I want every woman to know they have value and worth so it is my heart and passion to reach women who view themselves as worthless, disposable, and damaged beyond repair, who are in a cycle of self-destruction, and continue to make unhealthy choices because of the hurt and pain that they feel from their past.
When I was a little girl, I was repetitively sexually abused by a family member for years, and then raped by a man close to our family at age 15. I felt like I had no self-worth, no value, nothing to offer anyone, and was damaged beyond repair. I had no clue what innocence was or how to preserve it. Whether it’s a choice you made or a choice made for you, having that purity and innocence taken from you causes you to feel like it’s something that you will never get back. Being stuck in this cycle of pain and hurt I became reckless with my choices searching for something that I couldn't find in this world. However, when you are stuck in that cycle, you cannot see that.
At age 17 when I was a junior in high school, I dropped out of school and moved out of my mother’s house. I was living carelessly without care or consideration of the consequences of my actions. I became pregnant in October. Oddly enough, I will never forget when I saw that test; I had peace, happiness, and joy. At that moment, I felt complete. I felt like God had given me the most beautiful gift in the world. The hope, love, and the joy that had been taken from me. I instantly knew that my life had to change. My child needed a better environment and more from a mother. I was going to have to be responsible and get my life back on track. So, I moved back home, I reenrolled in high school, and began preparing for a life for my daughter. As the pregnancy continued, I was filled with so much love and excitement. Hearing your baby’s heartbeat and feeling her move for the first time just takes your breath away.
To show me the reality of parenthood, a few months before my due date my mom gave me a pregnancy plan. She wanted me to be prepared for motherhood not just the love, not just emotionally, but the financial side of it as well. I remember looking at that plan and doing my research. The amount of diapers, formula, wipes, clothes and how much all those things cost. Going to school in the morning, working in the evening. How was I going to show her my love? How was I going to be there to protect her and make sure she never experienced the same pain and hurt I had to live through? I wanted better for her. I began feeling helpless, overwhelmed and all those feelings of hurt and unworthiness came flooding back. When adoption was suggested, it was like a knife straight to the heart and truly it made me angry, and I am not sure angry is even a strong enough word. How could some couple be better for my daughter than me? How could strangers give her a better life than me? The thought of placing my daughter into the arms of strangers scared me. It completely terrified me. How could I ensure they would give my child the life she deserved. Love her, protect her, provide for her, and give her the life I couldn’t. To appease my mom and to be able to say “yes I explored all option” I went to Gladney Center for Adoption and sat down with a counselor. We began exploring the option and what adoption could mean for my daughter. My heart just sank and broke into pieces with the realization that making an adoption plan would give my daughter the best opportunities for the best life. The realization that she was not going to be raised by strangers, but raised as part of a family with a mother and a father that would love her unconditionally, who have longed for her, and who are ready to complete their family with this beautiful precious child.
That summer I moved into the Gladney dorms and began completing my adoption plan. I made a list of qualities the adopted family must have. A Christian home, a stay at home parent, siblings, parents that involved their children in every part of their lives, etc. When I received Randy and Jane's profile, I knew almost instantly they were the perfect family for my daughter. They had their son, Dustin, help illustrate their profile book, the first impression to a prospective birth mom. Not only did they have all the qualities I was looking for, but also the illustrated profile spoke volumes as to how important children were in their home. It was less important to have a picture-perfect profile than one that included their son. It was perfectly imperfect. So, the communication and getting to know each other began. Jane and I would talk for hours. When they came to visit, I completely fell in love, and honestly wish I could have gone home with them. To have such love, compassion, and adoration towards a stranger was a true blessing in my life and I had no reservations that they would provide the same love, compassion, and adoration to my daughter.
Left: At Chuck E Cheese with Randy and Dustin | Right: Me with Jane and Dustin
As I began to plan for my daughter’s arrival, I requested Jane, Randy, and Dustin be at the hospital for my scheduled C-section. My desire was for them to hold their daughter before anyone else. I had done a lot of research and I wanted to insure a healthy bond between my daughter and her family. So, they were there. It was their eyes that she saw, their touch she felt and their love that she felt immediately after being born. I remember waking up from the anesthesia and seeing them holding their daughter and seeing Dustin’s smile beaming from ear to ear. I could see the joy, love and completeness they felt. While it was painful, it was so comforting to see that my daughter wasn’t going to be an adopted child, she was their daughter and their family was complete.
It’s been 26 years now and my daughter has lived a full and amazing life completely loved and supported by her parents. She is happy and healthy. She is finishing up college at Oregon State and will pursue a career in Psychology. Because of her parents, she never had to doubt how loved and wanted she was. They have given her everything because she was their own. Because of her parents, she also knows that her birth family loves her just as much and that she was not a mistake. God has a plan for her life, and I am thankful that He entrusted me to begin it. I’m thankful that He orchestrated every event so that I could find Jane and Randy, the family I have no doubt she was supposed to be with. Sometimes it’s less about a mother’s heart and desire of it, as it is about your child’s life and wanting them to have better. I wanted her to have all her needs met and not live through and see the cycles of self-destruction that I was in. Morgan’s life was not a mistake, she was born with a purpose, and by God’s grace she will fulfill His calling on her life.
1. Me proudly supporting BraveLove | 2. Sweet kisses. I must have kissed her a million times trying to make sure my love would last through the years | 3. Morgan's hospital picture | 4. Morgan and I on Placement Day | 5. Morgan and I during a nursery visit. It's during these visits you to explain, make memories, and say all your I love you's | 6. Holding her and seeing her, She was perfect. I had no doubt this was God's plan for her life | 7. My family: My husband Stacy, my two step-son's Tyler and Cody and my daughter, Victoria