Ashley will never be completely confident in her decision to give up her daughter, Callie, but for her baby, it was the right thing to do.
16 and Pregnant‘s Ashley Salazar had to make a heart-wrenching decision to give her daughter, Callie, up for adoption to her aunt and uncle. Now, 18, she struggles with her choice, which ultimately affects her every day. We must say for a young girl, Ashley made very difficult and mature decision, but she admits, “Adoption hurts like hell.”
“I honestly don’t think that I will ever be 100 percent confident in my decision. I suffer every day for it,” Ashley explains to RadarOnline.com. “Some days, I am right back to square one, feeling like I did in the hospital; confused, depressed and uncertain. The only thing that I am confident in is that she is taken care of every day and has everything she not only needs, but could ever want, as well.”
Thankfully Callie, now 1, is being raised by Ashley’s aunt and uncle, which gives Ashley the opportunity to visit her every now and then and remain a part of her life. “I see her every few months,” she says. “This last time, when she was almost a year old, she just changed so much — in her appearance especially. I couldn’t handle the initial encounter, and I literally just instantly left and broke down outside in the street. I just pushed all negative feelings aside the following day and enjoyed the time I am so blessed to be able to spend with her.”
Ashley recently left New York City, where she was studying, and is continuing to take classes closer to home in Texas, allowing her to see Callie even more. “Circumstances have suddenly brightened when the distance between us is a car ride as opposed to a plane flight,” she says.”I can take off any time.”
Ashley knows that her choice was the right one for Callie, but she sometimes wonders what her life might have been like if she made a different decision. “I think I might have been a tad bit happier, but the stress would have canceled some of that happiness out,” Ashley admits. “When I find out about all the expenses that my aunt and uncle have to take on, I feel relief. I do know, though, that Callie and I would have been just fine and happy together, but at what cost? I would never be around.”
If she were to give advice to other teen moms facing the same painful choice, Ashley would tell them one thing: “Do what you think is best for your child.” “Think long and hard about what you really want. Weigh out your options — pros and cons,” Ashley advises. “Think long and hard about what you want for your child, first of all. Try not to be so biased when your feelings get in the way, and try not to listen so much to other peoples’ inputs. It’s not worth it. It’s too confusing. You and of course, your child, are what matter the most. Lastly, I’m going to be honest, because I believe that teens need to know this beforehand: adoption hurts like hell. It could possibly destroy you for a while. You won’t be able to sleep. You won’t be able to eat. You won’t be able to look at other babies, and there will be days you might feel like you can’t go on living.”
But Ashley has realized that she can and will go on living — for Callie. “I really don’t know what I want to do in life, but everything is for Callie,” she says. “Callie made me want to make something of myself the moment that I found out I was pregnant. My beautiful girl is my rock, my light, and my inspiration for everything I do. I cease to exist without her.”