I was 23 and already had one child when I found out I was pregnant again. I was in shock. I must have taken four or five tests just to be sure. I didn’t want to disappoint my family and friends, and I was terrified they would disown me. I was afraid because I didn’t know how I was going to handle raising another baby.
During my first prenatal checkup, I had a conversation with the nurse practitioner regarding my situation. She gave me a pamphlet from Adoption Associates as an option to consider. I took the pamphlet home, read through it, and started to really consider adoption. I called AAI and set up an initial meeting to gain more information on adoption. After my meeting, I felt confident I was making the right decision.
The Adoption Process
I wouldn’t change one thing about my experiences during the adoption process. My caseworker, Belinda, was encouraging, loving, and respectful of my feelings. Having her support made me a stronger person. The most challenging thing I faced during this process was selecting the “perfect” family. I must have viewed over 100 profiles. Eventually, God led me to Eric and Carrie. From the first day we met, I knew I had made the right choice. From that point forward everything became much easier, and I was able to develop a wonderful relationship with them during my pregnancy. Even during the rough times, when my emotions were all over the place, I had an unconditional peace that confirmed my decision was the right one.
The Hospital Stay
My best friend, Karen, was my birth coach, and she played a big part in the hospital experience for me. She and my mom helped me deal with all of the difficult emotions I was facing that day. I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. After holding her in my arms and saying a quick good-bye prayer, I invited Eric and Carrie into the room and handed them their new baby girl, Melissa Grace. That amazing feeling will stay with me for the rest of my life. I took joy in watching Eric and Carrie fall in love with their new daughter, and I continue to feel peace in my decision.
A Special Scrapbook
The day I left the hospital, Eric and Carrie presented me with a scrapbook they had put together with a history of their family, our journey together during the pregnancy, and even photos from the hospital that they quickly added. We all cried together. My biggest fear was not of losing the baby, but of losing my relationship with Eric and Carrie because I felt so close to them. Even though I had just made the biggest sacrifice, I knew Melissa would be loved, provided for, and raised the way I desired her to be.
When I think about the journey I went though this past year and all of the experiences I had, I wouldn’t change anything about it. I still feel I made the right decision by choosing adoption, choosing Adoption Associates, and most importantly, choosing Eric and Carrie as the adoptive parents.
I am a very, very strong person today. My relationship with Eric and Carrie has not changed one bit. We are still as close as we were a year ago. My career is beginning to take off, I live in a new apartment, I attend a wonderful and supportive church, and my relationships with family and friends have become stronger. I feel happy with who I am.
Sharing My Story
I think it is important to share my story with other people because I want to remind these women that God loves them, cares for them, and wants to lead them through the decision-making and adoption process as well. God provided the strength I needed to overcome this difficult time in my life, and He wants to assist others in similar circumstances. I also want to help others feel as though they can talk about their fears, concerns, and expectations after they release the child to the adoptive family. Most importantly, I want to express my deep love for Eric and Carrie. I have so much respect for them as Melissa’s parents, and I appreciate the incredible care they give to her. I truly believe that our bond will never be broken.
A Few Words of Advice
My advice for someone facing an unplanned pregnancy is to be honest with yourself, your family, and the people who support you. If you feel that you cannot take care of the child you are about to have, consider adoption as an alternative. There are thousands of people wanting children to complete their families and it is such a blessing to know that you can provide that gift. Although some people may look down on you for the choice you made, the end result is amazing! I would do the same thing if I was faced with the choice all over again.