Yes, I acknowledge I got pregnant from a one-night stand. I feel guilty because my son doesn’t know his father and it’s possible that they will never meet. The night he cried about that fact broke my heart.

As mothers we want to protect our children from heartbreak and hardship. The one thing that is not in my power to give him is his biological father. He didn’t know that I’d gotten pregnant. Matter of fact, I never saw him again.

Rewind back to 2005, I am pregnant and, quite frankly, scared. My first thought was abortion. I know, awful. But I didn’t have money for one. At this point it’s safe to assume I did not want the baby. My next option was adoption.

I kept my pregnancy hidden from most family members. I used to stay in my room when my dad came to my apartment. Two people were happy for me: my best friends. They saw great things for my future child. Not me. I wallowed. I whined. I felt sorry for myself. I also had a six-year-old daughter.

I was not maternal. I didn’t talk to my belly.

So I met the family who was going to adopt my baby. They already had a young boy they had adopted. We talked on the phone weekly about anything and everything. I felt I made a good choice.

On the day I went into labor, I had no one in the delivery room except the midwives. My baby was a healthy boy who looked right at me when they handed him to me and I laid him on my shoulder. It was fate.

The adoptive family came to see me. I was clumsily changing his diaper when I realized I couldn’t let him go. I didn’t tell them while they were happily anticipating taking him home. I took the easy route and broke the news to the adoption coordinator, instead. She was not pleased.

I was told the family accepted my change of heart without argument. Perhaps it was a selfish decision, but I knew he was a special boy. Do I still wonder about that nice family and maybe they could have given him a better life? I haven’t for a while, and I do not regret my decision.

But one night my son was upset and my daughter tried to console him. She gets to see her dad and my son mentions on those occasions, “I wish I had a dad.” I guess it is hopeless for him when she leaves out to meet her father. Watching her go spend time with her dad is hard on my son. My daughter held him tight while he cried. She urged me to do the same. That little gesture helped him to feel better.

That was the first time I felt guilt consume me. It doesn’t dictate my every action, I just know that it’s there. Struck dumb, I could not find the words to make it better. I couldn’t say, “Don’t cry. It isn’t a big deal.” He is entitled to feel that pain of loss.

I know I can’t be mom and dad. Fathers have that masculine quality and strength that boys need. At times it’s depressing, but I live my life with positive thoughts. My son desperately wants to call someone Dad and I know someday that will happen. I’m a regular mom who is still learning new things about parenthood. I want people to know that even though he was conceived in less than ideal circumstances, I’m proud to be his mom.