My name is Bennyra and I am a birth mom. What is a birth mom? A birth mom (or birth parent) is somebody who chooses to gift their child to another couple. I do not regret my decision, for I know my 5 month old son is in the care of loving, humble and selfless people who do not only desire to provide love, but also support in his life.
How ever, the journey of a birth parent does not begin when a child is born. The life changing journey begins when conception of the child is known.
When I found out I was 2 months pregnant on October 27, 2014, I was not afraid, I was more sad than anything else. I was homeless (sleeping on couches), I did not have a driver's license, a car, full of debt and did not have a job. The father of the child was somebody who I barely knew. We were not dating, we were just two 20 something's who encountered each other at a party.
Do you have support? I was asked by the nurse. I shook my head. I was alone and felt it heavier than ever.
I will not go into a lot of detail about the process, but after a failed adoption connection, the motivation of obtaining a job and support from folks who I knew in the community, (who have become close friends), I was connected to EPIC in Holland, MI from my friend Vince. EPIC stands for Empowering People In the Community. I took a 6 month course on financial management, work building skills and emotional regulation.
During that time, I was re-hired as an art instructor/event planner at a local art studio called Tulip City Panache and worked as a cashier at a grocery store. I worked two jobs, working 50+ hours per week. Vince held me accountable to saving my money. I refused to eat out (it was so difficult with a baby growing inside), obtained food from the local food bank, went to donation events to pick up living essentials and clothing. I also started a GoFund me, where I raised money that would go to paying off my debt. I called the collection agencies that I owed and negotiated monthly payments. I opened a savings account for the first time and kept track of my money through Mint.com. My work hours were increasing, while my debt was decreasing. My finances were looking up.
I was then connected to Always Hope Adoption Agency (owned by Tara), through my doula (Erica). During my 7th month of pregnancy, I paid off 4 debts of over $1000, got my driver license, was able to afford to rent a room at a house and looked into college classes for the next year. Always Hope Adoption connected me to the perfect couple, it was meant to be.
I then applied as an intern at a local farm (Eighth Day). I was accepted. As a farm intern, I would be provided with free housing, but this would begin until after the baby's due date.
I did not want to raise my son, in a life of unknowns. It would not be healthy or realistic for me to raise him on my own, while attempting to provide. For me, it was not an option to drag him into my messy life.
The happiest day of my life, was when his parents and I celebrated his birth. I promised myself I will do better for him.
Now, I am a student at a local community college (I hope to obtain a degree in Community Development and a minor in Spanish), I bought my first car and am an AmeriCorp member. I am currently serving as an AmeriCorp Program Assistant at a local non-profit. Every day is a day, where I deal with triggers, new emotions and uncertainties, but it is better now than ever before. I placed my son for adoption and that is more than enough motivation to say no more to poverty.