Hi, my name is Cannille Turner and I grew up in inner city Memphis, TN, and I'm a birth mother.
I was raised by my grandmother, because my mom wasn't in a stable place to raise my two older brothers and myself. I have 6 siblings total, which I didn't grow up with, aside from my two older brothers, because we were split between my aunt, grandmother and mom. Honestly, I didn't have good relationships with my siblings because we were scattered around Memphis. As I got older we started form relationships, but never close enough to talk about the hard stuff in our life.
Because I was raised by my grandmother and wasn't close with my siblings, I grew up feeling like something missing in my life. And in the back of my mind was the thought that my mother was that missing piece and everything would be better if she could fill that hole in my heart.
Around 15 years old I made some new friends and they shared God with me, and I it was then that I realized: He was the missing piece in my life. For the first time I stopped placing the weight on my mom to fill my emptiness, and it was freeing.
I decided to follow Jesus and face the hard things in my life… I just had to.
However, after graduating high school, I went on to trade school, and there I believed I had met the man of my dreams, my Asian persuasion…and we were infatuated with one another.
Yet, he left. He left Memphis altogether, and on the exact day he left, I was assaulted by a friend of the family.
Because of how much older my assailant was, and being naive and afraid, I refused to believe that I could become pregnant.
A few weeks later, my mind rambled with what was happening with my hormones and I decided to get a check-up… right then, at the doctor’s office, in that moment, I found out I was pregnant.
A lot jogged my mind, how the heck could this be true? I was so afraid. I was not in a stable place, I was not prepared.
Because I knew I wasn't in a healthy place to parent a child, I googled "pregnant, now what”… A ton of hopeful parent profiles popped up onto my computer screen along with different adoption agencies. I noticed the adoption agency a couple from my church used for an international adoption and I immediately clicked on their website.
Soon after reviewing their information I went ahead and sent a private message to someone and moved forward with meeting a pregnancy counselor. I felt an overwhelming peace meeting with them and discussing my options.
And after meeting with the counselor a few times…I made my decision… I was sure my baby would be adopted by someone who would love her as much as I did.
I felt kind of overwhelmed and uncomfortable when it was time to look at profiles of hopeful parents, so I decided to take a step back. I didn't even know what kind of adoption I wanted to place my baby in and I needed to think. The bad thoughts in the back of my mind forced me to believe that if I were choosing adoption for my baby, then why did I need to be a part of her life?
Because of those thoughts, I almost made a decision out of fear…But then I actually thought about the pain and regrets I'd have if I wasn't a part of this sweet child's life. After really thinking about how I'd live without knowing this baby, this part of me, I knew I had to find the perfect family for her, and it had to be an open adoption. I had to be there to fill in the gaps for her, to give her all of the answers she would be searching for and to be there to explain my decision, which I know with all of my heart, was truly selfless. It was super important for me to get to know the couple and to build a relationship of trust with them.
The feeling of going into labor, however long it would be be, and placing my baby with the amazing couple who'd become her parents scared the life out of me.
I had many reasons for being scared to place my child because of the stories I had heard of open adoptions being closed. I was afraid that after the first year or two the couple would move away and I would never see my Beloved anymore, I feared them being uncomfortable with me and thinking that openness isn't for them and I feared that I had to be this perfect birth mom or else I'd lose a relationship with my birth daughter and her parents…
Being in labor, and soon giving birth to my baby, who would become theirs and not mine, scared me. I wasn't ready to leave the hospital, not without the most beautiful baby girl I'd ever seen and most of all, given birth to. When it was time to leave and part I felt a flood of emotions come over me, it felt like my heart was literally breaking into pieces and being scattered everywhere. I had literally never felt so much pain in my entire life. My heart was broken and my arms were empty, it seemed like I went in with everything and left with nothing. But as heartbroken as I was, suffering the loss of motherhood and leaving with empty arms, I still felt at peace in placing her for adoption…Because I knew I did the right thing for my baby.
I want everyone to know that birth mothers and families who place their children for adoption are so brave and show selfless love.
Birth parents aren't any less of parents than those who adopt, because at the end of the day, we are ALL parents, we make up an amazing family. The world who doesn't love would only say that birth mothers don't care for or want their babies and they would say that we have given up on them. I want the world to know that as a birth mom, I would never give up on my sweet Beloved. I wanted her more than anything in the world, and because of the amount of love and care I have for her, I wanted the best for her and I am proud to say that I have given that to her. I never gave up; I simply gave her more.
Not everyone knows that considering adoption for your child can really take a toll on you. The world needs to know that placing my baby for adoption was solely my decision but most importantly what was best for my daughter. I want the world to know placing a baby for adoption can be mentally and physically draining. It's forever apart of who you are once you become a birth parent, and it's what sets you apart from those who say, "I could never do that". Placing my baby for adoption has been the most heart wrenching and beautiful thing I have ever done.
The only advice I'd give to an adoptive family is to tell them to LOVE. Love your children's birth parents and birth family. Show them that you are keeping your promise to love, care and nurture your children, show them that you are all family and even say it verbally. Beloved's parents are my family and I am forever grateful.
(A huge thanks to Talk About Adoption for connecting us with Cannille, and for all of the amazing work they do with Birth Moms!)