Here you can read stories by women who found themselves in crisis due to an unplanned pregnancy. With help and guidance they were able to choose life for their baby and avoid the life shattering consequences of abortion. In some cases they may have walked out of an abortion clinic or the abortion was botched and the baby survived the abortion.
The Gift – A Happy Reunion
A True Story by Jean Hedley
Almost seventeen? That’s how old I was for my very first date. Lots of other girls in my class already had boyfriends, so I jumped at the chance. He was twenty-two, and it was fun going out with him at first, but soon we ended up going parking at the end of every date. I dreaded the moment when he would shut off the car and reach for me, but somehow I knew that if I stopped him, he wouldn’t go out with me any more. I wanted a boyfriend that much!
And so, only two months after that first date, I was pregnant. When I was sure, I told my boyfriend, and I couldn’t believe my ears when he replied, “Well, I might have ruined your life, but for God’s sake don’t ruin mine.” (He already had a new girlfriend at that point.)
What now? I felt so alone! I just couldn’t tell my parents, and being a procrastinator, I just did nothing. But in my solitude, I sure thought about it a lot. I began to think of my pregnancy as ‘The Problem’. “Maybe if I don’t tell anyone, ‘The Problem’ will go away.” Of course, it didn’t go away, it kept getting bigger.
As my secret grew, I dressed for school in loose, baggy clothing. Well, that only works for so long, and eventually, my mom confronted me. As I entered the kitchen one Saturday morning, she said “You’re getting awfully big – you look like you’re seven months!”
”Well maybe I am”, I shouted back, and off I went to cry my heartache away. I was devastated, but also relieved that I no longer had to carry this huge secret all by myself.
I left school at March break, finally went to see a doctor, and got an appointment with Kaye, at the Children’s Aid Society. We must have discussed adoption, because that’s what I finally decided was the best thing to do. I remember I wanted the child to have a normal life, with both a mom and a dad, stability, a chance at a post-secondary education, and a Catholic upbringing.
I felt if I were to keep the baby, I would want to support him totally, but I also felt I would want to be home to raise him myself. I couldn’t figure out how to do both. To this day, I have always felt that I made the right decision.
It’s kind of funny, looking back – once I’d decided on adoption, in my mind he went from being ‘The Problem’, to being ‘somebody else’s baby’, even before he was born.
At last it was time to go to the hospital. Labour was particularly difficult, but my beautiful son was finally born on May 9, 1974. I wasn’t supposed to be allowed to hold him, but my wonderful sister, the nurse, snuck him in to me one morning for a few minutes. He was so precious, and perfect! I named him Christopher Michael.
Ironically, only after the adoption was complete, did I begin to think of him as being ‘My baby’, ‘My Christopher’.
In October, I received a picture and a letter from Kaye, stating, “He is dearly loved, and will be given every opportunity to develop to his fullest potential.” For the next many years, that’s all I had – that, and the God that I prayed to, asking Him always to watch over him, love him, guide him, protect him.
Some years later, through volunteering, I found myself getting to know Kaye on a different level. She mentioned that the adoptive family had “moved away”. Once she told me that Christopher’s grandfather had written a beautiful poem about him. When he turned eighteen, she said that he was “a fine young man”, and that he was entering university.
She asked me then if I had thought about applying with the Adoption Disclosure Registry, but I wasn’t quite ready yet then. By the time he was twenty-one though, all I needed was a little nudge. This time when Kaye invited me to come see her at the office, she said she had a picture to show me. The day I saw that picture, she told me my son had applied to meet me, and that’s when I knew it was going to happen!
I applied in May, and Kaye explained there would be an exchange of letters first, and some time for us to get used to the idea of meeting. Kaye was able to cut through a lot of read tape, and on August 24, 1996, I was reunited with my twenty-two year old son, who was now called, not Christopher, but Greg. I was on Cloud 9 that whole summer!
When the big day came, we met, along with Kaye, at the Children’s Aid office in Walkerton. When I walked in, he stood up, and I hugged him like I was never going to let go! He was happy to see me too. Greg presented me with a little photo album, with a picture of him every year from baby right up to the present. What a treasure! After a few minutes, his parents joined us, and we all talked for a while, before going to my home for supper.
During that weekend we looked at more pictures and at Greg’s baby book. His mom kept looking at the two of us, and finally she said, “He’s got your ears.” We talked about the circumstances of his birth, and about how his life has been so far. He has a younger sister and a younger brother, also both adopted, and they lived in North Bay. On Sunday my whole family came to meet them over brunch, and everything worked out just perfectly.
During the next three years, we visited a lot. In 1998, I was proud to attend Greg’s graduation from Nipissing University in North Bay, with an honours BA in English. For his twenty-fifth birthday, I was inspired to write him a poem entitled, “The Gift”, and he said, “Wow, you’re the second person to write a poem about me!” In the summer of 1999, we enjoyed a ten day camping trip through Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta. This was a dream come true for me.
After that, Greg moved to Montreal, to attend the prestigious McGill University. Greg loves Montreal, where he is currently working, and would like to stay. Although it’s a much longer drive, we still manage to visit for his birthday and at Christmastime.
Greg’s parents were always honest and open about the adoption, and explained it to him at a very early age, noting what a blessing he is to them, since they could not have children on their own. The Tremblay’s have welcomed me into their home, and their hearts, and for this I am eternally grateful. Getting to know Greg has brought me more happiness than I had ever dared hope for.
I could never have imagined, when I was seventeen and lying awake at nights, the wonderful gift and blessing my pregnancy would turn into, both for his loving, caring adoptive family, and for me. For Greg is my only child.
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