An Adoption Story : Birth Mother to Toby Mac’s Twins
Written by birth-mother Jina
It was September 11, 2001, when a tragedy and a miracle would occur on the same day. I was living with my mother in Norfolk, VA with my 2 children. My mother woke me up, telling me that a plane had just hit WTC building 1. I was not surprised by this news, but I got out of the bed and went into the living room and watched Good Morning America, who was covering the story. We sat there glued to the screen for the next several hours, too horrified to move. After the final plane went down, I left my mother's house, and walked the 15 blocks or so to my sister's apartment, and banged on her door. She had slept through everything and had no clue what was happening. I turned her television on, and as she got caught up with the days events, I contacted the guy I was seeing at the time, and told him I wanted to see him. Hearing how upset I was, he came as quickly as he could. We left my sister's house, and walked to the beach in Ocean View, where we sat quietly talking about all that occurred that day. We made love on the beach, and then we went to our separate homes.
One night , I had a dream I was pregnant. In this dream I saw 3 embryos, all within a separate amniotic sac. One sac burst open, and I jumped up out of my bed, and said, "I'm pregnant!". I got dressed, and took the bus to the local pharmacy, and purchased a pregnancy test. I walked to the Burger King next door and took the test. It was positive. I sat there in that stall and cried. What have I done?! I was 20 years old, already a single mother to 2 small children, living with my mother. How would I be able to provide for another child, when I could barely scrape by as it was? I called the father and told him I needed to speak with him in person immediately. He came to my house after work that day, and I sat him down. There, with tears in my eyes, I told him I was pregnant.
He immediately gave me a hug, and said everything would be ok. He was young, too, and already a father to an infant son. He then said something that left me reeling where I sat. He had told me he was not with his son's mother when we first got together. Now he was telling me that not only were they still together, but that she was pregnant as well, and expecting their second child almost exactly one year after their first. She was due June 11, 2002. I would be due June 10,2002.
A few weeks later, I was out shopping with my best friend and we stopped at McDonald's to grab a bite to eat when I felt a pop and a gush.
Believing that I could be miscarrying, I called an ambulance, who took us to the nearest hospital, There, they performed an ultrasound. As the tech did her measurements, I thought I seen multiple sacs! She looked at me and I looked at her, both with wide eyes. Then she put the letter A next to one sac, which had a tiny baby with a heartbeat, then letter B next to a second one with a tiny baby and a heartbeat!
There was a third sac that looked empty, and a pocket of fluid visible coming from it. It was just like my dream!! I was pregnant with twins, and miscarried a triplet. This led to a whole new problem: now how will I provide for 2 more children?!
I thought over this situation for the next few weeks. I recalled my time spent at Liberty Godparent Home, a maternity home for unwed mothers in Lynchburg, VA during my second pregnancy in 2000. There was an adoption agency the home was affiliated with, so I called them up, and spoke with a counsellor I worked with while in the home. I was going to explore the avenue of adoption, as abortion would never be a consideration.
I knew I couldn't rely on my children’s father and neither could I raise these babies alone. The counsellor and I began communications, and she started sending me profiles on adoptive couples. I reviewed many profiles, I looked for advertisements in the newspaper, spoke with many couples (both through the agency, and those seeking private adoption).
Still, nobody seemed right. Looking back, I have to kind of laugh about it, The agency coined me the most difficult birth mother they ever worked with. I was pleasant enough, but very choosy, After all, these were my 2 children, the family had to be just right. After going through at least 3 dozen families, time was running short and I was out of options.
Then, I got a call from the agency, they were sending one more profile over, it would be a new couple, whose home study was not complete, but that they seemed very good candidates. Not getting my hopes up, I got the profile within a few days. I opened up the package with all the current info they had on the couple. There were pictures, and 2 letters, one from each of the adoptive parents, addressed to a potential birth mother.
As soon as I saw their pictures, a small voice inside me said, "this is them." I called my contact at the agency, and excitedly began to ask questions about them. The main one was: can they financially support 2 children? I was assured they could, and I felt that this was it ; they would be the ones to adopt my twins.
We set up a conference call, and I fell in love with the adoptive mother, Amanda. We spoke a couple of times as my pregnancy progressed. I told the agency worker that I was going to choose Toby and Amanda, but that I did not want to say anything to them just yet. A small part of me wanted to parent my children, and I knew it was possible I could change my mind.
I would not wait for long though. Shortly after, I went into labor at 34 weeks, after my 16 month old son had a seizure; the stress brought on labor prematurely. On April 29, 2002, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl at 11:57am, weighing 4lbs 5oz, and a bouncing baby boy at 12:03pm, weighing 4lbs 6oz.
They would spend the next 8 days in the special care nursery, as I lamented over my decision to place them for adoption. I made a sudden decision to bring them home with me. I brought them home, and for the next 5 weeks struggled to care for them as well as my other 2 children, then 5 and 16 months old. I knew in my heart I had made the wrong choice for them, so I called my case worker at the agency, and they sent someone to pick the twins up.
The agency placed them in one of their foster homes until the adoption could be finalized, and we called the adoptive couple to tell them the good news. I cried on that call, and asked if they would still be interested in adopting, and if so, would they adopt my son and daughter. Of course they would! It took some time to track down their father and serve him papers to go to court or terminate his rights.
When the twins, whom I named Malachi and Makayla, who would be renamed Moses and Marlee once adopted, were ready for placement, I was invited to be there. I took the bus to Lynchburg, and had the sweetest visit with my children before the placement ceremony.
Then the big moment arrived. We all convened at a local home, and I got to place my children into the waiting arms of their new parents. It was a bittersweet moment, wrought with much emotion. Happiness, sadness, hope, despair, and above all, love. This was where they were meant to be, and I knew it.
Over the next few years, I was able to see the twins, through photos, videos, and even visits. Now the twins are 16, and sadly our son Moses is stricken with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, but it has not stopped his beautiful and gentle spirit. Everyone who meets him is touched by him. I believe he has been touched by our creator himself. Our daughter Marlee is quite the spitfire, full of good intentions and is a talented musician. Toby and Amanda are pillars in their home, strong and beautiful individuals, and the best parents I could have ever hoped to have for my children. Their fame and notoriety has not changed their kind and gentle characters.
I have never once regretted my decision to place my children for adoption. I work today in activism, hoping to spread awareness of adoption and to inform women seeking abortion that they have life affirming options available to them. Adoption is not as stigmatized as it once was, and now there are so many options available to those looking to place. You can have a closed one where there’s no contact , a mediated one - like I have - where an agency aids in communication between birth and adoptive parents, or a fully open one where you communicate directly with the adoptive family. There are support groups, as well as pre and post adoptive counselling services available, usually these services are totally free.
Mothers and fathers, please give your baby a chance at life. There are so many couples today looking to adopt your baby and most are wonderful people, who want a chance at parenthood. There are services available if you want to parent your child, one only need ask for help. Choose adoption: the loving option.