Despite being adopted herself, adoption was not Janelle’s plan when she discovered she was pregnant shortly after turning 18. Though the pregnancy was unexpected, Janelle felt an instant love and connection to her child. Her parents encouraged her to consider adoption, but her plan remained to parent.

Her son arrived just as perfect as she’d imagined he would be! It didn’t take long, however, for the reality of single parenting to be at the forefront of her mind. She realized that there were so many things she had enjoyed growing up with her parents that he would never get to experience. Janelle also realized the challenges that would come as she tried to balance parenthood and education. Bettering herself through education, she realized, would limit her time with her son. The father was not involved and would not be a presence in their lives.

When her son was 3 months old, Janelle had a poignant experience that led her to choose adoption for her son. She writes, “I knew then and there that he deserved a better life. He deserved the life that my biological mother so selflessly gave me when she placed me for adoption.”

It has been more than 15 years since Janelle placed her son. She finds great comfort in the wonderful memories she has of her son and cherishes photos and letters shared through the years by his parents. She still feels a deep love for her son–the same love that led her to choose adoption.

Read more about Janelle’s story at iChooseAdoption.org