A Promise Kept

A birth parent becomes an adoptive parent.

Sonia Billadeau April 09, 2014
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On November 11, 1987, I gave birth to a beautiful little boy. He was 8 lbs, 6 oz., had blond hair, blue eyes, and chubby little cheeks. Months before his birth, I had chosen his family.

I had received a letter from a woman explaining their family’s lifestyle and promising to love my baby like she was her own. I even got a letter from their twelve-year-old daughter who begged that if I would let them have my baby she would put off her trip to Germany to see her uncle. And so the day came that their family would grow.

The adoptive mother stood by my side in the delivery room. She held my hand and coached me through the contractions and the pushing. As her son came into this world, her eyes filled with tears—she loved him with every ounce of her being without ever having felt him kick, or move, without ever having touched his tiny fingers or toes.

Though she had been through a few “near-miss” adoptions in the past, she put what must have been incredible fear and anxiety aside and asked me if I wanted to hold him first. I’m sure she realized that by holding him the chances of me changing my mind and keeping him increased dramatically. But, I didn’t change my mind. Her trust, her faith, her courage just made me more confident that I had made the right decision and chosen the right family.

In the days that followed, I found myself wrought with sadness, even though I had made the right decision for my son. I felt alone, I felt empty, I felt a sense a loss like I had never felt before. I sat on the floor and cried like I have never cried before. I thought I would lose my mind.

My parents hadn’t called me to see how I was doing. No one seemed to know what they should say or do and so there I was, falling apart, wondering how I would ever get on with my life. Then I felt the tiny arms of my four-year-old daughter wrap around my neck. She kissed me, wiped my tears, patted me on the back, and said, “It’s okay mommy. God wanted us to share our baby.”

My strength to go on came from the little girl who, earlier in the year, brought me her piggy bank and said I could have all the money in her bank if we could just keep the baby in my tummy. I promised her that one day, we would have a baby that we could keep, and in that I found the strength to pick my self up off the floor and get on with our lives.

I think about my son every day, but not with regret. I know in my heart he is right where he is supposed to be, and I feel blessed that I was chosen to bring him into this life and bring such a special and wonderful gift to a such an incredible family.

That was almost fifteen years ago. Yesterday my daughter and I were having lunch and she said, “Do you realize this is the last time I will be having lunch with you as an only child?” You see, tomorrow, September 19, 2002 I will board an airplane bound for Kazakhstan to adopt a six-year-old boy.

I asked my daughter if she was sad. It had always been just the two of us until I got married in 1999. She said, “How can I be sad when you are going halfway around the world to keep a promise you made fifteen years ago?” If what she’s like as a daughter is any indication of how she will be as a big sister, our son is the luckiest boy on the planet . . . next to her first little brother, that is!

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Sonia Billadeau


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