Every step to the Nurse’s Building was like stepping on glass. My body ached from my toes to the very top of my head. This was it; the journey to the beginning of my new life.

It was around midnight and I was lying on the couch surrounded by some other women in the same situation as I was. We were there to give our babies a chance at something we could not give them. All with different stories and backgrounds but bonded like sisters by one decision– adoption.

The first pain– I didn’t really think anything of it. But then … THE PAIN! I have never felt the kind of pain I did when I went into labor … until that is … seven days later when I signed those papers relinquishing my rights as your mother. I signed those papers with full knowledge of what I was doing. I wasn’t forced or tricked. I was counseled for months before that day. I was given my options. Honestly, I was given all kinds of workable options, yet I still decided adoption was the best. Not only for me, but also for you. Believe it or not, mostly for you.

The day I sat down and looked at profiles of people wanting to adopt I didn’t shed a tear. I didn’t show that inside I was still struggling with the fact that you wouldn’t be mine. She asked me what I would wish the parents to be like and I wrote out a list. I remember asking for a couple that was Methodist, loves to travel, married, loving and all the other “basic” stuff we expect from parents. But inside what I really wanted was to be that parent. Basically I wrote down everything I hoped to be one day, dreamed to be that day. But the reality was I couldn’t and wasn’t all that I wanted for you. That is why I chose adoption.

I was given a teddy bear the day you were born. I guess they thought this would comfort me in some way and maybe somehow replace what I was losing. But a stuffed bear doesn’t compare to holding you in my arms, stroking your cheek and kissing you on the forehead. I couldn’t feel your heartbeat when I held it close to me or feel the warm breath come from your lips. But for years I slept with that bear. It went everywhere I did. It wasn’t a replacement, but it was a piece of that day, January 6, 1992, the day you were born.

Sadly, some years later, as I moved from one state to another I somehow lost it. I think I cried as hard as the day I let you go. Losing that bear I literally lost a piece of me again. For so long I clung to that stuffed animal. It kept me linked to you and as sad as it may seem, it was all I had. After one year I never heard another thing about you. I stopped getting pictures and updates about you. I know this was in the “agreement,” but I was hoping your parents would be understanding and know that I loved you and not only wanted to know, but needed to know how you were, who you were, and what you looked like.

In the past year my life has seemed to take a sudden turn. I have met several others from all sides of adoption and through meeting them I have thought about my decision. I don’t regret the initial decision to choose adoption, but I regret the years of not seeing your face. I regret the fact that your adoptive parents haven’t sent something in years. I regret the fact that you can’t see me or know more about me. I guess you could say I am angry, to be honest. Not at you, your parents, or myself … but at the regrets I have.

I should have kept a journal about my life for you. I should have saved all the pictures I could just for you, but I think because I didn’t get anything about you, I thought that maybe you wouldn’t want anything from me. But for your birthday this year I am starting a journal. I am going to start to save as many pictures as I can for you. I am going to reflect on the past ten years of my life and tell you every detail that I can. I am giving you my life as I gave you yours … full of love, compassion, and yes, even the pain.

My heart and love are with you every day, Anthony Brent.

Happy Birthday son.

Your Birth Mother

Anthony Brent was born on Jan. 6, 1992