I had the privilege of documenting the birth story of Macie Katherine. (HERE!) It was an honor, to say the least. Baby Macie is loved by so many! Not only by her birth mom, Dawn, but her adoptive mom and dad, Kristen and John. The experience reminded me of Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those that are rejoicing, and weep with those that are weeping.” There was much rejoicing…and many, many tears. We were able to read about Kristen’s experience (HERE), and now we have an opportunity to see the day through Dawn’s eyes. Before that, though, I’d like to thank Dawn of her courage. It’s not easy to write out these memories…that are still so raw and real…AND share them for the world. So, thank you. Thank you for revealing your heart to us. And thank you for choosing life. The gift of life is the most sacrificial gifts a woman can ever give. You are so strong and beautiful!
It has been a long journey but this is where my story starts. I knew I couldn’t afford to have any more children and didn’t think I could. I already have a 15 year old. I was with my daughter’s dad for about 4 years when I found out I was pregnant. We already had Bethanie (3) and his son (5) from a previous marriage. Our relationship was really rocky so I decided to put our son up for adoption. We split up 3 years later. I was told in 2010 that because of my weight I would most likely not have kids again. I was fine with that. Then I had gastric bypass and was told that I could not have any more children.
On January 22, 2013 I moved to Arizona. On January 26, 2013 I was having severe pain and went to the ER. I was thinking it was kidney stones and was shocked when the nurse came in and told me I was pregnant. My daughter, my sister Kathi and I were in shock. I didn’t know what to do. I knew I could not afford to take care of this child. I do not believe in abortion so my only option was adoption. I started doing research on different agencies. I finally settled on one. I am very grateful that I got to work with Deb. She sent me 6 different profiles and I chose two that I liked, but I can only pick one. I chose John and Kristen. Just looking through their profile made me love them. The deciding picture was them sky diving. It made me very jealous. I told Deb and she set up a phone interview with them. As soon as I heard their voice I knew I had found my baby’s parents. I can hear in their voice they were excited and nervous all at the same time. John and Kristen were given my email and phone number and the texting and phone calls started. We were all trying to figure out what we were having. My mom and I kept saying it was a girl. Kristen wasn’t sure and John said boy. But I knew.
In June I was finally going to meet my daughter’s parents. I was so excited. They were everything I had hoped they would be. On June 7th we all went to the ultrasound and there we found out I was right. We were having a girl. It was a wonderful day. John and Kristen were so happy and Beth and I were happy for them. It was a great weekend, but it went by way too fast. We stayed in touch with texts and phone calls. Finally, September came along and they were on their way back to Arizona for the birth of our sweet baby girl. They got to their condo and immediately came to see us. We were all excited. I couldn’t imagine what was going through their minds. Knowing that I can change my mind at any time had to be killing them. I had already fallen in love with this couple and considered them my family. I couldn’t imagine hurting them that way. It had run through my head several times that I wanted to keep her and wondered if I could actually afford it. I already knew the answer to that. NO I CAN NOT!!! My life was not going the way I had planned and I already had a child that I could barely afford to buy school clothes for. Why would I add another child to that. It’s not fair to Beth and it wouldn’t be fair to the new baby.
On Sept 16th we went shopping and met up with Kristen’s parents and grandparents. They were all so wonderful. We talked like we had known each other all our lives. They made us feel like we were family. I hated to see the night end but we had a much bigger day ahead. Then it was Tuesday September 17th. The day our baby girl was going to enter the world. Beth and I met with John, Kristen and her parents and grandparents. We got checked in and started the process of getting me ready for the OR. I really wanted Beth and Kristen in the room but I could only have one of them. Bethanie decided that she wanted Kristen to have that bond with her daughter. I was in the OR getting prepped. I remember telling the nurse that I didn’t want to do this anymore and to just let me walk out and go into labor on my own. I was crying and the nurse was very calming. Before I knew it I had my local and was laying on the OR table. Kristen was at my side and then it started. She was talking to me and holding my hand. Then we heard the doctor say “There she is and there she goes. I’m gonna have to go in and wrestle her out”. There was laughter in the room. I felt my body rocking back and forth as he was trying to get my daughter out. She wasn’t ready. The Dr. announces she’s out and I heard her cry and I was then in tears. Kristen stands up and tells me she is perfect and that she has hair. That was a shock to me. I thought she would be bald. The nurse asks Kristen if she wants to cut the cord. She asked me if it was ok and I told her to go see her daughter. She starts to go over but before she got too far she hugged and kissed me on the head. She told me thank you. Through my tears and sobbing I told her congratulations.
After they got her all cleaned up and wrapped in a blanket, my sweet baby girl (I named her Dillynn Grace) was brought over for me to see. She was perfect. All 6lbs 10oz 19 inches of her. I didn’t think I could love her more than I already did. She was beautiful. The baby (they named her Macie Katherine) and Kristen were taken out of the room while they were finishing up with me. When I got back to the room John and Kristen were in there watching their baby girl as the nurses did other things. She had her first bath and they took her footprints. They brought me my baby girl and I had both of my daughters at my side. Beth and I wanted nothing more than to keep this little bundle of joy. But again we knew it wasn’t fair to her. We had some time alone with her and we just cried over her. I was finally taken to my room.
I had chosen to take care of this beautiful baby girl while I was in the hospital. The first night Beth was caring for Dillynn’s every need. Any time she cried, was hungry, or needed a diaper change Beth was right there. Dillynn slept on my chest all night. She loves to sleep. She must get that from her big sister. The next day I was able to get out of bed and took care of her from there. On Wednesday morning Kristen came into my room and she and I had a long talk and a lot of crying and hugging too. It was breaking my heart that I couldn’t keep my daughter but it made me glad I was able to give her to the greatest couple ever. That afternoon Kim (Kristen’s mom) came into my room. She thanked me for her granddaughter and then corrected it and said “thank you for both my granddaughters” and pointed towards Beth. Friday came and I knew I had to sign the final paperwork. I was dreading it. I had the pen in my hand and I was staring at the paper asking myself if I was doing the right thing. I knew I had to be, because God would have told me otherwise. I was shaking and hovering over the paperwork. There was no turning back. I could not do this to these people. They opened their hearts and their family to us. They accepted us as part of their family. They gave every cent they had to be able to have this beautiful little girl. They chose to have an open adoption so we can be part of her life and watch her grow. I signed the final papers giving my daughter a mother and a father. It was time to say goodbye.
My sister was there to give support and to say goodbye to her baby niece. Bethanie, my sister and I walked down the hallway of the hospital pushing my baby daughter towards her new life, crying the whole way there. We got to John and Kristen’s room and I picked up my baby girl to tell her how much I love her. One of Kristen’s family members hugged me and had her arm around me. I don’t know who it was because I was busy with my baby girl. I then put her in her car seat and we were all off to the lobby. There were pictures taken and Beth and I tried to smile but it was not easy. We were happy for John and Kristen but we were sad for the loss of a child that we love so very much. We all got in our cars and went our separate ways. I am grateful to John and Kristen that they are able to have unconditional love for a child that is not biologically theirs. They are going to be such great parents. I now live in Oregon with Bethanie and still have contact with Kristen. She sends me pictures of Dillacie (Dillynn and Macie). That baby has so much love from all over the place. I can’t wait to watch her grow. I hope I get to visit them one day.
Message to Dillynn, Mommy and Sissy love you so very much. Hugs and kisses to you baby girl. John and Kristen, we love you. Thank you for everything. XOXOXO