Years later after finishing college, I’m now a stay-at-home Mom to our growing family. When I’m not spending time with them, I spend my free time writing or making something crafty! For now, my blog called The Grace Bond is where I capture our memories, both as a family and with Anna. Below you’ll find my adoption story, but in it you’ll also find my testimony. It was my pregnancy with Anna and the troubles I faced that lead me back to God, who led me to the decision of adoption.
Right after my 16th birthday I hit rock bottom. I was pregnant. Just a junior in high school, not even a job or a drivers license, and a so-called boyfriend that didn’t care anything but himself, I was was pregnant and supposed to raise a child like this? The news rocked my family’s world in the worst way, creating emotional hurts that needed to be healed. I felt alone, afraid, and very shameful for that path I had chosen to go down that I knew wasn’t the real me. I often would look into the mirror and just cry, “This isn’t how it was supposed to be!” How could I have done this? I knew this wasn’t the life I wanted to live, and definitely not what God wanted for my life. My heart ached constantly and eventually I turned to the only thing that would take my burden away and just let me rest in peace….God.
The first few months of pregnancy were extremely painful with all the hurt that dwelled within my family and my own heart. I especially struggled with that fact that the father of my baby wasn’t supportive in any way, so I was dealing with our break up on top of the emotions, pregnancy hormones, and pain that life had handed to me. I began working with a social worker who helped me through those dark months, helping me to weigh my options and work through the pain. But, I know now that it was God who ultimately took my hand and lead me through those days, even when I felt more alone than ever before.
Slowly God worked in my heart and my life, erasing the pain of my choices, erasing the pain between my parents and I, and helping me to move past a dead-end relationship with the father. He moved me in a direction to mature and grow in His love and to finally, truly understand what a relationship with Him meant. But, He began to ask something big of me that I wasn’t ready for. Since becoming pregnant I often begged, “What should I do?!” I wanted to parent my little girl so badly, I loved her with my every being, experiencing her life forming within me was the most amazing miracle I had ever witnessed! But, I knew if I parented her it would be such a rough life for us both. Still, I wanted her with me. I named her Anna Grace and dreamed up how life would be. I was ready to endure the hardships just so I could be with her. However, God had other plans and my heart knew it. I knew He was calling me towards adoption. My heart would ache and pull away at the thought of adoption, how could He ask this of me? This was my daughter! I battled the decision for months, changing my mind back and forth. It was a constant unsettling, war within my heart. My parents were supportive either way, but they all agreed that adoption would be best for us. I could understand what they were trying to tell me in how hard life would be for us, but I wanted to do it all. I wanted to be a super teenage mom. I wanted to be her Mom.
At 7 months pregnant, one beautiful day that my Mom and I had taken an easy Buy Tramadol hike on a small mountain, something sunk in. I like to describe it as God “hitting me on the head.” Not literally, of course, but the realities hit fast and hard like a swift punch to the head. It was like my eyes finally could see after years of blindness, and it hurt at first. I sobbed for hours realizing the truth in the hard life my daughter and I would lead if I parented her. I kept thinking of all the things I would be missing out on and the things I couldn’t offer my child that she so deserved. First and foremost, my daughter deserved a better life than one practically raised by a babysitter as I went about my super teenage-mom duties. I finally got it. I got that He had greater plans for us. Plans to prosper us and not harm us, just as He promise in the Bible. I knew right then that God had planned, for both Anna and me, an adoption. I had known it all along but at that moment, I accepted it.
Within days His plan went into action. I talked with my social worker and started looking at couples. It only took one profile, the very first one I looked at, for me to know I had found the ones. They reminded me of my own family and they had everything I was looking for in a couple. There were so many uncanny similarities that I could just see God’s finger prints all over this profile. Within another few days, I had met them in person and again was confirmed with the over whelming joy in my heart that these were the ones for my daughter. There was just one problem. I had already named my daughter Anna, and it was really important to me that she kept that name after adoption. But, they already had a name picked out, too–It was Kayla. They quickly agreed to the name Kaylee, and again, we saw God working. I hadn’t told them about her middle name, I wanted them to have that choice since I had chosen the first name. We chose the same name–Ann. You can’t tell me that God isn’t real and that this wasn’t His plan. Coincidences don’t just happen like that!
We continued to get to know each other the remaining 2 months of my pregnancy and on June 11th, 2004 we were bonded forever by our little girl. On the day before we were released from the hospital, we chose to have a celebration of Kaylee’s birth and to honor a new beginning for everyone involved. I chose to have heart necklaces engraved for her Adoptive Mom, Kaylee, and myself with our initials on them as a reminder of our connected hearts and lives. Kaylee’s necklace has both mine and her Mom’s initials as a symbol of our adoption and her two loving mothers. I wear my heart necklace as a daily reminder of my connection and love for my daughter.
Though this was God’s plan to prosper us, I can’t say that it wasn’t painful. It was. Letting go of the child that I had carried and loved endlessly for months, was heart breaking. But I had God with me, along with support of friends and family. I also had peace in my decision. I knew, and still know, without a doubt that I did what was best for us at that point in my life and God has worked amazingly through the experience. Anna’s family and I still have contact and see each other often. They frequently say when they adopted Anna, they adopted me into their family as well. Every word and action they make demonstrates their open mind and heart. Anna knows me as her birth mom, she calls Savannah her sister, and she loves playing with my husband. Whenever we visit I’m always reminded of that bond Anna and I shared, that it’s never left us, and the amazing ways God brought two families together to share one lucky little girl.
Check out Leah’s blog, The Grace Bond.