Making the Right Decision
The McQuaids took the baby home with them that night, and Jennifer signed the relinquishment papers the next day. That night, she sent the McQuaids an email: "I know I've made the right decision, and you're the right parents for my baby girl."
Although they live 15 minutes from each other, drop-ins don't happen. "We text," Jennifer says, "and they email photos." She and her family attend holiday gatherings and birthdays.
Now 23, Jennifer is living with her boyfriend and working in a family day-care center. When she visits, the McQuaid girls run to her, calling her "Jennie" or "Birth Mom." Her daughter Julie, now nearly 4, is the spitting image of her as a child, she says. "I'm happy they've let her know what's going on, and that I'm not just a nice lady who comes around," Jennifer says.
At a recent visit, Julie pointed to Jennifer and said, "I grew in your tummy." Then she pointed to Tracy: "And I grew in Mommy's heart."
Originally published in the October 2009 issue of American Baby magazine.