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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Mary's Adoption Scholarship Story

My adoption story began on March 24, 2009, when I was told the most shocking news of my life. A physician at the Women's Clinic told me that I was three months pregnant. The reason this was so incredibly shocking was because I had not been sexually active in any way, shape, or form nor had I had any pregnancy symptoms in the past three months. About 20 minutes later I was told the most devastating news of my life. A counselor from the Women's Clinic told me that I was most likely a victim of date rape.

After months of investigation along with counseling it was confirmed that on the night of December 18, 2008, I was raped. Unlike most rape victims, I knew my perpetrator. Not only did I know him, I considered him a very close friend of mine; someone that I attended church with, had classes with, and was in various campus organizations with. We often got lunch during the week with mutual friends, sharing conversation about life's many ups and downs. He was always very encouraging, and gave me no reason not to trust him. This is why I was so taken aback when I found it was him, my friend and confidant, who drugged, took advantage, and lied to my face about what really happened that night.

This all occurred during my junior year at Virginia Tech. I was extremely active around campus, and was always looking for ways to get more involved and give back to the Hokie community. I had everything going for me, as a New Student Orientation Leader, Hokie Camp Executive, member of the Relay for Life Events Committee, Group Fitness Instructor, and Club Managers Association Conference Chair. I was also getting ready to study abroad for 4 weeks on the French Riviera with a group of students, including my best friend. I considered myself so blessed to have such great opportunities and was looking forward to everything my senior year had in store.

However, the second I found out I was raped, and as a result pregnant, I watched all these accomplishments and dreams fly out the window. Because of my religious beliefs and morals, abortion was not an option. I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do at first; just like it was not my fault and under my control that I got pregnant, it was not the child's that I had growing inside of me either. All I knew was that she deserved a chance at a fulfilling life, and despite the circumstance and all it would cost me, I wanted to give her that chance. After much prayer and support from my family I decided that adoption would be the best decision for both her and I. This way I would be able to return to those dreams I had to give up for the time being, and finish school as well. While at the same time the baby would have a chance at a much more fulfilling life than I would be able to give her.

I began searching the internet and found a particular family with American Adoptions right away. I contacted an agent and she informed me that this particular family was no longer available. I got very discouraged and worried that I would never find the right fit. It was then that I began working with Lissa Beckland who was so helpful in answering all my questions and concerns. She walked me through all the paper work, and other processes, making it as easy as possible! I was looking online one morning in early June and came across a profile that instantly brought me to tears. After praying about it and sharing with my family, I contacted Lissa and told her I found the perfect couple. She immediately contacted them, told them my story, and gave them my contact information. It was from that moment on that God began working miracles in Bob and Katy's life as well as mine.

To get to know each other better we e-mailed back and forth all summer. The more I learned about their lives, faith, and family, the more comfortable I felt with everything. But, there were still many days throughout the summer that I didn't want to get out of bed; I struggled with understanding why God didn't protect me that night, why he let such a terrible thing happen to me, and why he allowed positions that I worked so hard for to be torn away from me. Bob and Katy told me all the time how thankful they were for the decision that I was making and this helped to remind myself what an amazing gift I was giving them. They would often send pictures of the nursery, and gifts they received; things like this made it easier for me because it truly made me see how unconditionally loved and blessed my baby girl was going to be.

I wanted them to have all the "firsts" because I knew this may be their only chance, while my opportunity would one day come. This included things like naming her, and being the first to see and hold her. Taylor Lee was born on September 3, 2009, she weighted 7.5 ounces and was 21 inches long. As soon as I was moved from labor and delivery, Bob and Katy walked into my room with flowers and hugs for me and my family. There are not enough words to describe how comfortable and right it felt; I cannot imagine it working out any better! The tears were flowing as we exchanged gifts and cards; Katy had matching bracelets made for her, Taylor, and I that were engraved with our initials and said "Always in My Heart," and I had a necklace made for Taylor with her name on it and the same quote (we even wrote out the same Bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11 in our cards!) We had not planned on this coincidence at all; it was just evidence of how God's mighty hand was on the situation the whole time. As I watched Bob and Katy hold her, I had a new feeling of understanding as to why God allowed such a terrible thing to happen to me; it was so He could turn it into a beautiful, life-changing miracle that would serve as a testimony of how wonderful adoption is to girls who are in similar situations.

Bob and Katy send pictures often, and e-mail about once a week; I really feel we have an amazing relationship. I never doubt the decision that I made about choosing them to adopt my baby; I know with my whole heart that she is loved more than anything, and will be given an endless amount of opportunity to pursue her dreams. I am so blessed to have all the support around me that I do; it would not have been possible without my amazing friends and family surrounding me. I never thought I would be saying this, but I have truly thankful for all that this experience has taught me and I look forward to all that the future has to offer every day!

 

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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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