Adoption saved my newborn from abusive father

by Jessica Wagner
(Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

I wasn't really ever abused as a child, but I was as an adult. I was in a very abusive relationship with my now ex-boyfriend for almost 5 years. We started dating in high school. I was kicked out of my house 2 months before graduation because my parents didn't like me dating a black man. Once me and my ex started living together the abuse really started. He held a shot gun to my head, burned me, punched, kicked, spit and even peed on me. He made me feel like I was worthless and could never find anyone who would want to be with me other then him. Well, I ended up getting pregnant by him when I was just 18.


One day, me and my ex got into a fight over me letting my mother in our apartment. When I stuck up for my mother he punched me in the face. We were on the way to my work at the time, and I told him to take me home because I wasn't trying to go into work looking like I did. When we got back to the apartment, he threw me to the floor and started kicking me in my back—I was 7 months pregnant. From that moment on, I knew that I was in no place to raise a child, especially with an abusive boyfriend who told me from day one that he didn't want a child.

I decided to give my boy up for adoption, an open adoption where I would be able to keep contact and get pictures as he grew. I know that it was one of the best decisions I could have ever made. I did not want to have a child who would one day be writing on a website like this about how abusive his father was.

I've read all of your stories and I feel for each one of you. I may not have been abused as a child, but knowing how it felt to be treated the way I was as an adult makes me sick to think about what these innocent children go through.

I have grown into a strong adult because of what happened to me. I am now happily married with 2 beautiful boys. I do still get pics and letters from my first child who is 12 now.

I found this site and have read many stories. I know my husband thinks I am weird because I read things like this and it makes me cry. I guess I do it because I want to feel all of the sadness from these stories. I think it makes me appreciate things so much more and it also helps me to make sure that I am a good parent to my children now. I feel for all of you and I hope that everyone will have the courage to get the help they need. Stay strong, and keep in mind that there are people out there that do want to help. God bless all of you!

Darlene's comments to this Child Abuse Commentary "Adoption saved my newborn from abusive father" are at the link below.

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Mar 19, 2008
You did what a mother is supposed to do: protect her child
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

What turmoil you must have gone through, Jessica; but it didn't cloud your judgment over what you knew you had to do to protect your son. Putting your baby up for adoption was a very self-less act. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm delighted that this site has helped to make you a better parent to your sons.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Apr 02, 2008
Thank you
by: Jessica

Thank you for your words of wisdom. I really have never opened up about some of the things I have been thru. I've told my husband what he needs to know, but no details. Sometimes I wish I could confront my ex and ask him if he ever feels sorry or bad for what he did to me. My husband does not understand this at all, but I just feel that I wish I had some closure sometimes.
I also am in conflict about what to tell my adopted son should he ever ask what happened. Do I tell him the truth or just leave it in the past?
But I do appreciate your understanding in this matter...it is actually nice to have someone who can understand what I have been thru. Thank you again.
Jessica

Apr 02, 2008
Your question about what to tell your son, if the subject comes up...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Jessica, I'm not a child psychologist, so anything I offer is strictly a personal opinion.

I do not believe that parents, whether they are adoptive, birth or foster parents, should ever burden their children with adult problems. What a parent tells a child should always take into account the child's age, development and need to understand. Although you are asking because you anticipate the questions may come up in the future, as time goes forward and you grow and heal yourself, you may well become more comfortable with the fact that these things did happen. As you do heal and recover, you may find that the answers will come to you more naturally. The most important thing your son should know is that you love him. It sounds to me as though you are showing him that love now.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

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