About five years ago, I found myself in a very painful separation from my husband. During that time of pain and rebelliousness, I became pregnant. I thought it was a cruel punishment. I was already in a state of bewilderment and hurt from the separation, but a pregnancy was almost surreal. I already had three children and a stepson I was raising.
At the time I was in close counseling with my pastors. They were the first people I called. As an active Christian, I have always had strong belief about certain issues. Ironically, I had just engaged in lively conversation with some youth about my beliefs about abortion, prior to finding out I was pregnant for the third time. That was something I would never consider, or so I thought. I had to be honest with my pastor’s wife, I was considering abortion. I could not imagine going through a separation from my husband and raising children with a part time job. My world was turned upside down. I couldn’t imagine raising another child. The first thing my pastor’s wife said to me was, “Annie, don’t kill a baby over a mistake you made. At least consider adoption.” I thought, “Wow, adoption. That’s something teenagers do, not grown women who already have children.” Even though no sudden light flash or epiphany came to me about this other option, I did feel calmness as I considered it.
Soon my uncle became involved, sharing a website of an adoption agency he used to adopt my young cousin. I was struck by how there is grace for those who’ve become pregnant not even before a divorce has come!
It was a slow process, as I constantly thought about all three options. Raising another just seemed impossible, abortion just scary, and adoption seemed so foreign. I made an appointment with an Adoption Associates caseworker, and she familiarized me with the need and support of birth mothers. She didn’t judge me, she didn’t tell me all the reasons I couldn’t take care of him, she only wanted to listen and answer my questions I had. And I had a lot. She gently gave me the option of making future appointments with me. There was no urgency to fulfill the needs of waiting couples. I was almost totally unaware that couples were actually waiting.
Months had gone by and I was becoming more sure everyday that I was open to adoption. Of course during this time I sought the Lord. I knew this was a huge deal, giving my child away to be raised by others. I told the Lord that if He wanted me to raise him to let me know, but for now, I couldn’t see it for my future. My pastors also encouraged me to write a pros and cons list. Adoption was winning. I assure you I am not without emotion or feelings, I am not made of stone. More and more, others would tell me how proud they were and what a brave thing I was doing. I couldn’t understand what they meant. I felt that I was giving up and that a real woman could take care of her children. I was copping out and being cold-hearted. Time proved to reveal to others who felt this way as well, but less than I thought.
One day I finally discovered why others thought I was brave and loving. It was because I was choosing to give life. God blessed me, and He had a couple who wanted—actually sought out—a child. My child.
When I think on that, it blows my mind. I feel good about my decision. It was in God’s plan the whole time.
Mother of 4 children