My adoption story started in high school… I was a typical 16-year-old, with an academic focus and dreams in place. Until December 8th, 2001, when I found out I was pregnant. My first thought, was to keep this child I loved so much already, but how? How was I going to take care of a baby when my Mom was still taking care of me?
With many prayers, bill calculations, and late night conversations with my Mom, I decided on adoption. I loved the idea of adoption, it was my only option.
I wonder what she is doing right now. Is her sweet mama holding her, kissing her cheeks and telling her how much she is loved? Is her daddy blowing raspberries on her tummy and grinning at the sweet sound that comes from her perfect mouth. Is her big brother, laying on the floor beside her swing, telling her a story? Honestly, it doesn’t really matter what she’s doing. I know that she is loved, and that’s all that matters.
My name is Lydia and I placed my perfect little girl for adoption 2 days after she was born. The raw and painful memories of that day are still so very real for me. But, the absolute joy I got from looking at the faces of her parents radiating with pure love and adoration for that perfect baby girl were all I needed to reassure me that I was doing the absolute best and right thing for her. She had a family. One that had been waiting for her for far too long.
Do you remember the night of your Senior Prom? The dress, the makeup, the hair, your date….one of the most exciting nights of the year for a Senior in High School. I remember the night of my Senior Prom very vividly. It was the night that I, as a 17-year-old, went into labor.
I was the good girl in school, I had good grades and never got into trouble. I met a boy, I fell in love and I made adult decisions before I should have. I started my Senior Year at 16 years old, and pregnant. I was so scared and confused. The only thing I knew for certain was that abortion wasn’t an option for me.
When we started talking about adoption I immediately knew I wanted it to be International. What I didn’t realize at the time was how selfish my motives were in making that decision. You see, I was scared to “share” a child with another woman, and I was not interested in being part of such a messy situation.
God graciously changed my heart and showed me the beauty that is domestic adoption. He laid it heavily on my heart and I am so glad that He did… A passion for Birth Mom ministry was born in me, yet I had no idea just what God was doing. We prayed for our future Birth Mom with our two children and for each situation that we saw along the way.
I'm a Birth Mother, and I think that's incredible. When I found out I was pregnant I knew almost immediately that adoption was the path for me because I was not ready to be a mom. Adoption wasn't necessarily a scary thing for me to think about because I've seen first hand from people in my life how beautiful it truly is.
Honestly, I was sad because I knew already in my heart that I loved my baby so much and placing her for adoption would be the hardest decision I would make. But, it was the most loving decision because I was putting the needs of my baby above the wants of my heart. I visited a local Pregnancy Resource Center and that is where I first heard the name Gladney Adoption Center.
“I was a freshman in college who had just turned 19 when I found out I was pregnant. I was terrified. The father didn't want to be involved, and my parents pushed me hard for an abortion. If I chose to parent, I was going to be alone. There was a family that I'd known for a few years who had lost 2 children in tragic accidents and who, as I found out, were thinking about looking into adoption.
I didn't have the means or the support to parent my baby. She became my world, but love isn't enough to raise a child. If I chose to parent, I knew that I would be making a selfish decision. I would have been putting my wants over her needs. I wanted her, but she needed stability and a future I wasn't able to provide.
My story is not special, there are many others who have a similar story to mine but no two stories are the same and one person’s story could stand to empower, teach and reach people.
I don’t know if my story has that power but I do know that by continuing to harbor this story like a dirty little secret I’m only hurting myself and I need to heal. So I am finally ready to tell my biggest untold story...
My name is Jesika and I am many things…I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a mother, a niece and a birth mother.
In September of 2004 when I was a Senior in high school, I had a boyfriend (we’ll call him Dave) that I’d been with for a little over 2 years, I was on the Varsity dance team, I competed in DECA, I had fantastic grades and I was anxious about heading off to college wondering what I was going to study and what experiences I’d have and whether or not I’d be trying out for the dance team.
When I first realized I was pregnant, I didn’t want to believe it. ‘NO! This cannot be happening!’ ‘I can’t take care of me right now, let alone another person.’ I was not a person that who ever had a strong desire for children. I was broke, depressed, just had to move back in with my family, and was failing out of college. One day, I did go to my women’s biology class. The teacher spoke openly about the options with an unplanned pregnancy.
I was going to abort, but was too far along, and I just couldn’t make that choice. The teacher gave me the name of an adoption agency. I contacted them. My contact from the agency set up a time to sit down and talk with me. She let me know what open adoption could look like, what the procedure is, and that this was my choice. I selected 3 families to meet. Right away when I met the adoptive family, I knew that they were the family for the baby that I was carrying. They were tall, from big families and had similar interests that I did. Also, they had a daughter that was looking as forward to this baby as they were.
It made me think that she had everything she needed and enough to share.
College senior, Army contract, cheerleader, psychology major...all that stood between me and the “real world” was the rest of the basketball season, classes, commissioning, and graduation. Senior recognition night was my last hoorah on home court to perform in front of the entire student body and be acknowledged for all the hard work the cheerleaders had put in the past few years.
My mother made the trek from Georgia with our friend Stephen, both of whom escorted me out to half court for the ceremony at half time. Halfway through the third quarter, I turned to my coach and asked to sit out because I wasn’t feeling well. My mom says that’s the moment she knew.
After the game she and I stopped in at a CVS to buy the test before heading back to our friend’s house on Isle of Palms for the evening. Five minutes from the time I walked in the door, my mother’s instincts were confirmed;