Featured Stories

My Choice

You see, I've never met my dad, even to this day. My mom is mentally disabled and did not and does not have the mental capacity to take care of my brother and I. We moved from family member to family member – just to whoever could take care of us. I often felt unwanted, a burden, and like no one really cared about me. I felt like people looked at me with pity because of my mom's circumstances. As a young girl, I felt lost – no mother and no father. I once lived with a family member that told me that the only reason I was living under their roof was that nobody else wanted me. This stuck with me for a long time.

Fast forward and I'm 17 and pregnant. I decided that I would do whatever it took for my daughter to avoid the kind of life I had, even if that life didn't include me.

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Kelsey's Story

In May of 2015, I graduated from South Dakota State University, full of ambition and ready to take on the world. However, I was broke, so I moved home to save money. I spent my summer working and reconnecting with old friends.

I started seeing a guy I had known for a few years. It wasn't a serious relationship, just a summer fling that I knew would never last. I liked him a lot, but just as I expected, by the time the summer started to fade away, so did we. It was September, and something wasn't right. I was late, and I was terrified. I took two pregnancy tests on the floor of my bathroom, and sure enough, I was pregnant. It didn't feel real. I didn't even cry. My life was about to change, but I couldn't believe it because I was numb.

I went to his apartment and we discussed it. Inconveniently, he had already moved on to someone else. There was no time for a baby. No money. We didn't love each other. There was nothing more to say about it. I was backed into a corner, and it felt as though there was no way out. I was ready to move on from this heartbreak, so we agreed on abortion. He drove me to my abortion appointment before the sun was up. The numbness I had felt since I took the test was wearing off. No one knew it, but I was sad. I was fighting a battle in my head. Finally, they called my name and took me back to the room. I changed into a faded gown and sat on the cold metal table and just cried. I talked to God. I asked Him for protection. I was devastated. I then realized that making a choice out of fear and pressure is really no choice at all.

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Emily's Story

emilypic_copy.jpgLeading up to my daughter’s birth, I was so nervous. I knew placing her for adoption was the right decision for me and for my baby. I also knew it was going to be very difficult, physically and emotionally.

I was terrified as I thought about going through the labor and delivery. As a petite 16-year-old, I worried that my body wouldn’t be able to handle it and I was afraid of how much physical pain I would be in. As my due date drew closer, my doctor realized I had pre-eclampsia and explained how my baby was under a lot of stress. After hearing this, I no longer cared how much pain I would be in. I was only worried about her and was very anxious to have her delivered so she would be safe.

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Sarah's Story

Sarah1.jpgI am a birth mother to two beautiful children. Full-blooded siblings that live together with the same wonderful couple.

I was 18 when I had my daughter, and I had no family support. I grew up in an alcoholic home, and I didn't want my child to go through any of the struggles that I had. After praying, I was shown a great couple that had tried to have a family for 10 years with no success. I met with this couple and felt strongly that this was the right choice.

At age 21 with no support, my daughter's father and I found that we were pregnant again. At this time, we had become very close to our daughter's adoptive family, and we felt it was the best option to have both our children together in this loving family.

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Santa Clause, Oprah, and High Hopes

I hate secrets and surprises. I always have. I attribute this to being a curious person, but on an extreme level. And, even that can be attributed, or at least partially due, to growing up never knowing where I came from, but rather where I ended up.

It’s very possible that my intense curiosity or “the need to know” stems from personality traits that I was born with that were only exacerbated by environmental factors and or personality traits I developed because of environmental factors—being adopted through a closed adoption and the loss of biological connections.

Growing up, I wanted to know who my birth mother was. I wanted to know what she looked like. However, either no one knew who my birth mother was or those that may know couldn’t tell me because it was against the law—such as the attorney that helped my parents adopt me or the doctor who delivered me and who took me home briefly before I was adopted.

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Shelbi's Story

shelbi4.jpgI was pregnant at 19 years old, freshman in college, scared, nervous, and alone. I didn’t realize I was pregnant until 7 months along, leaving 2 months to figure out the fate of this child. 

I was far from ready to be a parent; I still had college to finish, career goals to achieve, and places to travel. 

I didn’t have the money to raise a child. I begged the biological father to consider adoption because he wanted to keep this child, even though his life was very unstable and we were not together. I spent every other day calling him, listing reasons why adoption was the right choice. I wanted this baby to have two married parents, good educations, and good careers, raise him with good values/morals, and experience everything life can offer him.

I put my own feelings aside and only thought about what was best for my child in that moment. I hand-selected these amazing, loving, and caring adoptive couple to become his parents through a local adoption agency. The minute that I met them in person, I could feel their joy to be parents, and ultimately felt how much love they would provide for this child. I told myself there was no turning back on my decision.

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Charity's Story

Warning: The content of this story contains very sensitive subjects and potentially distressing material about the effects of depression. 

IMG_0441.PNGAs a birth mom, I feel a special love for my daughter's mother. My special relationship with the mother of my child started three months before her daughter was born.

I was one of those that didn't know they were pregnant until at the beginning of the third trimester. For many reasons, I decided to place my daughter in a loving home. I went to the agency and went through so many profiles, and there was only one that stood out. That was my daughter's mother.

When she found out that I chose her, we talked every night for hours. This only solidified that she was the one. When our daughter was born it was her that held her first. She was the one that said it was ok to be called mom but I insisted that I be called Ma Mare (French for mother). My daughter's mother is amazing. Because of her, I got to spend our daughter's first birthday together and her second Easter.

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Laurisa's Story

laurisa3.jpgI was completely heartbroken to find out that I was expecting again.

At the time my then husband and I were renting one bedroom from a family along with our 3-month-old baby and my two toddlers. We carefully considered all of our options, and I knew that this precious child needed me to choose adoption.

Halfway through the pregnancy doctors discovered a birth defect called Spina Bifida. I was devastated. My specialist made it very clear it wasn’t too late to reconsider my “options,” but I was confident that God had a plan for her LIFE. So I continued the adoption process.

At 39 weeks along, I went to the hospital in an ambulance for an emergency C-section. I heard her first cry. I asked if she was okay, and the doctors said yes! After two days, I left the hospital to get back to my small children who were waiting for me to get home. Four days later I decided to meet her. I was scared that if I held her I would never let go, but I found more strength and faith that I never knew I had.

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My Story

picture_family.pngMeet my family: These people have shaped and defined the woman that I am today and have always surrounded me with love, support, and opportunities.

They have been the biggest blessing I could ever ask for. My mom, Diane, has always told me to “defy gravity” and has empowered me to believe that I can do anything. My dad, Jim, has instilled in me the belief that I am loved and awesome despite any failure or setback. I now know that my failures do not define me. My older brother, Sam, is the strongest person that I know. He has taught me to persist and never give up.

However, I would have never had this family if it were not for one very special person. ​

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A Birth Mother's Story

At 15, I found myself 4 months pregnant. I was lost, ashamed, terrified and absolutely in love with the life growing inside me. 

When we told my half brother, he mentioned his aunt had been trying to have a baby but couldn’t. I delivered a healthy boy with the help of my new auntie. We became a large extended family the day I placed her son in her arms and that has continued to grow. 

The past almost 18 years have been a roller coaster of emotions, sadness and pride, emptiness and joy… you name it I have felt it. Last year my son started opening up to me about the adoption, I was terrified but empowered. My baby was reaching out and it took everything in me to open up to him.

It has been a long journey that is about to get more complicated, but I have learned to look back with pride and peace. I put everything in me aside to make the best decision for him, I gave my son something I couldn’t give him - a family! And let me tell you he is one amazing boy. We are all proud of our boy!

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