I grew up in a Christian home, actively involved in youth group and seen as an example by many. Pure, sheltered, goody too-shoes. I never even kissed a guy until after college! No one, not even myself, would have ever predicted this part of my story: I got pregnant. Unmarried, far from home, and broke. When I first found out, I was terrified. I had no idea what I was going to do. After the initial shock wore off I started thinking: Okay, my boyfriend and I will just get married quickly and have this baby. Maybe most people won’t do the math.
But my boyfriend had something else in mind. He didn’t want a baby. He wanted me to have an abortion. He said we weren’t ready for that kind of responsibility and that his family would reject us if we had a baby outside of marriage. I had always been against abortion, but when I found myself in this moment, I’ll admit, I considered it. I wondered if maybe it would be easier. I mean, how could I go home and tell my family I’m pregnant? They would be so disappointed.
But abortion sounded horrible, painful, and frightening. And I couldn’t imagine risking my life to have an abortion just so I could avoid telling my parents that I was pregnant. Then there was the moral aspect of it. For me, having an abortion would be turning one mistake, one sin, into another even greater one. I already felt ashamed. Having an abortion would add more shame, more guilt. I knew I didn’t want to live with that. So I told my boyfriend I would not terminate the pregnancy. I then brought up the idea of adoption. I told him perhaps it was a third option.
So we started down the road toward placement. During my first and second trimester I met with the social worker at Nighlight every few weeks. There were days I thought about parenting this child. I thought, “I can do this. I’m strong, smart, capable.” Well, of course I COULD do it. People are capable of pretty much anything. The question really was, “Do I want this for myself and my baby?” I knew that the reality was that I could not provide the kind of home I wanted this baby to have.
One day I was praying and I asked God, “Would you ever forgive me if I did this? Could adoption possibly be your plan for me and this baby?” He reminded me of a story I’d heard many times about Moses and his mother. His mother gave him up, placing him in a basket in the river, in order to save his life. She watched another raise him. But God blessed Moses’ mother for her choice and Moses became a great leader of Israel. God showed me that as long as my choice was in the best interest of this child, then he would bless it.
The couple I was matched with reminded me of exactly the dream I had for my own life many years ago. A dream that seemed out of reach now. I felt they had everything I wanted, a seemingly perfect life. I angrily asked God, “Why should I give them even more by giving them my baby?” But I realized this decision wasn’t about them or about me: it was about this baby. As I pictured him with this couple, everything just seemed to fit.
I realized if I’d met these people in other circumstances I would have naturally become friends with them. That seemed like a good place to start. They told me that when the agency contacted them to ask if they could show me their profile, they thought, “Wow, this baby is everything we’ve been praying for. Down to the smallest detail.” I knew then that God had handpicked this couple for my baby in the same way he had handpicked my baby for this couple. He had knit together this family with just as much thought and purpose as he knits together a biological family. He knew they were just right for each other.
The first month postpartum, I went through a variety of emotions. Some days I wondered if I gave up too quickly. I felt alone and empty and I still missed him every day. But I got a lot of updates those first few months. The adoptive parents and I set up an email account specifically for communicating with each other. They sent me pictures, videos, and updates on how my baby was doing. His adoptive parents have been so kind to me. They have welcomed me into their family. They made me feel so valued. I was also able to pump and send my baby breast milk for 3 months as one final way to ensure he got the best possible start in life.
I don’t know what the future will hold. I’m still trying to figure out the role I am to play in my son’s life. I don’t know how to be a birth mother. I can’t say I regret getting pregnant. I can’t say I regret giving him life. I know that even the small bit I get to know of him (the way he has touched my life already) is a blessing. And I know that one day, when we are both ready, I will meet my son face to face again.