No other time in my life has had as much impact on who I am today as the year I turned 16. I returned home to Massachusetts after being a runaway for two and a half months in early July of 1980, pregnant and ecstatically happy about it. I had no idea how the decision I would make in just a few months would affect the rest of my life. October of 1980 I was in my junior year in high school and was five months pregnant. Early in the month I decided that I would put the baby that was growing inside me up for adoption. That day will forever live on in my mind. It is the day that changed my life forever. My best friend Jenny and I were in the school library and a girl who was in the ninth grade, for the third time, was telling us about her baby and how hard it was to go to school. The baby cried all night long and kept her awake. She never had time to do her homework and she had no social life. My main goal in life was to finish high school and go on to college to get my teaching degree (English). When this young lady told me of the implications involved with keeping a baby, I knew I would never meet my goals, or I thought I would never be able to meet them. I had also made a pact to myself that I would never be a welfare mother. It was that day that I made my choice. I remember going home after school and waiting for my foster mother, Jean, to come home from work so I could tell her. The only thing she said was, “why didn’t you just have an abortion?” I responded by saying that I did not want to kill her (my baby), I loved her. As the months past, my tummy grew larger and the love for my unborn daughter grew just as much. I made all the arrangements to meet with agencies for adoption and read biographies of prospective parents. The agencies in turn matched my likes and dislikes, looks and family heritage with those of parents waiting to adopt. Finally they had one that met all my expectations for what I wanted in a mother for my baby and also what I missed in my own mother. I would lay in bed at night with my arms wrapped tightly around my bulbous tummy, telling my child everything that would happen to her after her birth. I would cry and tell her how much I loved her. To this day, I have not felt the same kind of love as I felt for that great tummy of mine. The kind of love that just engulfed my entire being. A love as pure and true as any. At midnight February 21, 1981, my contractions started. I was not aware at the time that I was in labor, I just knew that every fifteen minutes, I had to go to the bathroom. My foster mother wasn’t home, the rest of the household was asleep and I did not want to wake anyone in case I was just in premature labor again.
As 2 a.m. rolled around, Jean came home and the time between my contractions had lessened to five minutes apart. She drove me to the hospital and after an uneventful four and a half more hours of labor, my beautiful little girl was born. When the doctor told me to give one last push, I screamed out her name, Morgan, at the same time. That was before the doctor even knew it was a girl. The doctor laid that beautiful little baby on my belly and I just looked at her with amazement, joy and more love than I’d ever imagined or felt. Here was my baby, all pink and oh so beautiful. We spent the first four days of her life “bonding”. I held her in my arms feeding her and as I did, she looked up into my eyes, just watching. I told her every day we were together that I loved her and that what I was doing was for the best interest of her life. She was meant to receive all the love that I was never given. Over and over again I told her that her new parents would love her just as much as I did and that she was going to have a beautiful life with her new family. Again I told her what to expect on her journey to her new parents. That she would go to a temporary foster home and a couple weeks later, her new parents would come to get her. After that she would be their precious little girl. She was a lucky baby, she had two mommies that loved her and a daddy that loved her too. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was to sign those adoption papers. I made the most difficult decision of my life at the ripe old age of sixteen and a half. Not once in the last 18 years has any decision had that much impact on me. To this day I still feel the hurt and sorrow of losing my baby. I want more than anything to be able to hold her and tell her again that I love her. If she had died, I would have been able to let the wound heal, but she is still out there, somewhere. I wonder what she looks like. Does she look like me? If I saw her on the street, would I recognize myself in her? Or would she see herself in me? I have a million questions for her when we meet. I wonder if she even wants to meet me or if she thinks that I didn’t want her and that I threw her away. In February 1999 Morgan Angela turns 18 years old. I know soon, I will have all the answers to my questions. I pray and wait expectantly for her to say, “thank you for making the choice to give me a life.”