This coming fall our 2018 Birth Parent Scholarship winner is taking their talents to Salisbury University. Felix is hoping to use a nursing career to help make a difference in the lives of others who have struggled with their mental health. Felix’s preferred pronouns are they/them as they identify themselves as non-binary.
Adoptions From The Heart (AFTH) receives hundreds of essays from birth parents who are determined to pursue a degree in higher education. In the essays, the birth parents will tell us a little bit about themselves, their adoption experience and their future career goals. It is an honor to present Felix with the $5,000 Birth Parent Scholarship. Our directors and board members were blown away by Felix’s story. Felix is a tenacious individual who was determined to succeed despite the hurdles they encountered during pregnancy.
It was March 2016, the exact year and month when Felix discovered they were pregnant. Felix was a 24 year-old living in Northern Virginia struggling to pay bills from the meager income they received working days and nights as an Uber driver. Aside from the financial stress, there was plenty of tension at home with their roommates. They spent months trying to create a better life for themselves in order to feel happy and settled. They were taking the necessary steps to prevent any sort unplanned pregnancy by going on birth control.
Felix’s life changed the day they took a pregnancy test confirming their worst fear, they were expecting. The realization of the pregnancy felt like a moment of defeat despite all of their efforts to turn their life around. After exploring all of their options, Felix and their ex-boyfriend agreed that adoption was the right choice for their daughter. Felix’s family were not supportive of their decision to place the baby for adoption. Felix experienced hurtful sentiments and threats to cut them out of the family in response to the news.
Felix had the opportunity to live in dorms provided by their agency in Texas. While in Texas, they made the difficult but life-changing decision to enroll in programs specifically designed for battling depression. Felix gave birth to their daughter in October 2016. They fell in love with the baby girl the moment they laid eyes on her and held her. Felix was thankful for all the support from the staff at the outpatient programs during their pre and post placement grieving process.
One day during their enrollment, a psych tech from the program told them that they had the aptitude to become a psych nurse. People told Felix for years that they would excel in the field of nursing. The psych tech’s comment was anything but coincidental-it was a sign that Felix needs to pursue their true calling. The doctor diagnosed Felix with depression at just 4 years old, and since then they have had their fair share of mental health struggles. It is Felix’s passion to help others who have struggled like them and know that they are not alone in facing their demons.
“The fact that someone in that field believed I’d be successful in that field as well was a huge motivator,” said Felix in reference to what the psych tech told them.
In December 2016 Felix to moved back to the East Coast to live with their aunt temporarily. Although Felix had a place to live, they were naturally nervous about re-establishing themselves with finding a job. When Felix moved back they managed to land a job that would change their life. Felix accepted a position at a physical therapy center as their new physical therapy technician. For the first time in a long time Felix felt appreciated for their work ethic. One day on the job a patient came in who happened to be a psych nurse. Talking to this patient was a pivotal moment of inspiration for Felix to take the plunge and apply for nursing school.
Felix applied to Salisbury University and was accepted into the nursing program for the fall 2018 semester. Classes begin on August 27, 2018, and Felix is looking forward to this next chapter in their life. During the first semester they plan on participating in some extracurricular activities to meet new people. Felix was an active member of an LGBTQ club during their undergrad college years, and even served as the club’s Vice President. Joining an LGBTQ awareness club at Salisbury University is something that interests Felix.
In the end Felix is not only pursuing a higher education for themselves, but for their daughter as well.
“My daughter is a huge inspiration for me…I feel very motivated to be successful so that I can make her proud. I have learned a lot about myself in the past two years. I have people who believe in me. I believe in me. I know that nursing will be challenging but also fulfilling. I feel that I can make an impact as a psychiatric nurse. I have a passion for mental health and a nursing position is the best for me to utilize my strengths. I’m ready to dive in and make my dream a reality.”
There is not a doubt in our minds that Felix will become an important voice in mental health awareness. AFTH cannot wait to catch up with them at the end of November to see how the first semester went. We wish Felix nothing but unrivaled success!