I’m writing this to every woman who finds herself pregnant and doesn’t know what to do.  I was there.  I know how scary it can be, especially when the father is…well let’s just say “not appropriate.”

My pregnancy was about as scary as it gets.  I had been raped and was strung out on drugs when I found out.  That night, I went home, locked the door and begged God for help.  Not that God and I had been super close lately, but I knew this was bigger than I could handle.  Through my prayers and tears, I seemed to sense God telling me: “Don’t abort this child, I have great plans her.”  So I complied, even though numerous people, including my own family, told me to get an abortion.  Some people even got mad at me, telling me that it was justifiable to get one due to the drug use, the fact that I was raped and even because the baby would be of mixed race (white/black).  But I didn”t listen to them.  Then, when my drug use almost caused a miscarriage, I knew I had to get out of my situation and make some changes.

I was blessed with an unconventional guardian angel – a truck driver who let me ride with him for a couple of weeks.  I was four months into my pregnancy at this point, so I did what seemed like the most logical thing to do: I found an ad for adoption in the paper and made a call.

I was sent to a social worker in Kansas.  She took me into her house for the rest of my pregnancy while I tried to come to terms with whether I would actually place my little baby girl up for adoption or not.  I kept praying that the family who adopted her would feel right to me; that if I had second thoughts later I would feel too guilty to try and take her from them.  I was also hoping for a strong, healthy relationship with the family so that I could still keep a close relationship with my daughter.  But no one seemed right, and I was about to accept the challenge of raising her alone.

Then, one month before the c-section was scheduled, I met the family that would adopt my first born baby. They had two older children of their own and a beautiful little mixed race, eighteen month old girl they had adopted.  They were ready for another child to raise with Margaret.  I learned that the mother, Liz, had wanted many children, but she had several miscarriages after the first two and could no longer conceive.  They had an understanding of family and love that I hadn’t seen in my own family or in the other families I had spoken with.  They were also the first family that didn’t seem to cringe at my honesty about my drug use.  I was very grateful. When Liz asked to be in the operating room for the birth I was so happy, because I so wanted the adoptive mother to share in that moment with me.

Now, three and a half years later, Liz has become my best friend and role model.  I look at her as if she were my older sister.  Monica (my daughter) and Margaret look like they could be twins.  I’ve even met Margaret”s birth mother and felt a great bond with her.  So what started out as a tragic event has evolved into my biggest life-defining moment, and through this I have gained a true sense of love.  There is nothing more fulfilling in my life than knowing that Monica is in a loving and nurturing family, and that I placed her there with all the love in my heart.

If you are considering adoption, I just want to say this: the right family is out there to match the hopes and dreams you have for the little life inside you.  All it takes is courage and faith in your baby”s future.