My name is Candice Akins and I am a birth mother who experiences an open adoption. I placed my daughter for adoption 13 years ago and it was the best choice I could have ever made. I was 18 years old, in high school; I had one daughter, expecting another one, and was in a very unstable environment. I could barely care for myself, less known two children. I remember thinking, what am I going to do? How am I going to care for 3 people? God, please help me. I felt alone, ashamed, embarrassed, lost, and no cause. I remember watching the Maury Povich show, “I want to know my birth mother.” I was exactly 5 months pregnant and I remember crying the entire show saying, “That’s going to be me.” I believe it was God’s message, because every episode of the Maury shows were about birth mothers and placed children searching for their loved ones. I remember crying myself to sleep every afternoon at 12 pm, feeling the flutters of my baby girl comforting me. I began contacting several adoption agencies trying to figure out my options. Everyone was the same you have 10 days, we’ll keep her, you can visit, and on the 10th day you decide what you would like to do. I thought there has got to be a better way. I met one agent at the Waffle House and we talked for hours, she was so comforting, I trusted her, however I still wasn’t at peace. As my due date approached, I had a dream. I was standing in this all white kitchen and there was someone pouring me orange juice with no face. I woke up wondering, who has a white kitchen? Why in the world am I dreaming about someone with no face? I went puzzled for months. I called several family members asking who has a white kitchen. When I went to visit other’s, I would go to their kitchen hoping to find it white and when it wasn’t it left me puzzled. Who has a white kitchen?!
November 8th, 2001 I had my husband, then my boyfriend drop me off at the hospital at 6 am. I checked in anonymous, I wanted to be alone, I wanted to face this decision alone, I knew this would be the day I would never see my daughter again. At 11:30 am November 8th, 2001 a 7 ½ lb baby girl was born- Jaylen Sharell Lasley. I cried for hours. Shortly after my delivery the Lady from the agency came to my room with a car seat. We talked for hours, she comforted me as I cried and I still wasn’t at peace. At that time I asked God, “Please help me, just please help me.” Funny, my nurse came in and in this beautiful African accent she said, “Darling, are you ok? I have a family that wants to adopt, let me call them.” My face dropped, this couldn’t be true. A few short hours later, a couple walks in with this beautiful halo. Before I could speak to the couple, I turned around and asked the Lady from the adoption agency to leave and I wouldn’t need her services.
The couple and I talked for hours, we cried together, we prayed together and I was at peace. After hours of talking we found out we attend the same church and we lived 15 minutes away from each other. I thought, MY GOD YOU ARE AWESOME! After talking and being at peace, I allowed the couple to take my daughter home. On the 7th day, I contacted the couple and asked them to adopt my daughter. They were delighted and so was I. A couple of weeks passed by and I went to their home for lunch. I played with Jaylen and my 1 year old daughter was over joyed with the baby. As we walk to have lunch, I entered into the kitchen and my mouth dropped, it was the white kitchen and there the adoptive mother stood pouring my orange juice. I couldn’t do anything but stand there in awe and in confusion. I remember saying, “This can’t be! This can’t be?” I shared my dream and we all cried like babies. Jaylen is now 13 and is a big part of my family. The adoptive parents allow Jaylen to spend the night, come over, hang out, shop, spend time with my 14 year old daughter and I couldn’t ask for a better situation. I’ve since been married for 11 years to my high school sweetheart we have a 14, 9, & 7 year old and one on the way…. and yes you guessed it, it’s another girl! I have become an active adoption mentor with the Adoption Network of Unicorns and I’m very excited to extend my support to other birth mothers. It is so important for faces of adoptions to be shown because we create the rainbow of beautiful colors and our love is the pot of gold. It allows other’s to know they are not alone and it is the most selfless action that any person can do. It’s a sign of humbleness. My name is Candice and I am a birth mother.