Retro CPO: Thank You

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Each month we will feature a “retro” CPO article, one that is pulled from our archives of quarterly newsletters. Whenever possible we will provide details regarding the author and date of publication.

This month’s Retro CPO article is a letter to Cheryl Bauman, written by a birth grandmother, in Fall of 2006.

Dear Cheryl,

I love being a grandma! I can have such a horrid day and feel emotionally drained, but when I see my grandbaby, I am recharged and totally zoned out in grandma land. It feels so good to be around Zachary. I love that little boy sooooo much that I just want to gobble up those cheeks forever. He is such a joy in my life, and a joy and blessing to my daughter and the adoptive family.

The adoptive family, Dennis and Melissa, allow us to be a part of little Zachary’s life. His birth mother, Michelle, watches him through the day once a week during the summer. During school periods, the adoptive family creates times that we can spend with this amazing little boy. They have never said “no” to us seeing him, and it is so very apparent to us that little Zachary belongs to them. They love him, play with him, and nurture him just as if he were their own biological son.

Since I’m at work while Michelle is watching Zachary during the summer days, I have her video him listening to me talk over the speaker phone to him. I don’t want him to forget my voice. He might not get to see me much during the summer because I’m so busy, but at least when I do see him, he can match my voice up with my face and give his grandma a big smile.

When I am at Dennis and Melissa’s house with my daughter, I see my grandson’s sweet little face light up with joy with his mom and/or dad come home. Little Zachary has a  big brother, Mason, who adores his little brother.

It’s been almost nine months since Zachary was born. Going backwards in time to my daughter’s decision about keeping the baby or making an adoption plan was a difficult time period. She fought her own desires and emotions to keep her child and put this sweet, little, innocent baby ahead of herself. She was then faced with answering and sorting through difficult questions of what was best for her child. In the end, she decided her child needed to have the benefits of a two-parent, Christ-centered family in his everyday life who are financially stable, drug and alcohol free, and emotionally ready to love someone else’s baby. Once my daughter made her decision, there was no turning back. No matter how emotionally difficult her decision had been, she stayed focused on the baby’s needs and not her own selfish thoughts or feelings. She was truly amazing.

I’m very proud of my daughter. She mad a wise and difficult decision that I could not do when I became pregnant with my first child at age 17. I, too, was unmarried. I raised my son the best I could, but because I had not been raised with the nurture, love, and the right kind of attention that all children need, I really did not have a clue how to provide that for my own son. Unfortunately for my son, he was raised by a very immature, emotionally unstable mother–me. The real story here is about the unborn child. He is the one who cannot make decisions about his life, and is at the mercy of his birth mother. If I could do it all over again, and I knew that I could be a part of my son’s life while he was growing up, I so would place him with a loving, Christ-centered family that I could hand pick myself… just like Michelle did.

Had Zachary been raised by his birth mother, his life would be so different. HIs birth father is very troubled. He is mentally ill and self medicates with street drugs. He also has anger problems, is controlling, and gets in trouble with the law.

My daughter has moved on with her life and does not have any contact with the baby’s birth father. She has decided that although she still has deep feelings for this troubled young man, she is not going to let anything jeopardize her happiness or her visitation with her son. She is now dating a Christina young mad who treats her like the center of the universe. She very much feels like a mother for Zachary. She is very protective and close to him, just like a mother should be. Michelle is a senior this year and plans to go to college next year and become a dentist. All of the promises made by the birth father are gone and have  faded long ago, but it has been for the best, because now Zachary is free from having to live in turmoil with a father who isn’t stable and makes all of the wrong decisions, and a mother who is trying to finish school, go to college, and work at the same time, so that her future may be secure on her own some day. My daughter’s life is back on track, and she feels great about her son and her future. I see a happy ending to this story, grandma included.

What I never thought possible in a million years came true for my pregnant, unwed, teenaged daughter, Michelle. She had a baby boy and placed him with a lovely Christian couple to raise as their own, and made the decision to only date young men who had a plan for their lives. These are two huge blessings that I hand on to each day and thank God for!

Thank you, Cheryl, for allowing God to lead you in your mission with CPO. This is an awesome organization. I cannot begin to say thank you enough for all of the help through Michelle’s pregnancy, labor, the emotions, the FREE counseling, and everyone’s thoughts and prayers.