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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Amanda's Adoption Story

"I never imagined I would have to make a decision like this.” 

I was 20 when I found out that I was pregnant. I was unsure of how my parents would react to the news. I was almost 2 months along when I got up the courage to tell them. They were more understanding and supportive than I could have ever fathomed. Abortion was never an option for me, and I told them right then what I felt very strongly from the beginning; that adoption was the right thing to do. I wanted this child to have everything he needed, and to be able to have the opportunity to thrive in his life. I knew that adoption was going to be the best option for my baby. 

My Mom took me to a local counselor/adoption specialist so I could look into my options. They encouraged me in my decision, and supported the difficult choice I was walking through.
I continued seeing the local counselor until I was about 7 months along. Since they were limited to local families, and considering my requirements for the family I wanted for my baby, they could only find one family for me to choose from - not exactly my idea of “choice”. So, I decided to look at other options, and my search led me to American Adoptions online. I decided to contact them right away.

At the beginning of this, I wanted to find a family by my 6th month. By the time I contacted American Adoptions, I was about 7 months along. I was a little stressed not knowing if I would be able to find the right family in just 2 months. I started talking with my adoption specialist and looking at profiles. After almost a month, and many profiles later, I found Cliff & Julie's profile. I called to make sure that their file hadn't been pulled yet, since they sounded like they fit exactly what I wanted for my baby. 

On December 23, 2004 I got a call from Alli Garlich, my adoption specialist at American Adoptions. I knew that I wanted to tell them the good news myself, and although she was surprised, she fully supported my decision. She asked me if I was ready to tell Cliff & Julie the news right away. I was ready. I had been waiting to meet my baby’s parents for months! She got us on a 3-way call and said, "Cliff, Julie are you there?" I heard their response, "Yeah, we're here." "Amanda are you there?" "Yeah, I'm here." Alli continued, "Cliff & Julie, Amanda has something she wants to tell you." I knew what I wanted to say, and I was ready. "Hi, I just wanted to tell you… Merry Christmas, it's a boy!" Their excitement confirmed that I had made the right decision. We exchanged e-mail addresses, and over the next few weeks, we started to get to know each other better. At that point, we felt comfortable enough to exchange phone numbers. 

Cliff and Julie were wonderful during this time, and were nice enough to include me in their plans and excitement about their new baby. They emailed often, even including pictures of the nursery they got ready (in just a week after hearing the news!), and pictures of the baby shower given by their friends and family. Just being able to see their excitement and joy in expecting a child, made me feel so much better about my decision, and let me see how right it was. I wanted to be able to start using the name they chose, so I asked what name they had picked. When they told me “Nolan”, I referred to him by his name from that point on. 

For the delivery, I planned on getting induced so they could make it here from out of state, and be there for the whole process. We decided to meet for dinner on the 22nd of January. We had dinner, and then went back to my house with our families. We felt so comfortable with each other, and wanted to visit more and exchange some gifts that we had for each other. I was expecting the call to be induced sometime between midnight on the 22nd and midnight on the 23rd, so we were all surprised when the call came at 10PM on the 22nd. I got to the hospital at 11:30PM, and we got started with the induction process. I wasn’t progressing very quickly, and after about 22 hours at the hospital, my nurse felt that Nolan was having a little trouble. She called my doctor, and they agreed that a C-section was needed.
I was a little apprehensive, but I knew that it would be best for the baby. I was disappointed for Cliff and Julie, since they wouldn’t be able to be in the room when Nolan was delivered, but they understood, and waited with my family while I went into the OR with my Mom along for support.
The surgical delivery turned out to be a blessing. The umbilical cord was wrapped once around my baby's neck and twice around one of his arms. Thankfully, we both came out fine and he hardly even cried. 

For the next three days, we both stayed in the hospital. My family, Julie and her parents, and Cliff came to visit us every day and made sure we were as comfortable as we could be. It ended up being a huge blessing that I had to have a C-section. It gave me the opportunity to get to know not only Cliff and Julie, but also her parents. And I was able to spend some much-needed time with Nolan. He is such a little blessing, and I am a better person for having spent the time with him that I did. 

Cliff and Julie are definitely a blessing to my life. They continue to keep in touch by email, and keep me updated on Nolan’s progress. They also include pictures fairly regularly, allowing me to see his growth. This is such an amazing gift to me, and always reassures me that he is very well loved and cared for. I am so grateful to have found such wonderful parents for my baby!

Like I started this with, "I never imagined I would have to make a decision like this", but I'm glad that God brought me through as He has. I have a stronger faith, and deeper love in my heart because of it. And a precious little boy is alive and well… and loved by so many people!

Amanda

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

While not every woman who chooses adoption is a young mother, many are. Through adoption, many young women have found an ability to give their babies the best life possible, while finding the opportunity to realize their own dreams, as well. Call American Adoptions today at 1-800-ADOPTION.

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Adoption Glossary

Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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