Three and half years ago, my daughter, 17 at the time, gave birth to a baby boy. Whoever experiences an unplanned pregnancy has a story to share, and this is mine.
It was August, a few weeks before Katie was to start her senior year of high school. Smart, talented and always ready for an adventure, she was looking forward to the last year of high school and college years beyond. On a summer afternoon, she asked me to meet her at the park. When she handed me a letter, it only took a second before I knew what it was going say. From that moment on, my life began to change.
There were so many emotions. My disappointment, hurt and anger were enormous. At the same time, I wanted to be strong and needed to be pragmatic for my daughter. In the early months, the negativity won out, but bit by bit, I learned to forgive and eventually trust the future – even when I couldn’t see it clearly. I could not have imagined at the time I first received the news, how much I would grow in forgiveness and unconditional love, and what a beautiful family was about to be born.
Choosing adoption was my daughter’s choice from the very beginning. Yes, there were times when she questioned if she was doing the right thing, but for the most part she remained steadfast in her decision, even when challenged by well-meaning friends and family members. I am grateful for her decision, her maturity, her strength and commitment to stick with the decision that she believed was the very best for her baby and herself.
Early on we met with an adoption service in our state and learned about the process - and learned that most birth mothers and adoptive parents choose to have an “Open Adoption.” An Open Adoption is not a legal binding agreement, it is an agreement of respect and trust; meaning that the amount of contact, what that contact is (photos, letters, visits, etc.) is more or less figured out by the birth mother and the new parents. Our relationship with this special little family is wonderful. Katie sees her son and his parents two or three times a year, and my husband and I are often included in these short visits. We have had the honor of being at their home and meeting the grandparents, too. Knowing the loving, nurturing environment in which this little boy is being raised has been a joyful experience.
Katie will graduate from college soon. She has had time to mature, get an education and continues to grow in her values. My daughter did the most loving, giving and honoring thing that any mom could ever do. I am so very proud of her and very grateful for her decision to choose adoption.