“Unplanned” But Never Unwanted

“You don’t understand.  I have to have an abortion.  I’m only 15 years old and I cannot take care of a baby.  I want this baby to have two parents, I want to become a Marine and move out of town.  I want to travel and make something of myself.  I have to get an abortion, there is no other choice.”

Last May I got a phone call that changed my life.  Someone contacted me, pleading for me to help a young woman who was pregnant and in her 3rd trimester -- and wanted an abortion.

I immediately contacted her on Facebook.  Over the course of two weeks, we talked every day as I tried to build a relationship with her and determine where the crisis lay.  Given her situation and age, she felt backed into a corner and a recent trip to Planned Parenthood convinced her abortion was her best option.

As soon as she was willing, I took her to our local women’s help center, where she was  counseled and provided an ultrasound to determine exactly how far along she was in her pregnancy.  Counselors walked her through the process of adoption as an alternative to abortion.  They shared with her the resources available if she was willing to keep her baby and raise her.  After a couple of hours of talking through all of her options and seeing the ultrasound of her baby moving around on the screen, she chose adoption!

This is the story of how Charles and I adopted our precious 8 month old baby girl, Stella!  We were blessed that day as Stella’s birth mom unexpectedly asked us to adopt her baby.  Today, Charles and I have a 2 year old little girl named Riley, that we became pregnant with a month after getting married. Riley was only 1 when we started spending time with Stella’s birth mom. Charles and I came alongside her to help her choose a better option, never expecting her to ask us to adopt Stella, but we were more than willing!

Many families in this country are desperately wanting and searching for children to adopt through private adoptions or foster care.  We often hear on college campuses that women must choose abortion because there are too many children in the foster care system and that adoption is really cruel to the child being placed.

Women deserve better than abortion.  Women are strong enough to endure an unplanned pregnancy and make the absolute best decision for their child. And when a mother decides that her child deserves more than what she could provide and places that baby for adoption, she should be celebrated.  I can’t even imagine the strength it takes to quiet your desire to keep your baby and place your child in a home where the life you want and need for her will be provided.  It takes amazing strength to sign over your parental rights to another woman, and ask her to raise your baby as her own.  Adoption is a beautiful gift not only given by the birth parents, but a beautiful gift received by the adoptive parents.

As so well put by the National Adoption Center, “There is never an unwanted child, just an unfound family.”  It doesn’t matter how that child was conceived, whether by rape or by very young parents, whether from a poor country, or whether having a disability, every child is wanted and loved. Adoption unleashes great purpose, not only in the child but in the family where the child is placed and in the community surrounding them.  The circumstances of how a child is conceived doesn’t determine their humanity, their Creator and created DNA determines their humanity.

My family was completely blindsided by the unexpected blessing of Stella’s adoption.  We were  overwhelmed by the love and kindness of our community and countless others around the country and the world who stood behind not only us, but our birth mom by writing her notes of gratitude and giving her gifts.  We were supported financially, covered in prayer, and celebrated as our family and friends welcomed Stella with open arms as we brought her home.  I was with Stella’s birth mom every step of the way.  I took her to all of her doctor’s appointments, counseling sessions, clothes shopping, and Charles and I were even in the delivery room holding her hands as she gave birth to Stella last summer.  It was an amazing experience to say the least.  We continue to have an amazing relationship with Stella’s birth mom and are watching as she is thriving and completing her last year of high school.

Adoption isn’t an easy process.  It is painful, costly, sacrificial, and probably the hardest thing a mother can do, but it is a much better choice than abortion.  Not only for the baby, but also for the mother.

Stella was not “planned” by her birth parents.  But neither was our biological daughter, Riley.  Both children were planned by God and are wanted, not because of how they were conceived or the circumstances surrounding their arrival, but because they are two girls created in the beautiful image of God, and the best example of redemption.  Words can never express how beautiful adoption is to our family.  Stella was given a chance at life, a chance to grow up and possibly become a mother herself, or a president of the United States or a scientist, an athlete, an engineer -- something great!

“I am so thankful I didn’t have an abortion.  Thank you for adopting Stella and helping me in one of the darkest times in my life.  This is going to be hard, but I will never regret it.”  So stated Stella’s birth mom.

If you or someone you know is pregnant and needs help making the right choice for them and their baby, please visit: www.optionline.org , or call 1-800-712-4357, or text “HELPLINE” to 313131.  To learn more about adoption or becoming a foster parent please visit: www.bethany.org.