Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy 30th Birthday To My Firstborn; Jeremy!

Thirty years ago today, I gave birth to a beautiful bouncing baby boy. He was born on a Sunday evening at 8:04 pm, weighed 8 lbs 6 oz. and was 20 " long. I had NOTHING prepared for a baby, in fact, because I was a single mom and he was obviously unplanned, I had decided to give him up for adoption...not because I didn't want him, but because I thought it would be best for him to have a mom and a dad. Back in 1979, I knew of a few single moms that had kept their babies, but no one in our family had, and I had no idea how or if that would be an acceptable option for me. I knew that I had to hold him and feed him in the hospital though, and thought that I was prepared to unselfishly give him up to a couple that could not have children. What I hadn't planned on, was falling in love-at-first-sight with my son...( This is the only copy I have of his hospital picture. I wish it was in better shape.)

When my mother came to pick me up from the hospital, I told her I wanted to go down to the nursery to say goodbye to my son, one more time. As I was looking through the glass at this little miracle, a tear started to stream down my face, with the thought that I would likely never see him again...or at least not until he was 18 and decided to look me up. (and 30 years later as I type this, they are streaming down my face again)

I said goodbye to him, we walked to the elevator...and once inside, I started bawling. I knew right then and there that I couldn't do it. I went home, went up to my room and could NOT stop crying. Eventually, I got up the courage to go downstairs and tell my mother that I had decided to keep him. She said, "I was hoping you'd say that!" All this time, she (in her infinite motherly wisdom) had tried not to sway me at all as to what to do, and just said that it had to be MY decision. I guess she didn't want me to blame her if I regretted a choice that she helped me make. I told her it was probably selfish on my part, but I KNEW that I would always regret giving him up, and I could NEVER regret keeping my own child. After all, it wasn't like I was a teenager...I was 20 going on 21...I was old enough to be a mom, wasn't I? He spent 10 days in foster care while I found us an efficiency apartment to live in, and I brought him home. I named him Jeremy Robert.
Here he is at about 6 months old. He was sooo cute! And don't you just love the huge '80's glasses on his skinny mommy?

Jeremy's first birthday, and no I did not make that cake. I had actually ordered one, but didn't get it picked up before the bakery closed. We had his party at Grandpa and Grandma's and Grandma had just happened to have baked an applesauce cake or something, so we put his #1 candle on it. The one holding him is my youngest sister, Kathy and the rest are all his cousins.

This was right around that time too, right after he started walking pretty well. People used to mistake him for a girl, because of his long eyelashes. They always said he was "too pretty to be a boy." Because of that, I always tried to dress him as boyishly as possible, hence the overalls and work boots.


Jeremy at around 1 1/2 with his "blankie". He was just over two years old when I got married, and my husband adopted him.

Twelve days after Jeremy turned 3 years old, he became a big brother. While I was pregnant with her, he would tell everyone, "It will be a girl and we will name her Jessica." It was...and we did. Jeremy has always adored his little sister and I don't think to this day, they have ever even had an argument. Fifteen months later, he had a little brother too. Although they get along pretty good these days, I can NOT say they never had an argument. There were times when I was afraid he and Joel were going to re-enact the Cain and Abel story. we come. He was so smart, that he always told me he was bored in school because he already knew everything they were supposed to be learning. I don't doubt it.

Fast-forward to age 8, where he is blowing out the candles on one of the many cakes that I DID decorate for him. Original, don't you think? It was about that time that he and I joined the Cub Scouts...I'll bet most of you didn't even know I used to be a card-carrying member of the B.S.A.

Here they are as WeBeLos. That's him, with the hat on, next to me. He was growing up, and I was obviously growing...out! I still remember most of these guys' names...Wow! I suppose they are all around 30 year old now too!

I'm pretty sure this one is right around age 13. The glasses look rather large, but that's the way we wore them "back in the day."

Still a cute kid around the age of 16, we finally got him contacts. That really seemed to bolster Jeremy's self esteem, and I wished that we had done it sooner. He really seemed to come out of his shell after that. While he was still in High School, Jeremy decided he wanted to join the army. I wasn't really thrilled with this decision, but he was determined and I was proud of him for choosing to serve his country.

He had to leave for basic training on June 26th, 1997, just 6 months and 10 days after his baby sister, Molly was born. We had a graduation/going away party for him. Here's the cake I decorated for that occasion.

Here he is in uniform. He went to language school in the army and learned Russian of all things, in about 14 months. I'm pretty sure I could study Russian all my life, and NEVER learn to speak it fluently, but he did. Thankfully, he never had to leave the U.S. in those four years, other than a quick trip for training to South Korea. While he was in the army, he met and married a woman, who was also in the service, in August of 2000.

On January 7, 2003, Jeremy became a father to Alexander James, our first grandchild.

Here they are about a year and a half later, I'd guess. Sometime after this picture was taken, Jeremy and his wife were divorced, but they both still live in the Phoenix area.
Now Jeremy only has Alex with him every other weekend or so. Here they are in a more recent photo. I'd love to be able to visit them, especially during our long Minnesota winters, but our current financial situation will not allow for that. Hopefully, they'll be able to afford to visit us here next Summer sometime. I miss them both very much.

(I still think he's pretty cute.)

Jeremy, I'm so glad I decided to raise you myself. As I said when you were born, I could never (and have never) regretted keeping you. You may have been better off financially with a different family, but there is not another mother on earth that could have loved you as much as I did, and still do. You're a great son. Happy Birthday Jeremy!!! With all my love, Mom.


Sarah said...

Happy Birthday to Jeremy! This is a great post, Jeannie! I had considered adoption with Nathaniel, and I am so thankful that the choice was to raise him myself. I can relate with you on this one...

WOW~ That picture of you holding Jeremy, I see Jessica totally! And, the picture of Jeremy blowing out the candles, I see Christian. Family resemblance is sure strong!

Qtpies7 said...

Wow, aren't you all mushy? LOL
I didn't have to make that choice with Drew, even though I was a teenager, but things could easily have been different.

Happy birthday, Jeremy!

tara said...

what a sweet story! I had my son when I was almost 20. I was very scared too, but it all worked out, and I cannot imagine any other way! Loved all the pictures!

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