My name is Jasmine and giving my baby away was the hardest choice I ever made.

I know there’s nicer ways to talk about what I did. You’re supposed to say you made an adoption plan. Or you placed your baby for adoption. But that’s not how my family sees what I did. It’s not how the world talks about what a birthmom does.

And it’s not how it feels, when you sign those papers. You feel like the worst mother that ever was. (No matter how happy those adoptive parents are.)

I wasn’t a teen mom who didn’t know how to care for a baby. I’m a grown-a$% woman already. I never thought I’d do something like this.

I had a husband. I had a job and a house and a car. I had two other kids and I was a good mom. I was the person in the neighborhood who other mothers came to for advice.

Like I said, I never thought I’d be here. But they say life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans, right?

How Things Started to Unravel

My husband left one day and never came back. Just up and left me and our kids without a goodbye.

Then I wrecked my car, that led to my losing my job since I couldn’t get to work. I got hooked on the pain pills from when I got hurt in the accident.

I didn’t get any help from my own family. My kids started missing school when I couldn’t get them up to catch the bus. Child Protective Services got called. They took my kids away. That ‘s when the depression hit, big-time.

I tried to do everything they said to do to get my kids back. But I fell further and further behind. And then I lost the house, as well.

I got so hopeless, my addiction got worse. Then I overdosed. CPS took away my rights to my kids. Then I found out I was pregnant. (Of course.) CPS said they would be at the hospital for the baby when I delivered.

You might say that was my wake-up call. I couldn’t let that happen.

What Saved my Kid. (And Me.)

I couldn’t stand losing another kid to the system. I just couldn’t. That’s when I called Abrazo. I was searching for adoption agencies in San Antonio when I found them.

I was so nervous when I called there. But they were so chill, it made it easy to talk to them. There was no judgement on their part. Just support and answers, and hope.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to choose adoption. They were okay with that. They invited me to their support group and free counseling. They helped me look at all my options. They suggested resources that had nothing to do with their adoption program.

The closer I got to my due date, the more sure I was that adoption would be the best thing for my baby. That’s when I looked at Abrazo’s parent profiles. And that’s when I found them.

The couple I chose to be my baby’s parents weren’t the first profile I saw. They didn’t have the biggest house. They weren’t the prettiest people or the youngest couple. But they reminded me of us, the family me and my husband should’ve been.

Getting to know them didn’t make choosing adoption easier. But it made my decision make sense. And when I was in the hospital, having them there gave me peace in my mind.

Giving my baby away was like tearing my heart out of my chest, I won’t lie. My family showed up and begged me not to sign the papers. I wouldn’t ever have done it if things had been different.

But I wouldn’t undo it now, knowing what I know. Because giving my baby away gave him the future I couldn’t. And that gave us both a chance to start over.

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