The Two of Us
A Story of True Love
In the summer of 2016, I managed to travel from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Rapid City, South Dakota to do some research for a romance novel I had been writing. While I was there, I met and made friends with some Lakota and other folks alike, but one Lakota man in particular held my attention and I began a relationship with him. His name was Randy, the middle child of a three brother household. Randy was very outgoing; someone I would have considered to have a very upbeat and friendly personality. My first impression of him was also that he had a good head on his shoulders and would make a very good talking companion to perhaps gain some of the information I was looking for, from.
It had been at least 20 years since I’d been in a relationship, having been divorced since 1998 and I wanted to know this man more, so I spent all the time with Randy that I could. As time went on though, I saw more of the problems and issues Randy faced and I was starting to feel terribly mistreated by him. Randy drank for many reasons and gambled too, but of course, I never saw this until I got caught up in him. He never raised a hand to me in violence, thank God; he was just mean spirited most of the time. I told him many times that I wanted to be treated better, but that never worked either. Randy would always apologize and say he would try, but it never happened.
Delivery and the First Year
My son, Michael was born on Sunday, October 29th, at 1:29 AM, at Rapid City Regional Hospital and he wasn’t all too happy to leave the safety and warmth of his mother’s womb either. Once the initial shock of being yanked into the new world wore off however, I think Michael settled down quite nicely. The concept of adopting my son out had been a part of my reality ever since I’d known I was pregnant with him. After I’d had him though; I realized that I couldn’t just hand Michael over to the hospital cold turkey. I really wanted to spend some time with him, to get to know him better and see what his personality would be like. I wanted to be the first person to find out what he would like in the start and hold him when he cried. I wasn’t exactly certain how we would make things work for us, but my faith in God has been strong for quite some time, even during times when I thought it wasn’t so much.
I didn’t have a whole lot of luck in finding housing for Michael and I while in Rapid City. There just wasn’t anyone willing to rent out to woman who barely got $400 dollars from the state every month, so I decided I wanted to share some of my own hometown with my new baby and I had the shelter send us back to Tennessee. We stayed at a Salvation Army shelter in Bristol for about a month ad then were given the chance to move into a private shelter run by an Apostolic minister and her husband. Michael and I were there from the middle of March, to the start of May, then moved into our own housing, with their help.
I was able to raise Michael for a wonderful year and a half on my own; until the limitations of transportation and money were more than I could deal with. No matter how much I wanted to keep him, or how hard I tried to make it work, I just couldn’t do everything on my own for the both of us, so I prayed and asked God for a clear answer and you know what he told me? God said that not even he could make the final decision for me, that I would know what’s best for Michael given my own circumstances as a child.
The Hardest Decision I've Ever Had to Make
I surrendered Michael over to Bethany Christian Services on Monday, July 1st, 2019 and we’ve been apart for a year already. It’s an open adoption, so I do get to keep in touch and even get to visit once in a while. I get pictures of Michael and receive reports on his progress. He’s doing so well, thriving even and I’m so proud of him. Michael will turn three soon. He’s growing up so fast. His new family is very sweet, they have involved Michael in everything from camping to fishing and have gotten him acquainted with chickens and horses, dogs and cats, as well as some wonderful, loving people that I know adore Michael as much as I do.
During this pandemic that we are all facing; I am trying to keep faith. Even before this time, there have been times I have awakened from dreams with Michael in them, I have cried buckets of tears for missing him and I have screamed out in pain of wanting him back desperately. I pray that one day, I will see my little one again very soon, but if not now, then I will just have to keep believing that God will arrange a meeting for us as soon as is possible. My story is an ongoing example of faith on a perpetual basis and perhaps it will inspire other birth mothers who have gone through similar circumstances, not to lose heart, as some day we will be with our children again.
Tricia Tipton (author) from Kingsport, Tennessee on September 01, 2020:
Hello Martha, what's on your mind?