A Birth Mother's Story.!
By Marissa M Couchon
David, Lost to adoption but never Forgotten.
I will never forget the Christmas Party at Shakey's Pizza Parlor, in the year of 1977. The Sacramento Sheriff's Department gave it every year shortly after Thanksgiving for all the deputy's and their families. I knew it would be the best time or should I say the safest time for me to give my announcement. We arrived dressed in our holiday finery. My mom was carrying my seven year old brother in one arm holding my eleven year old brother's hand in the other. I and my older brother were walking in front of my dad as we walked in the door. I was sixteen, my older brother was seventeen. After finding a table big enough for all six of us, my parents ordered our pizza and came back with a pitcher of root-beer. Once they were settled my brothers did exactly what I expected them to do and asked to have money to go play the games and they were gone. My parents gave all of us money but I lingered and asked if I could talk to both of them privately, meaning without the prying ears of my brothers,which they somehow understood.
I then took a deep breath, I was so scared, I was going to tell them. My father being a Sheriff and my mother a counselor, you may wonder why. Even though both my parents were in positions of comforting the public, they were not so with us. My father was physically abusive, using a half inch metal belt and sexually molesting me, my mother was mentally abusive, pitting us kids against each other showing obvious favoritism and denying what, she knew, my father was doing to me. I was terrified about what I had to tell them, they'd find out soon enough as it was anyway.
"I'm pregnant" blurted it out in a big whoosh of air. My mother gave me a look like "If we weren't here I'd kill you!" kind of look, and asked in a strained whispered voice "Whose is it?" Giving a quick shooting glance at my father. This time it wasn't his. "It's Roger's, but he doesn't know yet." "How far along?" mom asked, still talking in a coarse whisper. "Six months, so you can't abort it." I said in mild defiance. They had forced me through an abortion five years earlier when my father got me pregnant. I almost understood that , but at eleven it really was traumatic. " I want to keep it" still trying to be defiant but slowly loosing it. My mother looked at me dead in the eye and said "Where will you live, and how will you feed it?" I knew then they were not going to help me in any way. If I kept my baby I'd be on the streets at sixteen. Too young to work without a permit and no home to go home to. My mom being a counselor knew of options for me. "There's a home for Unwed mothers, you could go there till the baby is born and we can sort out your options till then."
We discussed talking to my brothers and determined it was best to only tell one brother. My older brother, the perfect one and Mom's favorite, would have to keep the secret. My other brothers were told I was going to a special school for art. It was believable because of my artistic talent that everyone even my grandmother believed it. One of the conditions/benefits of this was that I was to produce stuff to send home on a regular basis, to show what I was learning other than regular school stuff. This meant, I got whatever I asked for for art supplies. Charcoal pencils, erasers, Art paper, watercolor paint with the proper paper for it, and oil paints with canvas.
Roger A. Moore, was my baby's father. He was ruffian according to my parents. He was about 5'9" with red curly hair and a smile that kinda tipped to one side in a way that made him look like he was embarrassed by it. His right arm was normal but his left was only half as long as his right and only had 3 fingers. The Dr's had turned one finger around so it could be used as a thumb. Roger and I broke up about a month before I found out I was pregnant. I told him, once I knew for sure, even though I told my parents he didn't know. He wanted us to keep the baby. "My parents'll help out. You could move in with us. "I had to play grown up and said" Your house is too small for even the three of you, adding me and a baby would be too much and not fair to your parents or the baby. If we could get our own place then it would be different, but neither of us have jobs and we can't expect your parents to pay for everything." After a lot of going back and fourth over our options, I finally convinced him it was best for our baby to go to a family that could raise and support it in a way we couldn't. I think it was when I said "Besides, we broke up a long time ago. We shouldn't get back together just because I got pregnant." "Yeah, I guess your right." that he finally agreed. When I finally went back to the Unwed Mothers Home, he was in his trailer in his parents drive way, crying. I felt bad, but what was I supposed to do? At 16, I was too young to raise a child, I had to grow up myself. I did the hard way.
On January 16th, 1978 I gave birth to my son. It says on his birth certificate, Baby Boy Farrell. I just couldn't put the name I wanted on it. I wanted his new parents to feel like my baby was truly theirs. I was afraid if they saw a name on the birth certificate, they would feel like they were stealing something. So my son will never know I had picked the name David Allen for him. Unless he reads this, I guess. I got to hold my son before he went away, which wasn't normal then. Normally the baby is taken away immediately after birth, and the birth mom never sees the baby, unless she walked down the hall and looks thru a window. I lucked out because a new nurse, who had just started her shift, didn't know I was giving him up and brought him into me for his feeding time. I guess in the commotion of shift change someone forgot to tell her. I told her I can't feed him they gave me a shot to stop milk production. "It's okay, I'll get you a bottle" she said as she placed him in my arms and left me with him. I took advantage of the time I was with him to check all fingers and toes. To my relief there were no deformities, I was mildly worried because of Roger's arm. I even got to change his diaper. He had the cutest crooked smile, like his dad's. I was happy to have the chance to spend those few minutes with him. The nurse came back, apologizing profusely. "I'm sorry, I didn't realize." and she reached for him. I asked "Could I just feed him the one bottle?" and, I think, because she felt bad, she let me. Then promptly took him away saying "Don't tell on me." After she was gone, I cried. That was over thirty years ago and I still cry. If I could say just one thing to him it would be "I loved you enough to give you a decent chance at a happy life and I still do."
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