the support of family and friends, I came to the immensely difficult decision to give my son up for adoption.

I researched many agencies and spoke with specialists from a few. I knew from the first phone call with Brighid, my adoption specialist, that this was the agency I wanted to work with. Brighid’s guidance was immeasurable. I spent the next several weeks combing through what must have been dozens of wonderful families. Then, I found them. I had found the couple that I immediately felt connected to.

Rob and Allie accepted my offer and entered the next phase of our collective adoption journey. I grew to know and care for them — not only as the couple that would become the parents of my unborn son, but as friends and family. We emailed several times during my pregnancy. I took great job in filling them in with the goings-on of my pregnancy, as well. For Mother’s Day, I was able to have a 3D-ultrasound taken so that I could send the video and pictures to Allie and Rob. I wanted them to be as much a part of the pregnancy as I was. We had a very special relationship and still do to this day.

Two weeks prior to my due date, Rob, Allie and my mother all came to town. We were all nervous but very excited to meet in person. We decided to meet for lunch at a local restaurant and, once we found each other, it was as if we were attending a normal family get-together. We laughed and talked and enjoyed each other’s company.

In the hospital, my goal and hope was that Rob and Allie could both be as much a part of our son’s birth as I was. Rob cut the umbilical cord, and Allie held RJ first to have that oh-so-important skin-to-skin contact. They were very attentive to me and my emotional needs during this time, as well. We all spent time together in the recovery room during the day, apart from sometimes when I needed solitude. We also had pictures taken — RJ with his adoptive parents alone, and of the four of us. We truly are an unconventional family. When it came time to leave, we shared many hugs, tears and loving goodbyes.

Two weeks later, it was time for Rob, Allie and RJ to make their way home to Virginia. We met one last time for lunch before they left, so that we could say goodbye again, and I could see, hold and love on my sweet son. I still get letters and pictures of RJ as he grows. Every time I hear from Rob and Allie, I am shown how happy they are together, which warms my heart. I am also still able to speak with Brighid.

Through this journey, I have learned that I have a passion for adoption and bringing families together. Now I am enrolled in college and working toward my bachelor’s degree in social work so that, one day, I may be that adoption specialist who can guide birth mothers through their own adoption journeys.

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Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

While not every woman who chooses adoption is a young mother, many are. Through adoption, many young women have found an ability to give their babies the best life possible, while finding the opportunity to realize their own dreams, as well. Call American Adoptions today at 1-800-ADOPTION.

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Adoption Glossary

Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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