Casey became pregnant when finishing up college. She chose adoption in order to give her daughter the kind of life she wanted for her.
When facing an unplanned pregnancy, Casey chose adoption for her daughter
Slide: Meet Casey, she chose adoption for her daughter Casey: I was a senior in college and found out I was pregnant two days after I’d moved to college to start my senior year. I was probably about four months along and decided that I didn’t think I could parent the way I wanted to parent. It wasn’t necessarily that I couldn’t be a parent, I knew I could be a mom, I just couldn’t provide for my daughter like I would want to. So I contacted The Cradle and the first initial call was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Because you can talk about yes, I’m going to do this, yes, I’m going to think about this, but as soon as you make that call, it officializes what you’re saying. You’re taking the first step towards it. I kind of wanted to call and see what this adoption thing was all about because adoption isn’t something that’s really well talked about. It’s like something from the 40s, you’re supposed to be shipped off and then you come back and you just don’t have a baby. And that’s kind of the perception that I thought adoption was. I think at that point I was just like, send me some information, I’ll read it when I’m comfortable reading it. Because at that time I wanted to talk about it but I didn’t want to talk about it. I went to The Cradle because they are so reputable with open adoptions, and that was something - if I was going to do adoption, it had to be open. It got me out of the adoption as a 40s thing, like you send your child off and you’re done with it. I think that’s a lot of why I looked into adoption because that was like, okay I can start making sure she will be taken care of before she actually gets here. Slide: How is your relationship with your daughter and her parents now? Casey: We email probably at least once a week, we’ll touch base. It might go every other week, but we usually touch base. There’s not so many phone calls because I work PMs, they work days, and I’m getting my Master’s and they have lives. So phone calls are really hard and emails are nice for us because we can answer them when we get a chance. And I try to go about every 3 months, and that’s a good schedule for me. I think it’s a good schedule for Lizzy because I’m there but I’m not constantly there.She is great with life. She’s happy, she’s well-taken care of. There’s pictures of Keith and I in her bedroom so she knows who we are. She gets ecstatic when she finds out I’m coming. The last time I went, Holly emailed me and said Lizzy would like to know if you could stay for 10 days this time. The first time that your daughter calls you and says “do you know I grew in your belly, and then I came home with my mommy?” She gets it. But it was reassuring to me that she got my role in her life. Slide: Do you have second thoughts? Casey: I never regret my decision because it’s a selfless decision. I didn’t make that decision for me. If I made the decision for me, I’d regret it to this day and it’s been four years. I made the decision for my daughter.
Casey is a birthmom and a nurse. Listen to her advice on discussing adoption with expectant moms
Slide: meet Casey, a nurse & a birthmom Casey: I was a senior in college and found out I was pregnant two days after I’d moved to college to start my senior year. I was probably about four months along and decided that I didn’t think I could parent the way I wanted to parent. Slide: Motivations for choosing adoption vary Casey: That there’s more than one reason that people do adoption. I wish that all professionals in the community would get that. I did it because I wasn’t financially in a place of my life to do it. Another girl did it because she wanted to be married when she had her first child. People that I’ve talked to do it because their parents don’t support them and they just want to keep everything good in the family. There’s so many different backgrounds. Slide: Birthmoms are moms and need to be treated that way Casey: You still have to treat that birthmom like a mom. Teach her how to take care of that baby because something may happen and she may not do the adoption or it might make the difference between her feeling like she made the right decision and her questioning that. Slide: Try “Make a plan” instead of “Give up” Casey: I think that the community and the hospital staff that I work with, I’m constantly like it’s not giving up your child for adoption. I didn’t give her away, I didn’t do any of that. I shared her with somebody, I didn’t give her up. And especially because adoption still has such negative outlook on it that when you’re using these negative terms I feel like you’re keeping that mindframe. Slide: Not giving up but making a plan Casey: I think when you make a plan I like that personally because especially with The Cradle, when I first called they said we can help you plan out if you’re going to be a mom or if you’re going to do adoption, whichever. So be supportive of them, if they’re thinking about adoption, don’t assume that they’re going to do adoption. Keep with what you would do for anybody that you’re going to send home with a child. Don’t only talk about adoption with them, don’t only talk about, oh yes you can be a mom. Incorporate it. If the adoptive parents are there, include them as much as the birthmom wants you to. Because she might not realize it but it’ll help her realize that they are going to take good care of the baby.