The following story is shared as it was written and shared with Birthright and reflects the personal journey of this specific client. Birthright understands that each woman’s circumstance is unique and this story does not directly represent each woman that Birthright strives to serve.
I was terrified when I found out I was pregnant. The father of the baby, my boyfriend at the time, told me we would get through this together. It ended up not working out because I found out later that I didn’t really know the real him. He either wanted me to get an abortion or parent. I felt that I wouldn’t be able to be the best parent for this baby at this time in my life. I wanted everything to just go back to normal, to when I wasn’t pregnant and still a virgin, but I had to live in the present and somehow be okay with everything whether I liked it or not. I wanted to get an abortion because it seemed like everything would go away afterwards and that I wouldn’t have to tell anyone. By talking to my mom constantly about everything and researching all my options, I soon came to realize that getting an abortion would be the hardest [choice] of them all.
I went to Planned Parenthood to talk about the option of an abortion. I was forced to be in a closed room alone for about an hour. After the appointment I made another appointment for two weeks later to do the procedure. My dad was for abortion but my mom was not. My parents shared their opinions and thoughts with me every day. I went to Birthright and we talked about where I was at in my decision process. We discussed abortion but also the idea of adoption with my counselor. I talked as well with my doctor about both options. I had many people talk to me about both options, good and bad. They told me what they would do and some even told me what they thought was best for me. This is and will always be the biggest most difficult decision I will ever make.
I wrote down pros and cons for both to help me decide. My mom and I were talking one day in the car about the pros and cons and on this day I changed my whole decision from abortion to choosing adoption for my baby. I felt that if I went through with an abortion, not just one person would’ve died but I would’ve died as well. My mom and I decided to start looking at adoption profiles. I was no longer scared about what to do, but scared I wouldn’t be able to find the perfect family for my baby.
I made a list of the requirements that I felt that the perfect family for my baby needed to have. I had a lot of requirements for the adoptive parents and was terrified that I wouldn’t find the one and only. We went on so many different sites looking –Bethany, Lutheran Family Children Services, and the Independent Adoption Center. We came to realize that there were so many waiting couples to adopt but not enough babies to adopt. We made a list of possible couples to contact to get to know them better. I wanted an open adoption so I could get updates on my baby, see and talk to him, and still be a part of his life. With open adoption you get to choose with the adoptive parents what kind of communication, visits, etc. you both need and want.
I contacted my top choice on Easter since I would be passed the first trimester problems with miscarriages. We fell in love with each other immediately. My parents and I made a trip to go and meet them in person and see where they lived. When I was there, I ended up matching with them. Matching is just the next step in the process. Once you’re matched, both parties agree to share more information and continue to get to know each other better. Then, a couple months later, they came to see me, where I live, meet my boyfriend at the time, and his parents.
While we were together, we decided on the communication and hospital plans. We agreed on everything, which was just perfect. They even went to one of my doctor appointments and saw the baby on an ultrasound. When I went into labor, my mom called them and told them it was time. I wanted to deliver once they were there so I waited for them. Jessie, the adoptive mom and my mom were both in the delivery room with me. They just feel like family and that I’ve known them forever.
I text the adoptive parents and get updates, pictures, and videos all the time. I feel and know that they really care about me, my family, the baby’s father, and his family as well. I had Judah in September of 2016. I got invited to go to his baptism and have plans to see him over the summer. I could not be any happier with how everything turned out.
I’ve had a lot of people come into my life through this process that have really helped me out. I thought I wasn’t going to get through everything—the birth, finding the right parents, dealing with rude people who don’t understand, etc. I feel like everyone just wants everything to go away and everything to be okay, but you have to stick up for the baby who cannot yet speak for themselves but is already growing and won’t stop.
Some things that really helped me decide what was right for me were three things; One being a quote from Dr. Seuss, “A person’s a person, no matter how small”. Second being that every individual is different and unique and there will never be another human being created exactly the same. I couldn’t not give life to someone who could maybe change the world, be president, or invent a treatment for cancer, etc. You just never know, so I chose life. Third being my faith; I really felt as if without it I couldn’t have gone through all of this without God. My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
Even though getting pregnant at 17 years old, in high school, wasn’t my plan, it was His, and it was supposed to happen. I feel that I went through this and other things that happened to me for a reason. I might not know that reason right now, but I believe that my story of what has happened to me can help someone else make the right decision. I think Birthright is doing a great job!