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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.

Ididn't give birth in my home state. When I look back I think that was agood thing. I can't really explain it but the world changed for meafter I left the hospital, after saying my good byes. The state I gavebirth 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 daughteror I to ever know each other's identity. I have no idea what her lastname is and she may never know mine. While the state does have anadoption registry it still makes it tough to ever find each other if wewant to.

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

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

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

A partof me felt this was going to happen. That I would just becomeunimportant. While it broke my heart, I accepted it. I had no controlover it. I trusted that the parents I picked were still doing anamazing job.

When my mom came to visit me awhile ago she brought my mail that still comes to her doors. It was alone letter. Flat and thin I didn't recognize the return address. I hadno idea what I was about to read.

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

I had noidea how to respond to this letter. It took me time. Knowing that thefamily still cared about my feelings, that I could see my daughter'sface, know her favorite toys and food. That the window to her world andlife was open again was amazing and I was almost afraid to lookthrough. The thought of a picture of her smiling face, seeing the joyin 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.