My name is Callie Jett. I’m from Virginia and I’m a birth mother.
Growing up, my relationship with my family was not as stable and healthy as it could have been. My parents divorced when I was a baby, and my father remarried. I lived with my mother, twin sister, and my older sister for the first eight years of my life. Our mother was not home very much, so my older sister pretty much raised and cared for me and my twin sister. At eight years old, my twin sister and I moved in with our father and his new wife. Our father began to travel often, so our step mother attempted at raising us until my sister and I moved out at the age of sixteen. My sister rented an apartment while finishing high school, and I ended up moving into a maternity home. I had been hanging out with the wrong crowd, made poor decisions, and became pregnant ... The rest is history.
Before the maternity home, I was walking into a center for an abortion when I first heard about open adoption as an option for my unplanned pregnancy. There were people outside of the center (Sidewalk Advocates) who handed me resources to a maternity home for single, pregnant mothers.
My father and I visited this maternity home, together for the first time, where I met a birth mother who shared her story of placing her child for adoption. I ended up moving into this maternity home, The Liberty Godparent Home, to stay for the rest of the eight months of my pregnancy. The staff at Liberty were amazing. They taught me life skills, and even held adoption and parenting classes for me and the other mothers living there. My stay there helped confirm my decision of open adoption for my birth son.
When the time came to find a family for my birth son, I felt very determined and anxious. After searching through countless prospective Adoptive Parent Profiles, I narrowed down my decision between two families. After meeting with and interviewing these two families in person, I chose one. Throughout my search of a forever mother and father for my birth son, I also felt supported and not judged by the adoption agency staff. The staff encouraged me to take my time when looking through the profiles of prospective adoptive couples. By the time I was searching for parents for my birth son, I was very much confident in my decision of open adoption because I knew that I could not parent my birth son and provide for him at that time in my life.
After my son was born, reality set in, and it was hard leaving the hospital without him. It’s not a natural situation - To leave a child you just gave birth to. So, that day was confusing, frustrating, and full of a range of complicated feelings. However, the nurses at the hospital were compassionate, trained and understood my situation, as well as respected my decision of adoption. I knew my birth son was in good hands. I also prepared myself, before my son was born, for that moment in the hospital where I would have to leave without him. So I wasn’t as scared as I thought I would be and honestly, that day was not as hard for me as it could have been.
I want the world to understand that birth mother's really love their birth child. We place our child's needs above our own wants and desires. It's not that we do not want our child, it's that we are not in a position to parent at that moment in our lives. Open adoption is a wonderful option for women who have exhausted all possibilities to parent their child. We want what's best for our child. We choose life for our child, and courageously place our child with a family who is in a stable position to parent children. It's a wonderful feeling knowing that our baby is in a safe and stable environment.
I would like to see unfair stereotypes disappear. False ideologies, such as “Birth Mothers do not want their child,” or “Birth Mothers gave their child away.” These unfair or false stereotypes are created by our culture and society who are not familiar or knowledgeable with this type of act of love.
It can be a very complicated thing for a person to understand or comprehend. One, because open adoption is not talked about in the mainstream media. Two, it seems that people are not as interested in educating themselves on open adoption today. Adoption has evolved drastically within the past ten years, and our society needs to embrace the adoption that is today, versus sticking with how adoption was before the 1960's, when children really were, involuntarily and unfortunately, taken by their mother's by Social Workers and placed with another family.
Last Spring we were fortunate enough to interview Callie for our Podcast, to listen to her story and wisdom, please visit here : Callie's Podcast Interview
Callie is the founder of Talk About Adoption, a nonprofit organization that promotes talking about adoption "so that people will know that parenting and adoption are the only rewarding option for an unplanned pregnancy."
She and her team Sidewalk Advocate, where they gently educate women facing unplanned pregnancies about the realities of adoption. To learn more, please visit: www.talkaboutadoption.org