Life is full of choices. Some choices we face are on trivial matters, such as what to wear to work or what to eat for lunch. Other choices are far more serious and require great thought and introspection, such as who to vote for in an election or what career to choose. However, it’s unlikely that any choice is more difficult than that a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy must make in determining the future of her unborn child.
Learning that you are expecting when you weren’t expecting results in a wave of emotions. Shock. Joy. Confusion. Fear. Loneliness. Love. Panic. No two women experience the same set of emotions and no emotions are right or wrong. What matters is not the initial reaction, but rather the reaction that impacts the life of the child.
For Miranda, a young woman in college, the initial reaction was shock and confusion. As a result, she at first agreed to the abortion that her baby’s father wanted. Not at peace with that decision, Miranda soon decided against an abortion upon seeing the life growing within her during her first ultrasound. “When I saw the little bean jumping around in there,” Miranda said, “I could not deny that it was a living being created by God for that purpose.”
While she was determined to give birth to her child, Miranda wasn’t ready to raise a child. Struggling with depression, shame, and fear of the unknown, Miranda had to resolve the questions in her mind: Would she resent her child if she kept her and how would she care for them both by herself? Thus, she was forced to make another difficult choice. Raise the child or place the child for adoption.
Fortunately, Miranda didn’t have to face this life-altering decision on her own. With help from her mother and a pregnancy counselor, she reviewed all of her options so that she could make an informed decision that was best for her and her child. Ultimately, she chose to place her child for adoption.
As often happens, making one choice led to another choice. Having decided to place her child for adoption, Miranda had to determine whether she would prefer an open adoption, semi-open adoption, or closed adoption. These options were explained in detail by her pregnancy counselor so that she could weigh the pros and cons of each.
Eventually, Miranda chose open adoption as her best option, which given the trend in adoption over the past 20 years isn’t surprising – today, nearly 95 percent of adoptions in the United States are open – and when Hope was born, Miranda was sure her daughter was the most beautiful baby in the world. She spent a couple of precious days with Hope in the hospital before the baby went home with her adoptive parents, Alex and Susan.
Open adoption means so much to Miranda, who says, “Every time that I see Hope and every time that Alex and Susan e-mail me a photo of her, it is an affirmation from God that I made the right choice. I was able to provide not only a great life for Hope, but also for Alex and Susan by blessing them with a child they couldn’t have had on their own.”
The choice of moving forward with open adoption did not come easily for Miranda. Luckily, she benefited from having excellent personal and professional resources, and for that, she is grateful.
“There are so many people who are not as blessed as us, who don’t have the ability to bring life into this world,” she said. “If we’re not in the right place to be able to build a wonderful life for our child, then we have the ability and the choice to bless someone else with that gift.”
For Miranda, there’s no question that open adoption was the right choice.
“Hope will never grow up wondering why I chose adoption or have questions about where she is from because, if she does, I’m right here. She can talk to me when she gets older and wants clarity.”
For more information on pregnancy counseling and open adoption, visit www.bethany.org.