by Debbie Gruber / photo: Claire Mills
Claire Mills, a 25 year-old single nurse, helped deliver baby Jackson. He was a preemie, born five weeks early and weighing under four pounds.
Delivering him and later caring for him in the NICU, she fell in love with him. And, she fell hard. Mills said, "The moment he came out, I felt a bond with him. His soul seemed so familiar to me. The NICU team and I got him settled, and I still wasn’t able to shake the feeling. I had so much love for this baby.”
Soon after leaving the hospital, Jackson's biological mom put him up for adoption. She didn't feel she had the means to care for him and wanted to give him a better life than what she could provide.
When Mills discovered that Jackson needed a home, she felt "it was a sign from God" that he was meant to be her son.
“I looked into all of the logistics and found out all that would need to be done in order to adopt him,” she said. “So many little pieces came together in order to make all of this happen."
“The first week I had Jackson was full of an overwhelming amount of mixed emotions. From doubt to reassurance. I cried every day! One minute it was because I was questioning whether or not I could do this and the next I was crying because of the overwhelming amount of love and support we were getting. So many people from different walks of my life were reaching out and sending us things to help with this transition and that was so reassuring. I can’t even express the gratitude we have to everyone who has helped us."
Another challenge she faces is figuring out the relationship with Jackson’s biological family.
“I would love to have an open relationship between all of us and have them and his siblings play a significant role in his life, but with the right boundaries so that he isn’t disappointed or confused. That’s something I pray about often. Who am I to stop someone from giving my son more love,” she said.
At four months old, Jackson weighs in at a healthy 11 pounds, 12 ounces. He loves people.
Your Turn . . .
What do you think of Clair and Jackson's journey?