As I type this, it has been eight months, to the day, since I sat in my living room and signed a stack of papers that terminated my rights to my son. As I signed them, I never thought of changing my mind. I knew from the very beginning that adoption was the right decision. I am not saying, however, that it was ever an easy or pleasant decision. Many nights I cried about it or dreamed of ways to make it possible for me to keep my baby. However, I have never doubted that I did what was best for everyone involved.
I was able to choose a wonderful couple to raise Slade. They have continued to keep in touch and have sent many pictures. Before I go to sleep every night I stare at just one of the adorable pictures I have framed of Slade and say a prayer for him and his family. His parents are truly wonderful and will support him and love him his entire life. However, although he does not know me, I feel that he was just as lucky to have me, as he is to have them. Adoption is about the birth mother who knows that she does not have the resources or ability to care for her child. It is her act that makes the whole process work. There are millions of couples who long to adopt a child, and yet there are even more women out there that selfishly abort their children or raise them on their own when they are not capable of such a responsibility. I could have kept Slade and sometimes wish I had, but when I truly think about it, I know that his life, and mine, would have been so much different. He has been blessed with a wonderful family, and I too have been blessed with a world of opportunity. Both of our futures were tremendously broadened by my decision, and I am thankful that I had the strength and guidance to follow through.
During my pregnancy, and now, eight months after, I have talked to many girls about adoption. I am not ashamed of my decision but rather talk about it openly. Some people question my actions, but I defend myself eloquently and share details about Slade and his adoptive parents. I also show them a picture of him that I have on my keychain. All we can see through the pictures is how very happy he is and that speaks volumes. I will continue to support adoption and especially to encourage pregnant teenagers to research American Adoptions and other sources in order to get more information before they make their final decision. Thank you once again for you consideration for this scholarship, but more importantly, I want to thank the entire American Adoption organization for helping me find the most wonderful couple I could have dreamed of to adopt my child.
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