It’s been a while since I’ve been able to sit down and read a good book.

To be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to read anything other than a picture book with my two toddlers fighting over whose turn it is to flip the page.

As a mom with a heart for adoption and especially my daughters’ birth mothers, I was excited to snag a copy of “Not My Plan,” by Megan Bryant. Coined as an honest, raw account of a birth mother, I had a feeling I’d love this book before I even opened the first page.

With my coffee in hand, I pulled up a chair on our patio and got lost in Megan Bryant’s journey about her teen pregnancy, the bittersweetness of choosing a family for her daughter, and the waves of healing and grief that followed.

By the time I finished the first chapter, I could see the sun rising slowly above the tree line from our patio. Yet even with all the beauty around me, I was completely captivated with the 124 pages of her story.


I was roped in, and I wasn’t going to put it down.

By the time I reached Chapter 7: It’s a Girl, I had cried, laughed, smiled, and cried some more.

As an 18-year old facing an unplanned pregnancy, Bryant was terrified to tell her family about her growing belly; her busy schedule with school and jobs allowed her to hide her pregnancy. That is, until one night during her freshman year at Boise State when her contractions became unbearable.

“I was lying there on the gurney in triage with my sister, completely shell shocked as she could suddenly see how pregnant I was. Literally, as if it had JUST appeared that day. She sat in a chair next to the bed, eye-level to this giant belly of mine, assiduously filling out a stack of paperwork for me on a clip chart . . . ” Bryant recalls in her book.

At 8:58 am, Bryant’s daughter Hannah was born. I felt like I was with her as she recounted her baby girl’s dark brown eyes staring back at her in that Idaho hospital room. She was overjoyed and terrified. I felt the same for her, too.

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Personal photographs and heartfelt snippets from Hannah, as well as the adoptive family Bryant chose for her, were scattered throughout the pages of the book, providing a natural flow of powerful insight from all members of the adoption triad.

As an adoptive mom, I don’t know what it’s like to choose another family for my child, but I do know what it’s like for life to turn out differently than planned. Perhaps that’s another reason I loved this book—because it’s a testament that even when life doesn’t go according to plan, we can still find beauty and purpose. And as is the case with this book, the journey to finding that beauty and purpose is always worth sharing.

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