My Name Is Jenny. This Is My Story Of Adoption.

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.


Considering Adoption
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.

Our Son
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

‘Gigi’ to My Adopted Granddaughter – The Sweetest Title in the World!
Adoption

The following adoption reflections were shared with us by a close friend and supporter of Advice & Aid. Her story of learning about the upcoming adoption plan for her daughter and son-in-law – and then the experience of that adoption – is beautifully told.

Let’s start at the beginning.  When my daughter and son-in-law invited all of the parents to their home to help put in a garden, little did we know but the garden was not to be your typical garden of corn and tomatoes,  but a garden of our families’ combined legacies.  They were announcing to us their plan to adopt a baby.  Words really can’t explain the WONDER of it all and the pride we had in our children for hearing God’s call and leaping out in faith to follow. Our children explained that God had been pursuing them to enter into a journey of adoption.  God’s plan was to allow them to be part of the solution to an unplanned pregnancy. Instead of a couple that stood on a rock to say that abortion was wrong, they were being called to DO something different.  They were called to provide an option, a beautiful option for a Chosen Child. A child that God would bring into our BIG family and bless us beyond anything imaginable.  As that night ended, our son-in-law led a prayer and requested that we all pray every day for the birth mother.  We have kept our promise and I pray for her and her blessing every day.  I pray that God will give her the peace that she needs to rest in the fact that her gift is our forever treasure.  Her gift is always loved, always protected and always remembered as the Child of the King.

The morning that our granddaughter was born, the waiting room at 2:00 am was filled with 10 eagerly-awaiting family members. We finally got the chance to meet our granddaughter.  My son-in-law’s mother and I also met the biological mother as we stood at both sides of her bed, held her hands and prayed with her.  She watched the family that she picked to be the forever parents of her daughter.  She witnessed the unconditional love that her daughter would have all the days of her life.  She felt the presence of God, as we all did, it the room so strongly.  He ordained that moment in time and He will give all that is needed in all the days to come. The first second I looked into my grandbabe’s chocolate chip eyes, the realization of the GIFT hit me!! I will forever be her GiGi and she will always be my girl.  We all held our precious baby and cried and took pictures and tried to capture every second of the miracle. I was able to watch my daughter and son-in-law love on and bond with their chosen child. Tears of joy – pure joy – flooded my face.  My daughter a mommy…God’s perfect plan… we were invited to join our children in this journey and we will never be the same.


To read more Adoption Stories, click here.


Adoption is one of the greatest blessings that anyone can be a part of – either by giving that gift or receiving that gift. We understand the extreme sacrifice that is required on the part of both parties involved in adoption.

When we can be a part of the life-giving choice of adoption, we truly rejoice – both with the mother and the adopting family. And while we don’t handle the adoption service directly, we do work closely with a number of qualified, certified and trusted agencies in our area.

Most importantly, we walk alongside the birth mother through the entire process, knowing this is a brave and sacrificial decision that she has made. We offer her all the support and love that she needs.

We would love for you to be a part of these beautiful stories. If you are interested in learning more about Advice & Aid – or supporting us financially – please visit us at https://adviceandaid.com/partner-with-us/

Adoption: An Open Letter to the Birth Mom
Adoption: An Open Letter to the Birth Mom

To Alina’s Birth Mom,

How do I start a letter to a person I have never met, but who is one of the heroes of my life? You helped provide the source of greatest joy in my life, my beautiful daughter. She just turned ten, and has been home for nearly nine years.

To tell you how our side of the story all started, my wife and I tried and were unable to conceive a child on our own. We had some friends who had adopted, and after talking with them on a few occasions, it just seemed like the right next step for us. I work in the travel industry, so international adoption appealed to us. After considering our options, we set our sights on Russia.

There are so many ups and downs in our journey that some of the memories blur together, but I distinctly remember getting “the call.” It came much sooner than we expected, so it caught us by surprise. All we knew was that she was just shy of a year old, and that she was in a little town called Alatyr, and we had to be there in a week. We spent the next few days getting prepared to make the trip of a lifetime to meet our daughter.

I can remember seeing her for the first time because I was captivated. This little Russian beauty was our baby girl, the world just didn’t know it yet…. but God did, and so did we. It took about 4 months, and 3 trips to Russia to make it official and get custody so that we could bring her to the United States.

Every day, I get to watch her grow up to be a young woman. I look at this precocious girl and marvel at her big smile and her infectious laugh and thank God for every single moment. I can see parts of her personality that are molded by her mother and me, but then there are characteristics (physical and otherwise) that are uniquely hers. I often wonder if these are shaped in part by you. People sometimes say that she looks like me, and I just laugh because I know that more than likely she looks like you. From her freckled cheeks, to her light green eyes, to her blonde hair with a faint strawberry hue.

What else can I say about her? She’s smart as can be, even though she doesn’t always fully apply herself at her school work. She loves art, and we have some of her masterpieces framed and hanging in our house. She is quiet and shy in large groups, but once she gets to know you, her true nature comes out and she is talkative. Very talkative! She likes to make up her own little tunes and hums to herself, but if she realizes you are listening, she stops. She is not overly affectionate, but when she’s tired or not feeling well, she becomes more snuggley. She likes for me to put her to bed, and we play with glow sticks, talk about our day, or tell stories. She especially likes it when I fall asleep with her. I travel for work occasionally and she sleeps with her Mom when I am gone, and typically sleeps with us both on the first night I get back. I’m not sure how much longer some of these will last, so I try to relish those opportunities before they disappear.

I think about you often, but I make a special point to think of and pray for you on Mother’s Day. I don’t want it to be a day of loss for you, but one of peace, hope and love. I want you to be at peace about your decision to carry your daughter to term and make that difficult choice to offer her an opportunity with another family. Your decision was one of hope that the family she was meant to be with could provide something for her that you weren’t sure you could provide at that time. Given the way international adoption placement works, I don’t think you are allowed to know her circumstances, so I imagine that you live with some doubt about her, and I know that must be difficult. My prayer is that you are reassured that she was placed in a family that loves her very much.

I want you to know that we continue to work hard to raise her to the best of our ability. I hope that one day, if she is privileged to meet you, that you would be proud of her, and that you would be reassured that the tough choice you made, all the anguish, fear, and doubt that you endured, was worth it to give her life. She is one of the two most important people in my life. Outside of my faith, being her father is the single most influential factor of shaping the person I have become. I want to be the best version of myself so that she can have the kind of father she deserves.

All of this is why it is so difficult for me to put into words exactly how I feel about the gift you gave us. It sounds so insufficient to just say thank you, because I cannot thank you enough. I will end this letter to you the only way I know how, by passing on a blessing to you:

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” – Numbers 6:24-26

Signed,

Alina’s Dad (Phillip)


To read more Adoption Stories, click here.


Maybe you know that you aren’t in a place to care for a baby right now. But you also know that you simply can’t terminate this life growing inside of you.

It’s a tough choice to make. And only the strongest – and those who have the support they need – choose to make this decision.

And that’s why we commit to walking beside you, every step of the way. We don’t provide adoption services, but we work with a number of wonderful agencies that do. We can give you the information, aid and support that you need to make this difficult decision.

You could be the blessing to someone that they are needing!
Take the first step and just talk to us.
No pressure . . . No Agenda.
Just honesty and friendship.

 

Because She Chose Adoption – One Grandpa’s Story of Love
Adoption - Grandpa's Story of Love

“You have got to be kidding me!”

Rebecca was staring at the pregnancy test in her hand.

It was positive.

Being pregnant was the last thing she needed right now.  Her life was already way too complicated.  She was fighting a drug habit.  She and her boyfriend were both in trouble with the police.  In fact, there was a warrant out for her arrest.

It would be so easy to call an abortion provider and schedule an abortion.  But Rebecca didn’t do that.  She chose to continue her pregnancy.  She decided to carry the baby to term, and place this child for adoption with a couple that desperately wanted a child.

And because Rebecca chose adoption, I have a granddaughter.  Because Rebecca chose adoption, my daughter and her husband became parents.  And I have a granddaughter.  That sweet little girl is 7½ years old.  When she walks into our house, the room fills with light.

When Rebecca saw that positive pregnancy test, where was her first place to turn?  Did she call her mom?  Did she call her best friend?  Or did she call Advice & Aid?  I don’t know.  But in my mind, I can very easily picture her walking through the doors of Advice & Aid, and meeting one of the Client Advocates.  I can picture her receiving a friendly smile, compassionate care, and honest, truthful information that helped her make the decision she chose.

I have decided that the sweetest word in the English language is “Grandpa.”  And whenever I hear that word from my granddaughter’s lips, it makes my heart skip a beat.  I am madly in love with that girl!  And so, that is why I volunteer at Advice & Aid.  I want other Rebeccas to choose life.  I want other men just like me can hear to that sweetest word spoken by their grandchild – “Grandpa.”

Shared by Dr. Mark Johnson, who currently serves on the Board of Directors for Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers.


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.

All it takes is an easy click – Schedule an Appointment with us just to talk. No pressure here. Just compassion, honesty and options.

Schedule

 

The Gift of Life Through Adoption
The Gift of Life Through Adoption

Gifts are typically on the minds of most Americans this time of year. . . finding the right gift, receiving the right gift, even figuring out how to pay for all of those gifts.

Some gifts are more costly than others. And sometimes, a gift simply cannot be measured in value because the cost – and the benefit – is far too magnificent.

This is the story of one family receiving the gift of life. They desperately wanted to grow their young family, but were unable to do so on their own. That is exactly when one brave young woman stepped in to help provide a gift that they could never have dreamed of. While this young woman had the difficult choice of choosing life for her unborn, along the way she also received the immeasurable gift of acceptance and friendship through Advice & Aid during the months she carried that child. In fact, the gift she received from Advice & Aid so impacted her young life that she, in turn, now helps others.

And the family she gave the gift to? You have to hear their story in their own words.


For Additional Adoption Stories:
Michelle’s Story of an Open Adoption
Jenny’s Story of Adoption

My Story Of A Beautiful Open Adoption
Open Adoption

Michelle 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 name is Michelle.
This is my story of adoption.

Redefining Adoption As A Positive
The word adoption can often have a negative connotative meaning even in today’s era. It can have, attached along with it, a definition from 50 plus years ago, brimming with stigmas and secrets. Images of young girls being sent away for 9 months to an “Aunt’s house” only to hand their child to a nun at the end of their “stay” are called to mind. They often never knew the life that would unfold and were left wondering if they would always be a secret to this tiny baby that had completely stolen their heart. Far too often, women were left with emotional wounds they could never recover from, always regretting their decision. Maybe all you have heard are the bad stories, trickled down from one ear to another. Now it’s time for you to hear a beautiful story, one that will hopefully “update” your definition of adoption. I hope that you see adoption in a brand new light. I am no adoption expert but I have some first-hand experience!

My Personal Experience
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have had people ask me what the meaning is of the three cursive letters, permanently inked into my right wrist. As far as they are concerned, they are asking a very nonchalant question. However, they are almost always surprised when they learn the meaning. My response usually goes a little something like this, “They are my son’s initials. I placed him for adoption but it is open.” They unknowingly opened a door to a very special part of my life and I absolutely love it. What I have come to find, is that most people have either never heard of open adoption or have a misguided idea of what it actually is. I love having the opportunity to bring clarity to what open adoption is … to be a living example of how beautiful it can be when two families become one … two paths cross and converge for one reason – the love for a child.

The Beauty of Open Adoption
Open adoption is a relatively “new” idea, having been around only 40 years. It can vary in degrees of openness depending on what has been agreed upon between the birth mother and adoptive parents. It has recently become more common and accepted in the last 10-20 years and is becoming increasingly attractive due to the positive effects on the child, birth mom, and adoptive parents. Open adoption eliminates the feeling of abandonment an adopted child can feel when they never hear their birth mom’s side of the story. Silence can grow monstrous scenarios in our minds and produce misguided hurts that stem from our imagination of what might have happened. I cannot speak for every woman, but I believe that most birth mothers do not choose adoption because they don’t want their baby. I have been going to a birth mother support group and I have never met or heard of one who felt that way. In fact, it is quite the opposite. You desperately want your baby, but you also desperately want your baby to have the best life you can possibly give them. Sometimes, that life is with someone else. This is why I chose adoption for my son. I wanted more for him than I was able to give, so I gave him what I could; a beautiful family and a BEAUTIFUL LIFE! Open adoption is so good for the birth mom as well. It is so sweet to not only know, but to PICK, the family who will raise your child, to have a relationship with your child and watch them grow as the years go by and know what’s going on in their life. When I miss my son, I think about how happy he is, how loved he is, how alive he is! All life is precious and adoption is a very special way of honoring God’s gift of life. My son never will have to wonder if he is loved. It was also comforting to know that any couple who is ready to adopt has gone through strenuous, invasive and grueling paperwork, home studies, and many other processes. These couples REALLY want a child. They would not go through that process if they weren’t totally committed to adoption. They are seriously devoted to it, having proven themselves to be deemed fit before any birth mother ever reviews their file. It’s a comforting thought to keep that in mind.

Where To Begin
If you are struggling with a decision of what to do because you don’t feel prepared to give your child the life you would want to, I would strongly advise you to consider adoption. There are several wonderful agencies in the metro area. The process involves meeting with a social worker and eventually browsing through several different couple’s profiles. When you find a couple that matches your values and fit the family you would want your child to grow up in from these in-depth profiles, you meet with them. You can meet with as many couples you want. You choose who you feel is right. You will know in your heart. Just know, from a woman who walked that path 7 years ago, there is hope and there is healing. Not once have I EVER regretted my decision. There is a life growing inside of you, and you need to take care of this little one, protect them and choose whatever is best for them, because they can’t do that for themselves. That is what mothers are for.


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.


 

To read an additional adoption story:
Jenny’s story.