Jenny is willingly giving us permission to share her story so that others can realize there is hope in the midst of a difficult situation. All client experiences with Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers are kept with the highest confidence. The stories that are shared come from the real-life experiences that our clients, staff and volunteers had during their unplanned pregnancy.
Her name has been changed but her story is true.
My husband and I had been married five years and had a one-year-old daughter when we began to experience something “unplanned.” It wasn’t a pregnancy, but rather infertility. Over the course of the next few years, we would experience a lot of uncertainty about how—or even if—our family would grow.
It was just after Easter when we received a phone call that would change our lives. A lawyer who knew we had completed an adoption home study (the process anyone who wants to adopt has to undergo) called to say he knew a young woman experiencing unplanned pregnancy. He told her about us and she wanted to meet us. We were excited and nervous and hopeful and terrified all at the same time. He gave me her phone number and said she would like me to call her.
Meeting the Birth Mother
I called Alison the next day. From the moment I heard her voice, I knew I liked her. We spoke for about fifteen minutes that day and she shared about her unplanned pregnancy, the reasons she was leaning toward adoption and her hopes for her baby boy. I shared about our circumstances and why we were considering adoption and how we hoped to have an “open adoption”—meaning an adoption in which a relationship with the biological family is maintained and encouraged throughout the child’s life. Alison really wanted an open adoption too, which was one of the reasons why she thought we might be good candidates to raise her son.
We met face to face about a week later and our connection was easy and natural. Alison was about six months pregnant at that time and had been attending classes and receiving counseling at Advice and Aid for many months. She had been exploring all her options and had a great system of support through Advice and Aid.
It was evident to us how much she loved this baby boy. She was making all of her decisions based on his needs and her hopes for him—this was at a great cost to herself. Choosing not to parent her baby was an incredible sacrifice.
Yes, it would allow her to continue her life on the course she wanted, but it was still a gut-wrenching decision and one that she made primarily for her son’s sake.
A Sweet Relationship
Our relationship with Alison progressed and she soon introduced us to the birth father. Over the next couple of months, we all became more committed to one another and to adoption. Alison continued one-on-one sessions with a counselor who had placed a child with an adoptive family sixteen years before, and we also had a couple of sessions with that same counselor on navigating an open adoption. This was so helpful as we were able to process our fears and hopes together.
Resources We Needed – And So Much More
As the time of our son’s birth approached, Alison had earned a lot of “points” to use at the Advice and Aid new parent and baby store by not missing one class or counseling session at Advice and Aid her entire pregnancy! She decided to give our family most of her “points” that can be redeemed for new baby items like clothes, changing pads, even car seats. Alison and I went together and picked things out for our son…it was an incredibly special time. After we had shopped, the Advice and Aid staff pulled us aside so they could give Alison a gift basket just for her. It was filled with all sorts of things that she could pamper herself with—including spa and massage gift certificates! Many of the staff and volunteers at Advice and Aid had chipped in. Their support and encouragement was incredibly.
Soon after that, our son was born. We were present for the delivery and stayed at the hospital the whole time. Alison, the birth father and the baby stayed together in the room next door and we went between our room and theirs and took the night shift the second night. While we were in the hospital together, Alison nursed the baby and for the next six weeks or so, she provided breast milk. It was just what he needed and such a loving gift. Over the next few months, we saw Alison about once a week and saw the birth father and his parents many times. And of course we had to introduce him to all his friends at Advice and Aid, too!
Our son will turn one this summer and our relationship with both Alison and the birth father is really strong. Alison is doing wonderfully and recently started a new job at a great company. The birth father lives out of town now, but we still see him fairly often, and we see Alison at least once a month and exchange texts and emails with both of them in between visits.
We are so delighted that our son has a connection to both sides of his biological family. As an adoptive mom, I love his biological family and will always speak positively about them. Whether an adoption is open or closed, any birth parent who chooses to place their child with an adoptive family is a hero. There are personal pros and cons to choosing not to parent, but ultimately, placing a child for adoption is a selfless act of love. I will always be grateful to his first mom and dad for the gift that they gave us and for the gift that they gave their son. He is growing up knowing that they placed him for adoption out of love and he will have the opportunity to continue to develop his own relationship with both of them as he grows. There will never be a day that he does not know how much they love him or how much we love him—our son is truly surrounded by love on all sides!
If you, or someone you know, is facing an unplanned pregnancy, we want you to know that you are not alone as you make choices for both you and your baby. The idea of adoption can be overwhelming. We are here to help.
While Advice & Aid does not handle adoptions personally, we do partner with a number of licensed, fully trusted adoption agencies in our area. We can help you walk through the entire process with one of these recommended agencies so that you are not alone.
Start here – no judgment, no pressure at all. Just someone to talk to who has some truly helpful answers. Someone who wants whats best for you!
To read an additional adoption story:
Michelle’s Open Adoption Story