The day I found out I was pregnant was one of the worst days of my life. Not even failing a college class could compare to the guilt and despair I felt in that moment. I was 19. I had just ended things with the birth father for good, and I thought I had my whole life ahead of me, t past the bump in the road that had been my engagement to said birth father. When the nurse informed me the tests were positive, I saw that all crash in front of me.

Being raised with a religion, what I was now faced with was a huge no-no. You didn’t go and have sex before marriage and you sure didn’t get pregnant either. I had never been the type of girl to do that. I had never imagined myself in that situation either and vowed I never would be caught in this moment.

Yet, here I was, six weeks pregnant, 19 and single. Unsure of how to proceed, I called my mom and told her the news. She told me to come straight home.

Despite all the confusion and the darkness I was in, one thing felt very clear to me from that moment and for the rest of my pregnancy: I was not to keep this baby, instead place it for adoption. That evening my dad and I sat down and discussed my options. I could get married to the birth father– he hadn’t hightailed it out of there and he would most likely be open to the option. I felt that wasn’t the right path as he had been very abusive to me, he was also not a mentally stable individual. I knew I didn’t want my baby in that situation growing up. The next option was single parenting which my dad and I discussed at length. We didn’t know whether or not the birth dad would be involved and what that would mean for my baby. Also being the oldest of four, and at the time the only legal adult, I was very kindly told that if I decided to parent I would have to find a place to live, because I couldn’t live at home. My three siblings still needed parents and my parents didn’t feel like they wanted to raise their grandchild. It wasn’t like my baby and I weren’t welcome, I just needed to be responsible if that was the decision I made. The last option we discussed was adoption and once again my gut feeling told me that was the route I needed to go.

At first, I’ll admit my decision to place was for very selfish reasons, I wanted my life back…

At first, I’ll admit my decision to place was for very selfish reasons, I wanted my life back and I figured that if I gave my baby to someone else to take care of, it would come back in ways that I wanted. I even regret to admit I hoped I would miscarry so that I wouldn’t have to go through a pregnancy, birth and placement. I’m happy to say that was not in the cards for me and over the course of my pregnancy, my attitude changed drastically.

I met with my caseworker a week after I found out I was pregnant and immediately announced that adoption was the path I had decided to take. After going over all my options once again, I was able to start looking at families I could place my baby.

I’d have to say with this part of the process I was the most impatient. I wanted my answer and I wanted it right then, so I could tell the family and then we could figure out what we wanted. Finding my family took about a month, and over the course of that month I learned what I really and truly wanted for my daughter. I only contacted one family and that was the family whom I had decided to place my daughter . Not every birth mother decides to do it this way. I did because I found many couples that would have been great parents, but I didn’t want to give someone hope only to crush it when I chose somebody else to parent my baby.  When I finally did find my couple and contacted them, we hit it right off, and were even able to schedule a meet up rather quickly. The adoptive mom was the only person to attend, but it was like we’d known each other for years, and I was very sure I wanted her to be my baby’s mother.

The day I found out the gender was a very special day, but it was also a reminder to stay away from the birth dad. He had always talked about wanting a baby girl and if he found out that I was going to have a baby girl, I knew he would cause so many more problems. That was the day I permanently walked away from him. While we hadn’t spoken in nearly 4 months, I had struggled emotionally to stay away from him.  For some reason, the day I had my ultrasound something just completely clicked and I continued down the path I had chosen without looking back.

I wanted him to stay far away from me…

The next few months went rather smoothly, I’d heard nothing from the birth dad and I didn’t care; I wanted him to stay far away from me anyway. When I told the couple I was going to place with them, I gave them a blanket I had made for my daughter. That was a wonderful day because everything kind of finalized for me, and I was less stressed about everything. I finished school and prepared for my daughter’s birth in January.

I went into labor at 3:30 a.m. the next morning and was in a lot of pain by the time I got to the hospital at 11:30 a.m. After getting hooked up to the monitor, my doctor came in to check things out and after a few minutes told me there was a potential problem. My daughter was stressed in utero, and they were unsure of why, so they decided to perform a c-section to get her out. The moment I heard her first cry was an amazing moment, she was perfectly fine with a swatch of red hair.

Interestingly enough, the c-section was a miracle in disguise. Those three days were tense, but wonderful at the same time as I spent that special time with my daughter. Her adoptive mother stopped by at one point and was able to meet her daughter. When I saw them together, I knew I’d made the right choice and that I had found the woman who was always supposed to be her mother. I was lucky enough to be the way she arrived here on earth.

I relinquished my rights 24 hours after that experience and it was hard, but so beautiful. Especially when I placed my daughter into the arms of her mother, I knew that this experience was for a reason. My little girl had saved my life, and in turn I was giving her a better life than I ever could at that point in my life.

Adoption has changed my life, for good.  My daughter is loved, safe and taken care of by a wonderful family. I love my daughter more than anything and despite starting down this path for very selfish reasons; I now know that I made the least selfish decision by making my  choice.

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