I was the little girl in church that skipped down the halls, singing all the way to Sunday school. In Jr. High I was one that sat by the new girl and made her feel welcome. I was an active leader in the high school youth group. No one suspected that I would be the one to get pregnant as a teen.
When I saw the line on the pregnancy test turn blue, it made my head spin. What would my friends think of me? What would the church think of me? My parents were going to be mortified. My shame engulfed me and made me feel there was no way I could face any of them; I had to hide my sin. Abortion seemed the only solution. I wrestled alone with these thoughts for many days and went so far as to call an abortion clinic to find out how much it would cost. Late one night when searching the web, I found Aggieland Pregnancy Outreach (APO) and soon started meeting with Karla, one of the APO counselors. She reminded me that God loved me no matter what and she gave me the courage to come clean with my mom and dad.
Telling my parents was the hardest day of my life. The look on their faces said it all: shock, hurt, disappointment. I think it would have been easier if they yelled and screamed. Once they had time to sort through this news, they were the ones to calm me down, assuring me they would always be there for me. Although it would be difficult to face friends, family, and the church, abortion was not an option our family would consider.
As my pregnancy progressed, I began to fall in love with the little life growing within. I continued to meet with my counselor at APO trying to decide whether single parenting or adoption would be best for us. My parents said they would help me raise the baby, but I eventually decided I wanted my son to have something more. I wanted him to have a mom and dad like mine who were married and really ready for him. It was difficult for my parents to imagine someone else raising their first grandchild, but when they learned about open adoption and met the family I had chosen, their fears eased up. We met with the adoptive couple several times during my pregnancy. Not only did they love God, they wanted us to remain a part of their lives. We were forming an unusual extended family relationship. I quit going to church when I could no longer hide my growing midsection. I just couldn’t face the stares and whispers behind my back. Once people heard about my plan for adoption, my parents fielded a flood of inappropriate questions from the ‘good church people.’ “How could you allow your daughter to give away your own flesh and blood?”, “Don’t you love your grandchild? Why don’t you raise him yourself?”, or “If your daughter didn’t want her baby, why didn’t she just get an abortion?” (Yes, this comment was from someone within the church!)
Oh, how it would have helped my parents if someone had said, “I have been blessed to see the support and love you have for your daughter. I imagine this has been a difficult journey. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.” On my part, I longed to hear affirming words like, “You had a lot of options. I am so proud of you for choosing life,” or “I know adoption must have broken your heart. You are a courageous young women for putting your child’s needs above your own.”
Looking at the pro-life culture, I see that most Christians who oppose abortion aren’t in touch with the challenges faced by women in unplanned pregnancies. They want women to choose life, but are they willing to go the extra mile with us? Do they shun single mothers? Do they judge us if we choose adoption?
My son is now 11 years old. He knows I am his birth mother, and that I love him. I, however, know that I am not his mommy. I gave that role to Cathy. She and her husband Jim are amazing adoptive parents. We have a unique relationship that is difficult for most people to understand. I wish more than anything that Christians, those who claim to be pro-life, would be less judgmental of those of us who chose life. I don’t know if everyone in the church will ever support the adoption option, but I am certain God does. He adopted me, and I am His child.
To learn more about adoption in the Brazos Valley, go to PregnancyOutreach.org.
article courtesy of Aggieland Pregnancy Outreach, Inc.