Adoption Stories by Gladney - This is My Story

I Am A Gladney Birth Mother!My name is Katie Urban (Hough) and this is my adoption story.

 

I found out that I was pregnant when I was only sixteen.  I was living with my boyfriend in Colorado Springs at the time.  We had gone to one of the local pregnancy centers to see if I was in fact pregnant.  I remember being so scared and anxious.  While we were waiting in the waiting room it seemed to take forever.  Time literally stopped.  I still remember the sad looks on the nurse’s face when she came back in to read the positive result.  The clinic did what they could do—gave a sixteen year old girl a ton of brochures and an awkward hug.  I walked out of the building to tell my boyfriend the news.  He gave me a hug and told me that everything would be, “OK” and that he and I would work this out together.  One week later he broke up with me and did not hear much of anything from him again.

                While reading one of the pamphlets, it informed me that the sooner you tell your parents the better.  I am not too sure I agree with this still to this day but the next day I called my mother and gave her the news.  I suppose she reacted like any parent would to hearing the news that their daughter is pregnant.  It was difficult for me just to take in the fact that I was going to be having a baby and then trying to cope with how my mother was reacting on top of this.  My mother informed me that we would be sending myself to a place called Gladney.  What?!  What in the world is Gladney was my initial response and why in the world am I having to uproot my life here and move states away to Texas and live in this dorm with several other pregnant women?  I was in complete shock.  My biggest fear was the lack of knowledge I had of adoption and was vehement in the fact that I was not just going to “give up” my son.

Within a couple of months I was flying to Texas to be dropped off at this dorm.  I wanted nothing to do with this plan.  I was young and scared.  I literally just turned seventeen and was being shipped off to live in a different state, leave my friends and family, and deal with the loss of the boyfriend whom I thought I loved and also abandoned me in my time of need.  I kept my feelings bottled inside and would not allow myself to show any emotions until the point when my mother had “settled” me into Gladney.  At this point the dam broke and I cried for a week straight and would not leave my room.  I literally believed this was the worst thing that had ever happened to me.    Slowly but surely the staff and the other girls that were going through this ordeal, too, started to pull me out of my shell and made me feel more comfortable.  Again, this was not what I had chosen for myself to begin with.  I will never forget the true care and compassion that I felt from the staff, especially, Andrea Callaway and my counselor-Kim! 

The following months became much easier once I realized there were other women there and we were all going through the similar situation-that we were all just trying to figure out our lives and what we needed.    During this time I had been passively looking at potential adoptive parents—going through the motions.  However, during this time one family just kind of stuck out in my mind.  This family had all of the things that I was looking for, or felt, that should be in a family.  We finally contacted this potential family and we decided to have a meeting face-to-face.  They drove in from Houston to meet for lunch with me and my counselor.  This lunch ended up lasting two hours with us just talking about anything and everything.  It was Amazing!  After this lunch I became a true believer in adoption.  Before this I had always felt that this child was “my son” and I would never give him away but after this meeting I truly felt that this was what was meant to be.

I just knew in my heart that I had never met anyone that would be so deserving to be parents of this child and that this decision was the right choice for my child, me, and the adoptive family.  This family would be able to give him the life that I was not able to provide with the tools that I had.  They would be able to provide for him emotionally, spiritually, and financially.  I had found THE parents.  We spent the rest of my pregnancy just getting to know one another.  They came to visit me a couple more times after the initial visit. 

Living in the dorm, was of course, trying and hilarious all at the same time.  I was one of the first girls that transitioned from the old dorm to the new.  What a change-the new dorm was so nice and it was wonderful to have the dorms and offices of Gladney right there together.  One of my favorite memories of the dorm was doing the take-out and movie nights on Friday nights.  This was something that all the girls would look forward to and give us some time to relax and have fun together.  I was at the dorm for about seven and a half months.  The dorm parents and volunteers always worked hard to make us feel special.  They would take us on different activities-- such as the movies, the zoo, or the rodeo.  Of course, when we would all go out in public, we would get numerous stares--lots of memories from this time.

I went into labor on the morning of August 4th, 2002, and had my son that morning.  I called his adoptive parents and they immediately drove down and spent the following week in Fort Worth.  I had told everyone that I would spend the first week with my son.  This was my time to get to know him and make sure that this was the plan that I wanted for both him and myself.    I spent every minute of every day that week with him (besides at night when he would stay with transitional care).  I will never forget the memories that I made during that week.  I have so many pictures and videos of that time.  I never once cried that week nor did I ever doubt my decision to place.  I knew in my heart that it was right and that it was not about me—this was about my son.

I Am a Gladney Birth Mother!My mom and dad flew in for Placement Day.  For us, placement happened during the evening.  It was kind of awkward-no one really knew what to do or say-but it just felt right.  We did talk, tell stories,  and admire my son.  After a few hours, I knew that it was time and that I could not drag out this moment any longer.  His parents had waited a lifetime for him.  I told everyone there to hold him one last time and then we would go.  The room was quiet during this time.  Everyone in the room, granted there were quite a few of us, held him one more time and then he was passed to me.  Up until this point I had done really well.  When he was placed in my arms this last time, my counselor told me, “sometimes it can be hard to let go” and I broke down.  I cried and held him close trying to remember his smell and the way he felt in my arms.  I held on to him with my heart breaking and tears rolling down my face.  I then stood up and walked over to his mother and passed him to her and when I turned around, his new father gave me a hug I will never forget.  He hugged me and let me cry.  During this hug he also cried with me.  This was a moment I will never forget, a heart-breaking moment and a healing moment all at the same time.  We finished the hug and I walked out of the room, followed by my family.

I still cry every time I think of those last few moments.  I gave life to a family and I gave my son the family and parents that he deserved.   We have a semi-open adoption and I still, almost eleven years later, receive pictures and a letter once a year.  Every year, when I get these pictures and letter in the mail, I cry—not sad tears but happy ones.  I walked away and have never regretted my decision, not even once.  It does not make the loss any easier but I know that he is happy and safe.

If you're pregnant and considering adoption, please call us at 1-800-452-3639.  We're here to listen and to help.  Visit our birth parent website for information about the adoption process.

Your Story

We want to make it easy for you to also share your stories with us and with other birth parents who are going through this process. If you placed a child through Gladney's adoption programs and would like to share your photos and stories, here are some story starters:

I chose adoption for my child because . . .
We chose Gladney because . . .
My adoption journey . . .
Not knowing what to expect . . .
Gladney helped me . . .

Please email those stories and photos to us at adoption@gladney.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

By submitting this material you grant the Gladney Center the right to use, publish and otherwise publicly display this material in the manner the Gladney Center chooses, including use in brochures and on the web.

CONTACT GLADNEY:

Gladney Center for Adoption
6300 John Ryan Drive | Fort Worth, Texas 76132-4122

Headquarters: 817-922-6000   Pregnant?: 1-800-GLADNEY
International Adoptions: 1-800-INT-ADOP
Domestic Adoptions: 1-800-687-3097
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