While waiting for the pregnancy test results, all I could do was pray…”I hope I’m not pregnant.” Then I heard the OB-GYN say, “It’s negative. But let’s make sure. I want to do a ultrasound.” I was relieved for a brief moment. I was sure I couldn’t have been pregnant.
As she placed the sensors on my stomach, I heard a loud noise. It was the sound of a beating heart. Thoughts ran through my mind, “Oh my gosh, I am pregnant! This can’t be happening to me!” Tears flowed down my face as I balled from shock and despair. The OB-GYN exclaimed, “Congratulations! You’re pregnant! Wow! You’re crying tears of joy!”
“You don’t understand my current situation,” I told her. Then she said, “You have to keep your child. You can’t have an abortion. It’s too late.”
My voice quivering, I asked, “How far along am I?” She replied, “You’re around 6 months pregnant,” after measuring my belly. I was in complete shock! The whole time I thought I was just bloated and having digestive issues. The doctor left me alone for privacy. I gathered my belongings and walked out that door a changed woman.
What I didn’t tell the doctor was that my long-term boyfriend, whom I thought was “the one,” had broken up with me two months before. Yet, we were still living together as I was struggling to find my own place. On top of that, my personal life was a mess. I wasn’t pursuing my goals in the field of psychology. I was in a dead end demanding job helping “special needs” children in an elementary school. I was depressed and exhausted most of the time. I lost the zest and joy that I once had.
As I drove home, I couldn’t accept the fact that I was pregnant. The truth was so heavy and life altering. I asked myself, “How will you be able to raise this child when you are struggling to take care of yourself ?” I had no answer to my own question. All I could do was pray and ask for guidance from God.
After my initial shock, I started to think about the future. I entertained the idea of being a single mom. Or having my parents help me as a single mom. But even thinking those thoughts seemed like an injustice to my future child.
I focused on my future child and the life I WANTED my child to experience. Sadly, it wasn’t anything that I could offer.
That’s when the option of adoption came to me. I thought about those who desperately desire to be parents and have their dreams and goals be fulfilled. But I didn’t know much about it so I started researching.
I came to realize that I wanted it to be an intimate process. I didn’t want an impersonal approach that involved reviewing profiles and pictures online.
I prayed hard and asked God that if HE wanted me to pursue adoption, that the parents I find meet every criteria that I am looking for in a family.
My prayers were answered! I came across a website of a law office that specialized in adoption. They were less than a mile from my work. I sent an email inquiry and immediately got a call from Edith who welcomed me with such warmth and compassion. She even brought over a packet of information for me to review.
At first, the forms seemed almost overwhelming. As I went through the questions, I realized that my answers would determine the outcome of my child’s life.
I reflected on my own experiences as a child and remembered how my parents loved, cared, disciplined, educated and believed in me. I wrote my thoughts down. It became clear that the most important thing to me was to find Christian parents because my parents instilled those values in me. My faith in God was important to me as an adult.
Second, I wanted parents who were loving, nurturing, caring, culturally sensitive, and able to allow this child a multitude of phenomenal experiences. I wanted this child to not only gain an education, but also be raised with values and good morals. After visualizing and understanding what was important and valuable to me, I felt at peace and knew that I was making the right decision.
Should I Tell My Parents?
Durand and his staff were very thorough in explaining the process and I felt so welcomed. Since I haven’t shared the news with my parents, they advised me to think about telling my parents that I was pregnant and that I am choosing adoption. Honestly, I really did not want to let my parents know because I was ashamed and feared their disapproval of me.
But as Durand pointed out…what if my child searched and found my parents 20 years from now? How would I respond to my parents? I thought long and hard about it and eventually decided that being honest with my parents was the right thing to do… for myself as well as my family.
Meeting Jen and Marc
When I got a call that Durand found a family for me, I was surprised, excited, and nervous. Right when Jen and Marc walked in, we hugged tightly and we all began to cry. It was our first time to meet but I felt an unexplainable connection with them.
I had a lot of questions for them – from how they met, their hopes and dreams, what they desire to gain from parenting, to how faith played a role in their marriage. From their dynamics and experiences, I wanted to see if they would be phenomenal as parents. God answered my prayers because their every answer brought me more and more peace in choosing them as parents. They shared private and intimate challenges that they overcame together. I found myself tearing up at times as I saw how much compassion, perseverance, faith, and unconditional love they had not only for one another but also for their daughter. Their experiences were inspiring. Jen and Marc’s relationship as a couple exemplified the kind that I would someday want to also experience in my future.
I confidently chose Jen and Marc. But I still needed to tell my parents about my situation.
Forgiveness and Acceptance
It just so happened that my family was flying in that weekend for a mini trip to Los Angeles. This gave me the opportunity to tell them the truth. On our trip to Mammoth, I really wanted to withhold the truth from them. I wanted to keep things to myself and handle it on my own. But God kept telling me to be honest. I finally summoned the courage to tell my parents and older brother. I was balling. It was gut wrenching. I was ashamed. Afraid.
In my family, I was considered the “responsible one” and was the daughter that “had it all together.” My dad hugged me and told me he loved me no matter what. But my mom said, “You can’t do adoption.” I felt sad and rejected because I didn’t feel she heard and understood. My older brother listened and supported my decision. It was a roller coaster ride from that moment I decided to be honest. But I believed being honest was the right choice because in the future, they could have the opportunity to know my future child.
The next morning was an emotional time for our family. My news turned everyone’s world upside down. My parents offered to have me back home in Hawaii for my last trimester of pregnancy. I refused at first because I didn’t want to be back home while being pregnant. What if I ran into people I knew? But I thought about it, and realized it was the best option. I was still living with my ex-boyfriend and knew I needed to make the transition.
As I expressed to Jen and Marc that I would be moving home temporarily, I sensed their concerns and fears. They were worried that I might end up changing my mind. I assured them that I wouldn’t. Even with my mom already grieving for the child, I still knew I wouldn’t change my mind.
Moving back home changed my reality and my life. My mom continued to grieve. My dad, who was still processing the situation, was supportive because he absolutely loves me. I could see that he too was grieving but that he was also trying his best to be strong for me.
For one last time, my parents offered to be the parents of this child for me. And that when I was done with graduate school, that I could become more involved with the child. I saw how much they desired for us to keep this child. But I already made my decision. I didn’t want to burden my family.
My parents own their business and already work long hours. And my dad was past his retirement age. I couldn’t let my parents become parents again. I wanted my parents to be grandparents. I envisioned my parents traveling and enjoying life together. I wanted my family to experience longterm joy, enjoyment, and closeness.
I told them that I hear their concerns, but I needed them to trust me. I’ve prayed and thought about this decision countless times. I believed I was making the best decision for myself. I told them that staying with my decision meant a lot to me. If I changed my mind (out of guilt or family obligation), I would only bring more pain to them as parents and to their daughter who would be expecting a new brother. After I shared how committed I am to my decision, they finally understood completely and became supportive of me.
I reassured my family that Jen and Marc were outstanding people and would be outstanding parents. Once they met them, they will understand my decision better.
Dr. Fujita, my mom’s OB-GYN who delivered me, became my OB-GYN! What a full circle! He was very caring and understanding. He was respectful of my choice regarding adoption. He helped prepare me for the big day.
Falling In Love
Sometime in April before my due date, an old friend who lived in California came to visit his twin brother for “their” birthday. They were adopted from an orphanage in Korea when they were four years old.
Matt and I spent the week together. We both knew we wanted to be together. Forever. He saw and loved me for who I was, and not for my situation. On the night before he left, while at dinner together, I went to the bathroom and realized that my water just broke. I thought to myself, “Now? Really?! This is embarrassing!” As soon I told him what just happened, we rushed to the hospital. He was so excited! I was anxious!
At 10 pm that night, the nurses told me that I wouldn’t deliver till the next day. While I relaxed after hearing that, I also began to feel pain and the contractions started coming. Matt held my hand through it all. He even massaged my feet and found ways to comfort me.
By 4:00 am on April 11, 2015, my OB-GYN told me with urgency that I needed to start pushing at which point we called my parents to already come to the hospital. By 4:50 am, Asher was born!
I was again in shock, awed, exhausted and excited! My parents arrived right after Asher arrived. Matt introduced himself to them. My parents were thankful for how supportive Matt was. Soon after, we called Jen and Marc to tell them the exciting news!
By 7 pm, Jen and Marc, with their daughter, Magnolia, arrived with smiles and excitement. Tears flowing down their faces. They each held Asher. I felt so at peace seeing Magnolia jump up and down when she first saw Asher.
A Beautiful Side Story
One side story to this beautiful experience belongs to Matt, who was adopted, and always struggled with feelings of abandonment. Being part of my delivery and meeting Jen and Marc blew him away. He experienced wholeness seeing another perspective of families uniting. He saw how much I wanted the best for Asher. He saw how much Jen and Marc unconditionally loved Asher. My adoption experience brought about unity unlike any other.
My parents, who met Jen and Marc for the first time that evening, were so gracious. I saw my parents’ strength, supportiveness and selflessness. It was so beautiful to see my parents and Marc and Jen deeply connect. They prayed for each other, hugged and smiled.
Bringing a child into this world is a surreal feeling! Reality hit on the day I was discharged. I was emotional as I was surrounded by people who I’ll always be connected with in some way. I was grateful for Jen and Marc who loved and cared for me.
After leaving the hospital, my parents expressed that they understood my choices. They shared how much they respected and loved Jen and Marc. I finally felt validated that my parents accepted my decision.
As time passed after the first year, I matured tremendously. I’ve learned that placing my child for adoption was a selfless act and a very personal one to me. Once in a while, when I hear someone make a judgmental comment such as “How could anyone give up their child?” Or “Why would anyone adopt?,” I have learned to bite my tongue and respond in a way that helps others see a different perspective, without disclosing my personal experience.
In June 2015, I moved to San Diego to start a brand new beginning. It’s been an amazing experience! I’ve developed supportive friendships, grown in my faith, sought out a mentor, and most of all, my relationship with Matt has blossomed. We had a beautiful wedding in March 2016. Our families and close friends celebrated with us. I wouldn’t have changed anything.
I will be forever grateful to Durand and his staff for their unwavering support and for helping bring about this beautiful adoption experience – one that will always be personal and positive for me – truly unforgettable and definitely life changing. And no one can ever change that.