Salena* has learned to surround herself with soft yarn.
Weaving a blanket out of chunky cotton thread for her son soothed her and helped her overcome a near debilitating episode of postpartum.
A few months into her pregnancy, Salena admitted she was extremely disappointed in herself.
As a child, Salena had watched her mother party.
After caring for her younger siblings, often for several days at a time, Salena would watch her mother stumble into their apartment, usually influenced by a cocktail of alcohol and drugs.
“I was never going to do that,” Salena said. “Never.”
One night, in a moment of weakness, the young girl got “crossfaded” – an urban term that refers to being drunk and high on marijuana at the same time. The rest of the party is hazy.
When she found out she was pregnant, she had no idea what to do. How would another child fit in the tiny apartment?
“I would have my baby and my siblings to care for,” Salena said. “I didn’t want that for any of us.”
For a time, Salena felt she might take the infant and live with her grandmother a few hours away.
“She is my rock,” Salena explained. “I loved my nana and can count on her. She taught me to cook and to crochet. Two things I love to do.”
Towards the very end of her pregnancy, Salena decided to place her little boy. Michelle from Heart to Heart provided Salina with profiles from potential families.
When potential adoptive families are presented to birth mothers, identifying information is removed, including last names, location, etc.
Usually, the adoptions are open, and at the time of placement, the information is shared, but while the birth mother is choosing, there is some anonymity.
Immediately Salena was drawn to a particular family. Within a few days, two weeks before her due date, she went into labor.
The potential adoptive family came. Salena held and hugged her little boy and wondered when she would ever see him again.
The answer was, “soon.”
“Out of all this big world,” Salena smiled. “I chose a family that lives close to my grandmother. I have the two things I love the best close to each other. And they get to see each other—my son and my grandmother. I’m so happy about that.”
Even feeling comforted with the “rightness” of her decision, Salena struggled with depression.
“She started crocheting,” Michell explained. “We encouraged her to crochet and got her yarn.”
The young mother crocheted a soft white afghan for her little child. The adoptive family visited with Salena and her grandmother. The baby seemed to understand the love incorporated in the blanket.
With help from the agency, Salena set up an Etsy account and made more blankets for newborns.
The adoptive family has supported her in this and encourages her every time they meet.
*names are changed