Feeling shame, my immediate knee-jerk reaction was that I had to hide this from my friends and most importantly, my family. Reaching out to a friend, I shared my secret. The only discussed choice/decision at that time was abortion. It went against EVERYTHING I believed.
I could never imagine having an abortion, until an unexpected pregnancy happened…to me.
I contacted an abortion clinic in KS to see what the next steps were. I was told to get a sonogram to see exactly how far along I was and that this would determine next steps, but something was tugging at my heart. In the very depths of my soul and heart, I knew I couldn’t go through with this decision, but I had to explore my options.
I went to a health clinic to get a sonogram and confirmed that I was four months along. I left with the sound of her heartbeat in my ears and heart and knew once I walked out the door, abortion was NOT the best decision.
But what was?
On to the next decision…marriage.
By this time my friend was deeply concerned for me and had called my mom to let her know I was pregnant. She knew my stance against abortion and was truly scared for me that I may make the wrong decision. Finally, after carrying this “burden, shame and uncertainty” around, I was able to open up.
Discussing my options with my mom (abortion was not mentioned as I had totally written that off), I told her I needed to get married because that would certainly solve everything! My daughter’s father was not someone whom I wanted to marry or unfortunately, even loved. Briefly discussing this option, my mom brought up adoption.
I remember my reaction was anger.
How dare someone think that I could just give my baby away. Forming a bond for nine months, sacrificing my body and emotions, for what? To leave empty handed from the hospital? I hated the mention of adoption. It went against all motherly instincts.
The reason I didn’t like the word adoption…I had never heard it before.
I didn’t truly understand what it meant or what it looked like. All I could remember were the horror stories of adoptive babies being returned because the adoptive family didn’t bond with the baby. It was a few days later that out of nowhere I came to peace with the word adoption, with the idea of adoption (even though I didn’t understand anything about it).
It was at that life changing moment that I realized, it’s not about me.
It wasn’t about how I felt about this decision, or what was best for me, but what was best for my daughter. It suddenly became fully about my daughter. This was surely God’s grace and love to give me the peace to pursue a decision that I knew nothing about, that would change my life but would give life to my daughter. Adoption it is.
Not knowing and seeing that God was already at work and had plans in place, my adoptive daughter’s family was already praying for us and God was knitting a new family together. This is a true testament to Jeremiah 1:5.
I began calling adoption clinics and was put in contact with a Christian adoption agency.
I first met with them to discuss what I was looking for in a family for my daughter. I had choices. I got to make decisions. I met with the counselor and on my second visit and was able to view profiles of potential families who were waiting to be matched with a birthmother.
I was handed five profiles. No pictures, just words.
Words that carried weight, words that shined light on who they were, words of power, words of encouragement. A letter to whomever chose them, to not worry, to keep strong, words that expressed thankfulness for choosing life, for making a sacrifice.
Out of the five profiles, my heart connected with a specific couple and I knew they were the family for my daughter. I remember thinking how bizarre it was that just reading words, simple black words, led me to my daughter’s new family. Just to be sure I didn’t miss another family that could also be a match, I reviewed 10 more.
But my heart was set on this family. A family I had never seen pictures of or met. I knew their favorite colors, cookies, activities, movies… I knew how or if they even wanted to share with my daughter, her adoption story. How they wanted to raise her. What their values were. Whether or not they wanted to adopt again.
Now seven months pregnant, I was given the chance to meet my daughter’s adoptive family face to face.
Meeting them was like meeting friends whom we hadn’t seen in forever. There was an immediate connection. A connection that only God could design. Four hours later, not that I needed anymore convincing, I knew they would be great parents to my daughter.
During our meeting, I found out that they began the adoption process in September, unknowingly to me, the month that Kaylee came into existence. They shared their own personal adoption journey and how they were chosen twice to adopt. Both birthmothers, for different reasons, decided to change their mind and parent their babies.
When I told my daughter’s adoptive parents that I was having a girl, they turned to each other and began to cry.
During their journey, they knew that they would adopt a girl. Both previous birthmothers were having boys. Again, another testament of God’s faithfulness and plans he had already set in place. They now had a daughter.
During this process, I was faced with people doubting my decision. “How do you know that the adoptive family won’t divorce?” “How do you know that the adoptive family will truly love your daughter?” “Won’t you regret your decision?” “This will never work.” Through this, I knew that this was God’s design. God had set forth a plan and a purpose for my daughter. There was no changing my mind. This was what was best for her…not necessarily me.
My daughter’s father threatened to take me to court to stop the adoption process. His family began doubting. “This is our grandchild.” “We can’t stand the thought of not having our granddaughter.” This is when I began to truly feel like a mom…a mother to my child. This maternal instinct to protect her, to guard her, to do what was best for her came naturally. It was my duty from then on to be her mom.
The day I placed my daughter was hard.
I knew it would be. I wasn’t surprised. I knew though that I made the best decision for my daughter. Yes it was tough and heart wrenching to place my daughter, but knowing I was making the best decision for her and the love I had for her, far outweighed the heartache. A mother’s love. That’s what a mother’s love does. I knowingly placed my heartache aside. It was the hardest day of my life, but I was giving life.
My counselor had sent me home with a wheel of emotions that “I would experience after I placed my daughter.” Anger, fear, sadness, regret…the list went on. Nothing mentioned other feelings such as, happiness, acceptance or joy. The day after placing my daughter, I expected to feel anger, fear, sadness and regret, instead, I felt peace and happiness. What was wrong with me?!
It was at that moment that I knew the peace that I felt was there because I had made the best decision for my daughter. A decision that I never once regretted. A decision that gave her life and unknowingly, another child life.
Fast forward four years. My daughter’s parents began the adoption process again and were chosen to adopt a baby boy. Many birthmothers have different reasons why they choose to place their babies.
Even though our stories are different, our motives are the same.
We value life for our child.
We chose life.
We wanted what was best for our child. We put our selfishness aside and put our children first. This birthmother chose to place her son with my daughter’s parents, because of my daughter. She wanted her son to have an older sibling.
When I found out I was pregnant and while facing uncertainty, I never knew the impact my decision would have. Only thinking it would affect my daughter and myself, I was shown again God’s plan and truly God’s design for adoption.
Below are my daughter’s footprints on my feet so I have her everywhere I go.
Here’s my call and prayer to mothers facing the same decision I had to make.
There is a purpose and a plan for your child. The road to finding the best life giving decision for your child is not easy. People will doubt and question your decision. Make the best decision for your child. Think not about yourself, but of your child. Be strong. Be brave. Be encouraged. There is peace at the end of the journey because you chose to give life.
I have a beautiful open adoption with my daughter. She knows me as Jessica and I am her birth mom. The relationship I have with her and her parents is a result of God’s design, love, compassion and ultimate plan.