Author, Activist, and Mother

Open Adoptions

Zoe’s Birthday- Part 2. Guest Post by Jess Urban (AKA Zoe Birth Mom)

This is part two of a blog done by Jess Urban, Zoe’s birth mom where she highlights the day Zoe was born. Zoe will be 10 tomorrow, March 22:

Mommyhood – Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Zoe’s birthday Part 2

Day 2 of Zoe’s birth was brutal. I still had a lot of visitors – mainly family. This was their time to meet their granddaughter/niece while they could. My social worker told me that I needed to set a time to leave the hospital. I chose 9pm. I wanted to stay as late as I possibly could.

7 o’clock rolled around and I asked my Mom to tell everyone to leave the room. I really didn’t have a lot of alone time with Zoe. Once everyone left, I had my Mom read a list I had made when I was pregnant. It was a list comparing adoption and parenting. I wrote the pros and cons of each:

1.  I would be stuck working at McDonalds for years
2.  I would be on welfare for years
3.  I wouldn’t have the freedom to go out as much
4.  I would have my first born with me
5.  I would catch on to parenting and have support from my family
6.  I would get to see my daughter every day
7.  I wouldn’t be able to give her everything she deserved
8.  She would be shuffled between me and her birth dad on weekends – just like I was growing up

1.  I could pursue my dream of going to college
2.  Zoe could get any and everything she ever wanted in life
3.  I could give the best gift in the world to a couple that is unable to have kids
4.  I can get pictures of her periodically and still be part of her life
5.  I wouldn’t have my daughter with me

My Mom read this list to me half a dozen times. At this moment, it didn’t matter what people thought. I didn’t care about the snickers I would hear walking down the halls in high school (girls can be so cruel – I pray that Adalynn will never be a mean girl and treat people the way I was treated). At this moment, I knew I could change my mind. I knew I could take the ‘easy’ way out. But I also knew I had to do what was best for my baby girl, and that meant letting her go.

The last hour I asked my Mom to leave the room and it was just me and Zoe. I rocked her while sitting on a donut pillow (my best friend at the time!). I told her I was so sorry. I’m sorry I can’t give her everything she deserves. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to take care of her. I’m sorry I couldn’t be what she needed. I told her I loved her so much and that I am going to feel empty without her. I told her she needed to see the world and I wasn’t able to provide that for her. I told her I would see her again someday and that I will always look forward to letters and pictures I receive from the family I chose for her. I rocked her and cried and never wanted to let go. She was my world if only for a couple of days.

Leaving the hospital without my child was one of the loneliest and saddest times in my life. My Mom basically carried me out of the hospital because I was so distraught. I ended up staying overnight with my boyfriend at the time – he was such a great supporter and I am so grateful for that. He will always have a special spot in my heart for helping me through the hardest time in my life.

I slept a lot the next few days – physically and emotionally drained. Her birth father and I had 10 working days to change our minds if we wanted. I honestly don’t remember if I visited her those first 10 days in foster care. I’m sure I did. She stayed in foster care for a total of 6 weeks. I visited once or twice a week while she was there. After 6 weeks, it was time for her to come home with me – details of that in the next post 🙂

Funny how the past catches up with you. The foster parents who took care of Zoe is now taking care of Adalynn twice a week. We only live 5 miles away from each other.

This was a hard post for me. It’s hard to go back to that place. It’s lonely and empty. I still cry thinking about the first time I had to let Zoe go (again, more on this later). Even though I have another daughter, I am always going to yearn to have my first born with me. I wonder what kind of person she would be had her birth father and I decided to keep her.

We didn’t find out if we were having a boy or girl with Adalynn. We were SO convinced we were having a boy. When Jerrick told me it was a girl, I immediately thought of Zoe and her birthday. I was crying so hard when Adalynn was born. I was crying because I knew this was my chance to have what I always wanted – another daughter that I could take care of and knowing that she was mine and I get to keep her forever 🙂