This story breaks my heart and makes me think of my son's birthmom. She gave birth to him at home because she was afraid they would take him from her, and she thought she would get clean after he was born. Before that, she thought she would get clean before her second trimester, and then her third, but then she rationalized it was just to hard to quit while she was pregnant, and that when he was born things would be different.

When he was two days old she went into the bathroom to shoot up heroin. She went into the bathroom because she didn't want to do it in front of him. As she was loading the needle she had the thought "I'm going to kill him. He's going to die if I keep doing this." And she pushed it to the side as yet another paranoid thought, but then stopped. He really could die, she realized. Then she thought "I have to save him."

She put the needle down and repeated this to herself like a mantra "I have to save him, I have to save him, I have to save him." She said it over and over, out loud, while she packed her back pack with his things. The things she had gotten at the sad, sparsely attended baby shower her step mom threw for her. A diaper cover and hat her stepmom crocheted, a receiving blanket printed with grey elephants, two childrens books (one about amelia earheart and one about albert einstein) and a pack of baby mittens to keep him from scratching his face. She gathered him up, and went outside, and got on a bus, and took the bus to the emergency room of the hospital, because the ER is what she thought of as "the hospital."

She told the triage person at the front desk that she wanted to "do the thing where I can leave my baby here." The front desk summoned a social worker, an amazing, patient woman who sat with her and explained she could surrender her baby and walk away, or she could put him into foster care and try to get clean, or she could choose a family to adopt him.

She didn't know if she would ever be able to quit heroin. But she never would have thought she could pick a family for him. She said that's what she wanted to do. "A family with other kids. And a dog."

Her baby was admitted to the hospital for heroin withdrawal symptoms and malnourishment, and she was taken to a room where the social worker brought her two books. The Family Books made by the two families, of hundreds of waiting families, willing to adopt a baby with such severe exposure who was being placed under such circumstances. She chose the family with an older child and two dogs.

That's when my phone rang, in my kitchen, 90 miles away. "This is Family Services. This is the call. You've been chosen."

The last thing she said to him before leaving the hospital was, "It's ok. You are going to be so happy in your new home, with your two dogs, and your big sister. It's ok. Your new mama already loves you. I can tell."

I think about this for two reasons. 1. My son's birthmom ripped her own heart out to save his life. Not only that, she walked away from the most powerful force in the world: a loaded needle in front of a heroin addict. She couldn't do it every day, but she could do it that one day, just to save him. That's how powerful her love was. And whatever anyone wants to say about the mistakes she made and the danger she placed him in, I can always tell him: she loved him. She loved him like a mother loves her child. 2. Anyone who says that addiction explains the behavior of the people in this article is full of shit.