I have wondered how my life might have been different had I been raised by my birth mother. There was a reason she placed me for adoption as an infant. I was raised by a loving mother and father who adopted two more children who became my brother and sister. We were a pretty normal, middle class family.

Then, at the age of 16, I became pregnant and placed my baby boy for adoption. This was during the time most adoptions were still "closed" adoptions, though things were beginning to change. I was given a description of two couples who wanted to adopt my baby and was given the opportunity to choose! That was very healing to be part of my babies life in this way. My parents were very supportive thru this whole process which was a very stressful. I was immediately overwhelmed by feelings of shame and condemnation and was considering abortion in a self-preservation vein so that no one would know. But by that time, it was too late. 
Since I was adopted, I had very positive views of adoption, and both my parents and I knew that I was not ready---nor would it be healthy for me---to raise a baby at this stage in my life. 

When the child was born, the mothering instincts kicked in and there was a fleeting thought of changing my mind as I held and rocked that tiny life in the hospital. But the ordeal forced me to be exceedingly "real" with myself and just like my biological Mom, I wanted my baby to have better than what I knew I was capable of at the time. The adoption agency said I could write a letter to my son that the couple could give to him when he was old enough. So I did. Then, thru the agency, I received a photo of the baby from the couple. And that was it. I recovered and went on with my life---but from time to time would wonder about him. I never ended up being married nor had any other children. 

Just a few years ago, in 2012, I received a phone call from a search agency. Now an adult of 30, he wanted to contact me to let me know how things had turned out for him. He still had the letter I had written long ago. We exchanged e-mails and phone calls. His family invited me down to South Carolina for his college graduation and Christmas vacation. His family extended their love and embraced me as a part of their family. Sadly, his mother had just passed away from cancer. The big surprise was that she was the nurse in the delivery room when he was born! She and her husband had been trying to adopt for 7 years and when she learned he was available for adoption, she spoke up for him. Now, I have an extended family and a future as a grandmother I would not have had if I had chosen to terminate his life. God is at work behind the scenes and has a way of turning very difficult circumstances into something beautiful.