College Student Gives Up Baby for Adoption & Videos Entire Journey -- From Making Her Decision to Saying Goodbye to Her Son (VIDEO)

callie mitchellMaking the decision to give a baby up for adoption has to be one of the world's hardest choices, as it's impossible not to fall a little in love with the human you've grown inside of you. Even if you know you can't possibly provide your child with the best possible life -- and someone else can -- deciding to give him or her up has to be nothing short of gut-wrenching, and an emotional nightmare.

But it's also incredibly brave and mature. In some ways, realizing your baby is better off with someone else is the ultimate act of selflessness and love. You're doing what's best for your son or daughter.

Callie Mitchell, a 25-year-old junior at the University of Iowa, recently made the choice to give her son Leo up for adoption. And she beautifully documented the entire process, from pregnancy to right now when she talks to Leo's mom "every day." It's an unconventional set-up, even a little odd. But what Callie's doing will one day make little Leo incredibly grateful.

Callie's documentation, called My Baby, Not My Child, features diary-esque writings, photos, and YouTube videos. It seems like Callie's boyfriend left her when he learned that the child might not be his after all; and Callie, sure she wouldn't be able to raise a child alone, made the decision to give her son up for adoption. She found good parents for her son -- Kristen and Brian -- and the three of them have a good relationship. They're even planning on all getting matching tattoos in the near future. An excerpt from the piece that is absolutely heartbreaking:

She asked me if I wanted to hold the baby when he was born. This was a question I thought a lot about over the last few months. I said no, I wanted the first person to hold him to be his parents because that first touch is so important. It is the first and most powerful moment when a bond is formed between parent and child, and I didn’t want to steal that from Kristen and Brian. I was also terrified of getting too attached to him and then not being able to handle it when he is gone.

As I said, this is an unusual situation, but I think it's such a beautiful way for Leo to learn about his birth mom -- when she's in the thick of everything. He'll see her when she learned she was pregnant, during her pregnancy, and after she gave birth. He'll get to know the real Callie, warts and all, when she's young and hurt, as opposed to trying to find her later on in life after the dust has settled. He'll be left with less unanswered questions.

Obviously, this isn't a set-up that would work for everyone. Not all adoptive parents would want their child knowing their birth mother in this way, nor would all birth moms want their child knowing them this intimately. But it's what works for Callie and Kristen and Brian. And, eventually, I imagine it will work for Leo, too. So, who are we to judge?

Check out one of Callie's videos:

What do you think of this?


Image via TheDailyIowan/YouTube

baby first year, childbirth

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Cowbo... CowboysAngel02

She was a string woman and did a good thing for her son. I hope everything works out really well for all 4 of them.

nonmember avatar Lisa

I think she is not only irresponsible and selfish not to raise her own child, but I am disgusted that she chose to exploit this child by using him to further her 'art.' And who am I to judge? An adopted adult who knows how difficult it is to grow up adopted. My heart aches for Leo.

nonmember avatar LB

People don't "give up" their child, they make an adoption plan because they know they cannot provide the life he/she deserves. It takes a lot of courage to be honest with yourself, and it takes a tremendous amount of courage to place your child's needs above your own pain. She's educating people about the realities of adoption -- and open adoption at that. Studies show that adoptees of open adoption are much better adjusted than those of the past -- when adoption was a shameful secret. Now Leo has two families that love him.

nonmember avatar mel

I think she knows her life best.. Lisa ... sorry you've been through pain but I think if someone can literally place their baby into someone else's hands for life... then obviously t hey truly did not want to be a parent and thats a hard making for god parenting ... his life doesn't have to repeat your pain. It sounds like she is doing everything she can to make it better for her baby.

we all have hardships in life. You can't run from pain in this reality - everyone will hurt at some point. Its more about what you do with the pain that matters

Loriann Camp

I am adopted and think this is the most unselfish thing a person could do. To me I would think this would help and comfort the child when he or she is old enough to know where they came from. So to say that the birth mom is selfish is ridiculous to me! I see it as a way for her to cope with what she is doing and a way to show that she does care for her child!

nonmember avatar IslandMomOf4

I was adopted and it was the absolute best thing for me!! I was curious about my birth family. Found out my birth Mom was 12 when she had me. She had another child 2 years later and her then boyfriend smothered him. If it wasn't for adoption, I'd most likely never survived childhood! Not all adopted children have issues. I was blessed with a great childhood. I think this piece is great and kudos to Callie!!

nonmember avatar newmom

ACTUALLY I DONT THINK IT IS SELFLESS OR BRAVE AT ALL. I. THINK SHE IS A COWARD! A LOT OF PEOPLE END UP SINGLE MOMS AND IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE A BABY YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE SEX! I'M A NEW MOM AND COULD NEVER HAVE GIVEN HIM UP WITH OR WITHOUT HELP!

sssdnm sssdnm

ACTUALLY I DONT THINK IT IS SELFLESS OR BRAVE AT ALL. I. THINK SHE IS A COWARD! A LOT OF PEOPLE END UP SINGLE MOMS AND IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE A BABY YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE SEX! I'M A NEW MOM AND COULD NEVER HAVE GIVEN HIM UP WITH OR WITHOUT HELP!

nonmember avatar cat

I know someone who made the decision to give her daughter up for adoption and sees her frequently. The situation was not ideal and there was no other option that she could see. I think it is brave to do what you think is best for your child and to give them a way to understand your choice - even better!

nonmember avatar Sierra

It was a very hard decision for Callie to give her son up for adoption. One can never discribe the heart ache a birth mother feels from the first day of making this decision and through the rest of her life. Even still today it is hard knowing what she is missing while he grows up. Living with knowing what she gave up is almost unfathomable to someone who doesn't have to live with that choice. However the reality still remains that she could not provide a good life for her son. She didn't have the money and with out finishing her college education she would struggle their whole lives just to give him the basic needs of life. So she found a good, supportive and loving couple to raise her son. Think about it from Kristen and Brian's point of view. Here is a couple unable to have children of their own who are now given the opportunity to be parents. What a blessing! If Callie was selfish and didn't WANT her son why does she stay in contact with the family DAILY??

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