Making 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