Why did you choose adoption?

I have four other children and I know I couldn’t give [my son] the life that I would want to give him financially. I struggle now and it gets hectic and hard emotionally and mentally. I wanted him to have the best life possible, so I had to put all of my feelings and emotions aside to do what was best in my heart.

What are the benefits of open adoption?

At first, I wasn’t sure if there would be positives about open adoption since it’s up to his adoptive parents to bring him to see me and decide if they are comfortable with that. I had to realize that it’s not my decision anymore. But with the parents that I chose – and they are the most amazing couple that I could have placed him with – I get to see him regularly. The first time they came over to my house and I held him for the first time, since I didn’t in the hospital. (I was afraid to hold him in the hospital because it was all so emotional.) His adoptive parents send me pictures and have a Facebook account that’s just for me to keep up with his photos. They update it all the time and his mom and I get along great.

What are you able to do now that you wouldn’t be able to do had you decided to parent your child?

I have four children; 1 1/2 years old, 2, 4, and 9 years old. Bringing a newborn home would have been too emotionally hard for me to handle. I’m 27 right now and I’d really like to go back to school to work toward my goals and dreams of making [our] life better. I’m determined to get there! So it’s nice to know that he’s being taken care of so well and that he’s got all the love in the world. I feel like I could not have done all of that by myself, especially since I have two other very young children.

What are your feelings about the adoptive family? What is your relationship like with them?

I am so happy with the adoptive family and just knew they were the right choice when I saw their pictures. They are more than willing to bring the baby around and brought him to visit me the first time close to Mother’s Day. They even mentioned bringing him back when we are ready to see him again.

Have your family and friends been supportive?

So far, everyone says it was my choice and that I made the best one I could for my baby. They have all been very supportive and they always enjoy seeing the pictures of him. My mom really liked that he came to visit and it made everyone feel better when they realized his parents will want to do visits, so that’s been good. Also, [the adoptive parents] are great and supportive of my decision, too. They understand why I made this choice. It’s not something I wanted but it was a choice I had to make.

Can you talk a little about your experience with your adoption agency?

When I got started [this process], I had no idea how an agency worked. I had picked [an adoptive] couple prior to working with an agency, but things weren’t sitting right with me. I was beginning to see some red flags. I knew I wanted [the adoption] to be open, but the bad feelings I started to have about the other couple led my heart to tell me that I needed to do something else and check with an adoption agency. I called Adoption & Beyond and my adoption coordinator explained everything to me and helped me decide. After I met with her and went over everything, I just knew that Adoption & Beyond was the best option.

I wasn’t going to settle for anything less than an open adoption, and in my mind, I had a vision of how things would go. Who knows how things would have gone had I not reached out to the agency. I think about that a lot and I just feel like God played a big role in all of this. It all happened really fast, too. At about 8 months along I met with them, picked out the couple, had a house visit to talk over everything, and I just knew that it was all right. My adoption agency gave me so much support, too, all through the process.

I know that when I went through this I was very scared and nervous. But I just knew what I had to do. Using an agency was the best choice I could have made. I’m not going to lie – it’s hard every day. But with the help of my adoption coordinator and the agency, it’s been a tremendous experience. Even though it was bittersweet, it was still an experience I’m glad I got to go through. Besides the pain that I felt and being scared (and it being my first adoption experience), I got to give something to people who could not have children. All they wanted was a child and I gave them that. Some days it’s harder to understand, but if it wasn’t for my agency helping me through all of the ups and downs, I wouldn’t have been able to bless to two people. It’s something that really only God could do – he played his role in all of this. Knowing that there is now a family and that they feel complete is such a good ending.