Every adoption story is different. Every reason for putting a child up for adoption is different.
My own mother was adopted when she was around four years old. According to my grandmother, the story was that my biological grandmother married into British royalty and had to hide her past.
My grandmother, I should note, was not known for her use of the truth. But as far as adoption stories go it is a good one.
When she was 18 years old, Hannah Mongie learned she was pregnant. She had met her son’s father, Kaden, when he was home from his mission with the Latter-Day Saints church.
The father was not able to join Mongie to hear the heartbeat at the doctor’s office, but she was able to text it to him. From her report, he rushed outside in his excitement over the sound.
Two days later he unexpectedly died in his sleep. Mongie says the weight of losing her partner and being a single parent was overwhelming to her and she decided to put her son up for adoption.
It was not from a lack of love or an easy decision. She reports she wrestled with the decision until it finally made sense to her.
In an act of bravery and strength, she decided to record a video for newborn son Taggart, Tagg for short. After his birth, she would only get two or three days with him where he was 100% hers.
She reflected on the journey on his first birthday, “If I could go back and live these three days of agony all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat. Happiest first birthday to the love of my love, my sweet Taggart Kaden Marsh. You will always be my first true love.”
In the last hour of those two or three days, she made a video. She described her great love for his father, her grief at his passing, and how giving him up for adoption was an act of love.
“Gosh your so cute you’re making this hard,” she says early on in the video and all of us watching can feel that difficulty.
“I made this decision purely out of love because I knew I couldn’t give you what I knew you needed which is a mommy and a daddy,” she say. “And I hope your daddy is watching over us right now. I bet he’s with me right now. Cause this is the hardest part and he wouldn’t leave me alone during this.”
The love didn’t end when she gave her Tagg up. Brad and Emily Marsh, the adoptive parents of Tagg, only live 10 minutes away from Mongie. She sees her son at least once a month but usually more often. He comes to her family parties and she to his. She has even babysat Tagg and his brothers.
“Rather than ‘giving him up’ or ‘away,’” Mongie explained, “I just adopted his entire family into mine. Including his extended family. We just grew, and everyone loves each other as if we’ve always been family. His mom Emily is still one of my best friends in the whole world. She honestly is everything I want to be as a person and a mother. I am so grateful that Tagg led me to her and their family. They are a blessing alone. And with Tagg, they are everything I need.”
Royalty or not, my mother never got such a story or connection with her birth mother. I know there are many folks reading this who are the children of adoption, been up for adoption, or beginning the adoption journey, I hope your story is as love-filled as Tagg’s.
I truly hope we will learn from Mongie the power of love. I don’t know if I could have been as strong as her.
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