Abortion Alternative: What It’s Like To Place A Baby For Adoption

Choosing an abortion alternative when facing an unplanned or unexpected pregnancy will not be an easy decision.

Placing a baby for adoption is a bittersweet experience. It is not just a singular event, it changes your life forever. One does not simply place a baby for adoption and forget all about it. Choosing adoption means grief, joy, love and loss. Choosing adoption means choosing life.

Placing my baby for adoption was the hardest thing I have ever done. While I was pregnant, I experienced a lot of judgement. I was young and single, so many people assumed that I was without moral, saying that I had thrown my life away. When I chose adoption, some people called me irresponsible, or didn’t believe that I loved my baby. That was hard for me.

However, for every negative comment I received, I got at least five that were positive. Most people understood that I was doing my best with a difficult situation. I had friends, family, and even strangers reach out and support me through my pregnancy. Some of the people I had been the most afraid of being judged by were the ones who were the most supportive of me and my decision.

Delivering my baby knowing that I wouldn’t be taking her home with me was exhausting, physically and emotionally. I cried from the pain of labor and the pain of my heart. Just when I was ready to give up, my sweet baby finally entered the world. The nurse handed her to me, and I knew that no matter how hard it had been, and no matter how hard it would be, the cliché is true–it was worth it. I loved my baby more than I ever thought possible.

Placement

When the time came to place my newborn baby into her adoptive parent’s arms, my heart shattered. This baby who I loved so fiercely wasn’t mine anymore. I couldn’t hold her or soothe her when she cried. I wouldn’t be there for her first steps, and I wouldn’t be the one she called mama. It made me think I would never recover.

Two years later and I can say I have found a new normal. I will never fully ‘get over’ the loss of placing my baby for adoption. The pain is the cost of loving her. But it doesn’t hurt every day. I am blessed to have a very open adoption, so I receive regular photos and updates from her adoptive parents. I visit my birth daughter often, and we share a special bond that I wouldn’t trade for anything. She is thriving with her beautiful family, living the childhood I hoped and dreamed she would have.

My adoption journey hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it. I have become stronger, more empathetic, and more loving. For every tear I have shed for my loss, I have smiled and laughed with joy for my open adoption. Watching my birth daughter grow up being loved by her adoptive family heals my heart and brings joy to my soul. Carrying this little person and helping to build a forever family has been an honor.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and would like to know more about the option of adoption, click here for a free consultation with an adoption professional.

Annaleece Merrill

Adoption: Choosing The “Perfect” Family

Can you choose the perfect family when you choose adoption for your unplanned pregnancy? Is there such a thing as a “perfect” family? Is the “perfect” family as elusive a the Loch Ness Monster or unicorns? For me, the “perfect” family meant that they are better than the family a child is being born into.

In my situation, this was an unexpected pregnancy, to say the least. I was 20 years old when I had the pregnancy confirmed. From that moment, I had planned to raise her myself. I knew it would be difficult, I just wasn’t aware of how difficult it would be before she was even born. The biological dad didn’t want to help raise her, and I wasn’t having an abortion. I was still living at home with my parents and younger sibling and was very unhappy. This was NOT the “perfect” family. She deserved more, so I chose to place her for adoption.

When I was asked, to pretty much build the “perfect” family, I was unsure what that meant. It meant to list the qualities I wanted my child’s future parents to have. It took me a couple of days to finalize that list and give it to the adoption agency. I wanted to make sure it was just right. From this list, and what the bio dad and I looked like, I was paired with three couples. Six people. What if I liked the wife, but not the husband, or vice versa? What if I didn’t like their professions? How would I be able to pick out the “perfect” couple?

In my circumstances, the adoptive parents write a letter to potential birth mothers, giving a bit of information on themselves, their struggles to have a child, why they’d love your child, what they do for a living, etc. I must’ve read those letters at least 30 times each. Each time I had the same gut reaction as I did the first time I read the letters. The first two letters, to me, sounded very business-like. I’m sure it wasn’t their intention, but it seemed as if it was a business transaction–cold, distant, but straight to the point.

The third letter grabbed my heart from the very start. Originally, I had decided as soon as I read the third letter. Though I knew it was too big of a decision to not read them all, and multiple times. This couple was genuine and open with all they had been through in their quest for a child. On paper they were “perfect.” Now to meet them in person. I was not disappointed!! They were even better in person. I went home after meeting them and told my parents how perfect they were. They were the right couple to raise my daughter as their own.

When I handed them their beautiful baby girl, I immediately saw the love they had for her. The love they had, was not only for her, but for me as well. It was amazing and beautiful. This was the “perfect” family. They had all the qualities I hoped for, loved this little girl as if biologically she was their own, loved me, and sent me updates on her life.

Fast forward and I found out things about the family dynamics–as a couple and as a family. I started feeling guilty and wondering if I had truly picked the right family for my child. Was this really the “perfect” family? NO! It wasn’t! There is not one family that is perfect. Every family has something.

No matter what the dynamics are in my daughter’s family, I know that her mom has done everything to give her the best life she could possibly have. My daughter certainly has a better life than I could’ve given her, at the time. To me, that’s what makes a “perfect” family.

If you’re in the placement process, here are a few things I learned:

  • Don’t put unattainable expectations on you or the prospective adoptive parents.
  • Be as open as you can be with the couple that you pick. They have fears and concerns, just like you.
  • Use an agency/lawyer that treats you like a person and not like money in the bank.
  • Go with your gut (and cautiously with your heart). If it doesn’t seem right, speak up.
  • Don’t let anyone tell you that your feelings aren’t valid because you’re placing your child for adoption.

by Jill Wong

How To Respond To People Telling You To Have An Abortion In Your Unplanned Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a huge shock when you aren’t expecting it. It can rock the world of even the most lackadaisical person. Coming to terms with an unplanned pregnancy is a difficult thing. What do you do when you are able to come to terms with the pregnancy, but others aren’t? When other people, even the most important people (baby’s father, your family) are advocating for you to abort? What do you say to help them understand that this isn’t something you are willing to do?

Firstly, it’s important that they understand that this is your choice. You are the one with the baby growing inside of you and it is YOUR choice.

These other 13 tips will help you navigate these nay-sayers.

  1. Find a Pregnancy Resource Center/Pregnancy Crisis Center so that you can have a counselor who can back you up to the nay-sayers.
  2. Create a plan. If you really want to convince others that you are making the right decision for you and your baby, create a realistic plan to show what continuing on with the pregnancy will look like for you. You may plan to parent alone or co-parent, perhaps taking parenting classes would help people see that you are committed to being the best parent possible for your baby. If you plan to choose adoption for your baby, then finding a licenced adoption specialist to speak with your family about the benefits of adoption would increase your credibility to those who want you to abort.
  3. Make an appointment with your doctor or midwife. Ask for an ultrasound. Show others the picture of your baby. Take away the abstract and unknown, and show everyone who your baby is. If your baby is real to people, then it’s much harder for them to advocate for termination.
  4. Be excited about your pregnancy. If you start showing excitement, it’s hard for people to condemn you.
  5. Talk about your baby. Talk about the hopes and dreams you have for your baby. Make others see that your baby is a real person with the potential to make a difference in this world.
  6. Show people how you are making positive changes in your life to reflect continuing with the pregnancy. If you smoke, drink alcohol, or do drugs, get help quitting. Start eating as healthy as you can. Start taking prenatal vitamins and have regular prenatal visits with your doctor or midwife. Being able to tell others that you are committed to creating a healthy body for your baby to develop in will go a long way to proving that you are making the right choice.
  7. Be firm. Say no. If they bring you to an abortion clinic, tell the doctors you say no. Doctors won’t perform an abortion without your consent.
  8. Remind people that every life matters. Lives have purposes and are created for a reason. Tell them that because you are choosing life for your baby, this is the greatest gift you can give your child. It takes sacrifice and selflessness, but you are willing to put the life of your child above previous life plans.
  9. If you choose adoption for your baby, explain how you will be bringing the greatest joy into the life of a family. You are giving this family the greatest, most selfless gift possible. You want to do something that is bigger than you.
  10. If you choose to raise your child, explain that you are ready to be a mom. You know it will be difficult at times, but there will also be a lot of joy in watching your child grow. Your child is a gift to you and your family–not a burden.
  11. With abortion can come regret, pain, depression, and many other emotions and feelings. You will never regret not having an abortion. No one ever wished they could abort their baby after they met their baby.
  12. Try helping them picture their life in their new role. For example, let them know what they can do as grandparents with the baby, or as father to the baby. Tell them how good they’ll be or let them know, if they are feeling hesitant, that they could attend a parenting class with you.
  13. Tell them abortion is killing and you are not willing to have your baby killed. You are your baby’s protector. Whether you believe it or not, it’s a statement that might quiet people.

Whatever you choose to say in your unplanned pregnancy, be confident, be firm and don’t let them change your mind. You are already an amazing mother because you are advocating and standing up for your baby, and that is what a mother does!

by Theresa Siertsema

 

6 People You Need When Choosing An Abortion Alternative

Congratulations, you are having a baby! I’m sure that seems like a fairly daunting task right now, but you can do it. You are giving your baby life! That is the greatest gift you can give. You are off to a fantastic start. Since you’re choosing an abortion alternative here’s what you need to know.

First things first, you’ll want to do is to build Team Baby. Whether you decide to parent alone, co-parent with the baby’s father, choose a family member to care for your baby, or choose another family to adopt your baby, you are going to need an All Star team for you and your baby. Your team can be whatever size you’d like–definitely take quality over quantity. When building your Team Baby make sure that your team members are supportive of you and your decisions. Allow people in who will discuss with you and give you suggestions, but will ultimately back you up on your decisions.

Here are some suggestions of who could/should be on Team Baby with you:

1. “Your Person”

To borrow the phrase from Grey’s Anatomy, this person should be a really good friend (maybe the baby’s father, maybe a trusted family member, maybe a trusted friend). He or she should be someone who will go with you to appointments and help you understand all the information you are given. Someone who will be there to support you through the good, the bad, the ugly, and the amazing of your pregnancy. This person is someone who is there no matter what and on your side no matter what.

 2. Midwife or Obstetrician

Find a midwife or a good obstetrician. These medical professionals can help you through the changes and challenges that being pregnant will bring. They are also essential for ensuring that your baby is growing well and that you remain healthy. Regular prenatal doctor/midwife visits are a must!

3. Counselor you can trust

You are making some big, potentially life-changing decisions and it’s good to have a professional you can talk through those decisions. A good counselor can help you figure out what the right choice is for you! You can find a counselor through a pregnancy options and support center or through the health unit.

4. Trusted Religious Advisor

A pastor or minister can be helpful as they will pray for you or with you and can be another support person you can trust. They can help you find peace in your decision-making. They might suggest coming out to their church or gathering as well. This can be a good idea if it is something you are comfortable with. It is a good way to meet people who have been through all sorts of life circumstances, but have found peace. These people can become good friends and a good support system as well.

5. Your Cheering Squad

Or in other words your support system. These can be family and friends who support your decision and are willing to walk with you in the weeks and months to come. They should be people who will encourage you and be positive influence around you

6. An Adoption Specialist within a licensed adoption agency

One abortion alternative is adoption. If you are thinking of looking into the adoption route, then it would be a good idea to find an adoption specialist that you trust to help you find the perfect family for your baby. He or she should be someone who will listen to all the needs and wants that you have for your baby and his/her future. It should be someone who will consider the involvement that you may want or not want in your baby’s future as well. Make sure that this individual comes from a licensed adoption agency. Your counselor, religious advisor, or midwife/doctor could likely help you make sure you find a good licensed adoption specialist.

Well there you have it: Team Baby. With you as the captain and with your trusted teammates, you and baby are going to do great! You’ll encounter challenges, and the opposition might be fierce, but overall you and your baby will overcome and be the victors. Whatever decision you make from here, you chose life for your baby and that already makes you a champion.

 

3 Things You Must Know About Single Parenting & Co-Parenting

by Lita Jordan

I was sitting alone at a small cafe when a bright-eyed, blonde-haired force of an 8-year-old boy sat at my table. We had not met before, but he talked as if he had known me all his life. As he frantically colored his coloring page, he spoke without ceasing about everything from hot wheels to Bakugan. A few minutes later, his dad came up and asked him in his worst Napoleon Dynamite voice, “You want some tots?” His little boy giggled and later told his dad in the car that he should ask out the girl he was sitting with because “she was a babe.” He finally did and the rest is history. Who knew that a single parenting father and his son would change my life?

Here we are, nine years later, and that bustling boy is my stepchild and the poor man’s Napoleon Dynamite my husband! When I met my husband, he was struggling to figure out the single dad life and striving to co-parent the best he could. My stepson is now 17 and has an amazing mom and dad. They have both had to figure out the dynamics of single parenting and also the dynamics of co-parenting without great examples to look toward. There have many ups and downs, but by placing the priority on him, both parents have done an amazing job putting aside their differences to put their son first.

The story is unfortunately too common. The struggling single mom or dad working three jobs to support their child because the other parent is M.I.A. The separated parents of a child constantly at each other’s throats due to disagreement and pride. Here are three things you must know about single parenting and co-parenting:

1. Single Parents Doing It Right Are Amazing!

I know a single-mom very well who is the sole provider for her two children. Their father is in and out of the picture when he wants, but is unfortunately heavily involved in drugs and not able or willing to provide for his children. I also know a single dad who is in this exact situation with the mother of his children. The strength it takes them to provide for their children alone, and the amazing people their children are becoming, is inspiring. They seek to fill the void placed by the other parent and somehow adapt to doing all of this alone. Single parenting is not for the faint of heart, but is very possible and rewarding.

2. Pride Destroys Lives

It is very likely that a single parent or separated parent may have some sort of resentment toward their ex. It is uncommon that a separation occurred from a mutual and friendly place. It’s very easy to want revenge or want to make the other person pay. It is hard not to let pride get to us! When co-parenting, you have to put your pride aside daily for your child. Never use your child as a pawn. Your ex may even move on to a new relationship, making the pain even greater. Regardless of the pain, pride will only hurt your child and destroy a great opportunity to co-parent.

If you are a single parent with no outside support, your life is no longer your own. You will have to swallow your pride to not only say no to freedoms you once had, but also to ask for help when you need it. You have a whole new world of making decisions based on your child. Vocational, relational, and financial decisions, among others, should all come from a place of that will benefit your child.

3. When Children Come First, Love Wins Out!

When you put your child first you are able to make your decisions through the lens of what is best for them, not what feels the most satisfying for you. Even if the other parent does not quite get that aspect yet, your example will speak volumes. Rise above for your child. When you are able to set aside your differences, it is life giving for the child. They do not have to bear the burden of picking sides or feeling turmoil. If you are a single parent and the other parent is not involved, your whole life will revolve around placing your child first. Whether single or co-parenting, your child ultimately feeling loved, wanted, and secure in his or her relationships will be your ultimate mission.