Today, we're sharing one woman's story of choosing adoption for her child. We were able to chat with a birth mother, Ashley, about her experience with open adoption. She gives an honest, intelligent and thought-provoking account of what it was like for her to choose adoption for her son.
Ashley expresses the role this choice has played in the lives of everyone involved. And, she optimistically looks toward the future of the unique relationship built by open adoption.
What effect do you think choosing open adoption has had on your life?
"Open adoption has had a very positive effect on my life. Open adoption has allowed me to accomplish a lot of goals I had for myself, which might have been difficult being a single parent. Open adoption gives me the comfort and faith that my birth son will have the love and support in his future, that he deserves."
Would you have chosen adoption were it not an open adoption?
"I would not choose closed adoption. My mom was adopted at birth. Growing up, she had some unexplained health situations come up, and always needed extra tests to be done. It was really important to me to choose open adoption because of that fact; I wouldn't want my son to have unanswered questions, especially about his health."
What was the main reason you chose adoption for your son?
"The main reason I choose adoption was for the fact that I don't believe in abortion. The pregnancy was unexpected, but I felt that it was only fair, and best, to go through the nine months out of my life so he could have the chance at life that he deserved. He, to this day, is a beautiful, healthy, intelligent boy; a true gift to such a wonderful family."
How did you come to choose your son's adoptive family?
"One night my sister gave me the idea to look online for adoptive couples. Within a few days, she came across Chris and Jessica! Their profile was very heartwarming and sweet. The one thing that caught my attention was a picture of Jessica in front of her car, holding a baby car seat. There was a quote underneath that read, 'I'm ready!' At that point, I thought, 'this family is so great,' and they had a fun sense of humor as well. We also shared some common interests."
That must have been a hard decision, what was the deciding factor?
"The deciding factor was l was only 19, and I was a student. At that time, I had to be on leave from my job because I had a high-risk pregnancy, I honestly didn't have the means to offer the life I wanted to my child at that time. I loved him SO much that I wanted the best for him, and a gift for someone else to love."
Do you ever regret your decision?
"I don't regret anything. My son has everything I would have ever wanted for him. I feel very blessed to have met Jessica and Chris; I look forward to the day I'm ready to be a mother and a provider for my children."
What have you been able to do in your life that you might not have been able to do if you had not chosen adoption?
"I have been able to enjoy my life. I have been able to accomplish my hopes and goals. I just graduated from a private college this year, with hopes of advancing my education and career. I have always had love and support from Chris and Jessica, which has made a huge impact on my life. They're not just my son's parents; they're family to me."
Is there anything you would like to say to families waiting to adopt a child or to birth parents who have placed their children in an adoptive family?
"Just have faith, and an open mind and everything will work out for everyone."