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Published Wednesday June 24th, 2009 at 12:02pm

Original Article by Tara Altier

I've always wanted to be a mom. I can't remember wanting anything different. I went through a boys suck stage when I was 10 or 11 and claimed I would never get married. My mother asked me how I would have a baby without ever marrying and I promptly answered "I'll adopt". Being a mom was always my plan.

I was blessed in high school to have a young love, my first love, when I was a senior in high school. We got to know each other over a summer and became 'official' by the start of the school year. I remember thinking that I had it made.

Things got complicated though. I started my final semester of high school and was waiting for test results to see if I had graduated early when I found myself pregnant. I was in total shock that night when those two pink lines appeared in my life followed by denial. I was 11 weeks along by the time I saw a gyno.

I knew from the moment I realized I was pregnant that adoption was the best route. I personally could never terminate a pregnancy and being an adopted child I knew the blessings I could give a couple. I had a cousin that worked for an adoption agency and she helped me look for some good parents.

Over the next weeks and month I ate egg salad sandwiches for breakfast, slept a solid 12 hours every night, felt the first kicks, felt the first movements, and little by little fell in love with the little girl I was carrying. It was such a bittersweet time for me. I was feeling all the first things of being a mother but knowing my baby would be for another.

I went into labor the evening of November 10th and thirteen and half hours later I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on November 11th. She was 6 pound 15 ounces of pure wonderful. I still remember being utterly speechless the first time I held her. I was so overwhelmed with this pure unconditional powerful love that was washing over me.

24 hours later I couldn't let go over her, I felt I couldn't go through with the adoption. I loved her so much and how can a mother give away her child? How was I supposed to walk away from this little life I had created and cared for all these months? How would she ever know I loved her with every ounce of my being, with ever part of heart and soul, and that I would give my life for her life if she was with someone else?

I was 19 years old with no job, no money, and nowhere for us. I had to ask a nurse how to change a poopy diaper. After a long day and night, after shedding so many many tears, I knew that it wasn't my time to be a mom yet. With tears and a broken heart I signed the adoption papers, said my goodbyes with kisses, and placed her in the hands of a nurse.

I know my little girl is in a loving home with two wonderful loving parents. I know she is cared for and has everything she could need or want. She has more than I could have given her as 19 year old mother.

I can't even get through writing this without sobbing. I miss my first born little girl every day. I love her more every day and a part of my heart will always be broken.

Today, November 11th, she is 5 years old.

Happy Birthday Baby, I love you.

Part 2:

There is much of the story I didn't tell you. So many layers. So many details.

I didn't give birth in my home state. When I look back I think that was a good thing. I can't really explain it but the world changed for me after I left the hospital, after saying my good byes. The state I gave birth in though only had closed adoption laws (at the time, don't know about now). What that basically does, besides no contact with the adopting family, is not allow my daughter or I to ever know each other's identity. I have no idea what her last name is and she may never know mine. While the state does have an adoption registry it still makes it tough to ever find each other if we want to.

The adoption agency I went through though allows an option of semi-open. This means that pictures and letters can be exchanged through the agency. I choose this option. I wanted to know that I had done the right thing, I wanted some piece of mind that my daughter was loved and cared for. It made me feel like I was doing something right, by making sure she was ok.

I cherished those first photos I received. I sobbed reading the letter and seeing her beautiful face once again. It was such a bittersweet thing. So many pictures of her with her grandparents, aunt, uncles, cousins, so much family that loved her. The first year pictures come often, every few months because of how quickly babies grow and change. Eventually the pictures slow down to once a year, around their birthdays. I haunted my mail box in the Fall.

Eventually the photos and letters stopped coming. I knew this was a risk I took. The closed adoption papers state that any contract between the birthmother and family is null and void if it is non compliant with state law. So if the family wants to stop writing letters and sending pictures, I have no say in the matter.

A part of me felt this was going to happen. That I would just become unimportant. While it broke my heart, I accepted it. I had no control over it. I trusted that the parents I picked were still doing an amazing job.

When my mom came to visit me a while ago she brought my mail that still comes to her doors. It was a lone letter. Flat and thin I didn't recognize the return address. I had no idea what I was about to read.

It was the adoption agency. The have letters and pictures waiting for me. They had been trying to contact me but since all the numbers had changed, as well as my email, they had no idea if I still lived at the address. It was a shock to my system. I had come to terms with never seeing another photo or reading another letter.

I had no idea how to respond to this letter. It took me time. Knowing that the family still cared about my feelings, that I could see my daughter's face, know her favorite toys and food. That the window to her world and life was open again was amazing and I was almost afraid to look through. The thought of a picture of her smiling face, seeing the joy in her eyes, and the love of her parents brought joy to my heart.

I made the call, I gave them my new address and number. I anxiously haunt my mail box.