My story isn’t special or unique, but the beautiful life that was created because of my story is.

I’m sure that there will be at least one woman reading this who can relate to what I have been through. If you are reading this because you are an expectant mom who is considering adoption as an option, my heart goes out to you!

I got pregnant because I was making bad choices in my life. I placed my son 13 years ago, so it has been quite a while for me. I was 19 and going through some identity issues, among some health and depression problems.

Backing up a year, I went off to college right after I graduated high school and was completely lost. I was popular in high school and excelled in sports, but the pressure of leaving my friends and starting a new chapter of my life did not sit well with me for some reason.

Perhaps if I had been in a healthy state it would have been a different story, but I had some pretty serious health issues that led to serious depression and anxiety. I started having panic attacks, and mentally I was just not healthy at all. I couldn’t function. It was very scary for me.

I moved back in with my parents to recover from mono and to try to get my life back on track. Some great people came into my life at that time that helped me pick myself back up and start to like myself again, but I still had a lot of demons to fight. I wasn’t mentally healthy yet and still needed some help.

It would have been much easier on me emotionally to keep my son, but the love I had for him pushed any selfish feelings I had out of my mind.

Out of the blue, about eight months after I left my first college, I was offered a volleyball scholarship to a small school in Wyoming. I decided to take it even though I was hesitant to do so. The anxiety and depression were still there, and my self-esteem was still really low from everything that I had gone through.

My mom pushed me to go because she felt like it would be good for me. She knew how much I loved to play and she thought that it would help me fight some of the issues I was struggling with. I have always respected my mom and knew that she would not tell me to go unless she thought that I was in a good enough place to make it work, so I went.

It was not a great experience.

My coach was rebuilding the team and was having some issues of her own. The position I was supposed to play was not available, and my coach and I got off to a bad start because of some misunderstandings. I slipped back into a scary and unhealthy place, my self-esteem plummeted, and I started doing things that were reckless and careless. I was drinking and sleeping around. Drinking was the only thing that helped me escape, and sleeping around was the only temporary fix that helped me feel the intimacy I was looking for. I wanted to be close to someone, and just wanted all of the pain to go away.

I met my son’s birth father about a month after I started at my new school, and when I found out I was pregnant, we were in the process of becoming exclusive. Because of my drinking problem, I made some poor choices that led to me not knowing for sure if he was the father. I hated myself for it, but I couldn’t stop myself. I was in a really dark place. I knew that I needed help or my life was going to spiral completely out of control.

It is very important to find a good support system and to receive professional counseling if you choose adoption. Getting in touch with a birth parent group is also important both pre- and post-adoption.

For me, receiving this news was upsetting. I felt like my life was over. But at the same time, I felt like it was a blessing because it was the only thing that could wake me up. It was a huge slap in the face. A slap that said, “You have an innocent life inside of you to start taking care of. Get your life together!” I didn’t care about my health or what I was doing to my body before that, but as soon as I knew another life was inside of me, something changed. The drinking stopped, the random hookups stopped, and my mind started focusing on someone other than myself. My only goal was to give my baby the best life possible.

I knew myself well enough to know that having a baby out of wedlock was not what I wanted for my children. I wanted my children to have a mother and a father from the very beginning who had a stable, loving relationship, and a stable life. I knew that I was not the type of woman I wanted to be at that time in my life for my children. I had a lot of work to do to become that woman, and it was just not the right time in my life for me to become a mother. It was not fair for my son to suffer because of the reckless and careless choices I had made. So, I started my journey to find the type of mother that I wanted him to have, the type of mother I hoped to be someday. It was tough, but with the help of a Divine God and His mercy I found the family I wanted my son to have, and he is living a good life.

Adoption was always my choice from the very beginning, but it was still a difficult road to take, and my heart was ripped out the day I placed him into his mother’s and father’s arms. It would have been much easier on me emotionally to keep my son, but the love I had for him pushed any selfish feelings I had out of my mind. I knew that placing would kill me, and it just about did, but I did it because I wanted to give my son the best life possible.

After placement, things somewhat went back to normal, but the ache in my arms for a baby who was no longer mine was excruciating, an ache no one can explain unless they go through it personally. I was excited for the second chance I was given in life, but I died inside for the son I would never get to raise. Luckily, I had a very good support system, and friends and family who loved me through it.

I can’t say that adoption is an easy choice. I can’t say that the grief and pain after placement goes away. I can’t promise you that you won’t have days where you miss your child so much that you want to die, but I can promise you that it gets better over time and that a birth mother will get to a healthy place if she deals with her grief and pain in a healthy way. A lot of birth mothers place and are not prepared for the waves of emotion and grief that hit after placement.

It is very important to find a good support system and to receive professional counseling if you choose adoption. Getting in touch with a birth parent group is also important both pre- and post-adoption. Ask yourself questions about what type of adoption would be best for you, and what kind of boundaries you would like to have. Take your time and make sure that the choice is right for you. There are positives and negatives to every option, and you want to be sure that you closely consider each of them so that you don’t ever look back and regret the choice you have made.

Good luck in your journey!

Did you enjoy this story? If you’d like to read more like it, download our FREE eBook: Stories From Birth Mothers, a compilation of 23 stories from real women who chose adoption. Get it here