I'm pretty sure I fought the choice of adoption for as long as I possibly could. I don't think it was because I didn't want adoption to be the answer, but I just wanted to be absolutely 100% sure that I was making the right choice for my baby.
I had always known about adoption in my life, so it's kind of funny I didn't think of it right away as an option. My sister and her husband weren't able to have biological children and this was something I had always known. They also knew that adoption would most likely be the way they would have to go when it came to bringing their children home. They had had their paperwork active at their adoption agency for almost 2 years when I found out I was pregnant. I'm sure you can imagine the pain (and anger) my sister went through when she found out. It's most definitely not fair that an 18 year old girl who had no plans of parenthood in her near future was able to get pregnant, and she wasn't. It still doesn't seem fair, but it's the nature of the beast. It's the nature of the beauty of adoption. Thankfully, despite the anger and hurt that she felt, she was there for me and supported me through everything. Of course she had her moments of silence and there was a matter of weeks where she didn't talk to me, but she had her right, and I didn't blame her. I hate that it took my sisters pain to really understand that choosing adoption would ultimately bless a family eternally, but I'm thankful for the lessons that I learned from her and her husband.
Coming to the choice of adoption didn't come easy. The first time I really knew it was the decision I had to make was when I was looking through a file of paperwork that talked about the statistics of children being raised in a one parent home. While reading I was hit with a distinct memory of being 8 years old and wanting my Dad. He no longer lived with us, and I couldn't just call on him whenever I needed him. My young 8 year old self didn't understand why my Dad wasn't there and why I couldn't just talk to him whenever I wanted to. It was in that moment that I knew my baby needed and deserved more. Even with that distinct impression, I still fought it. It wasn't until a couple weeks later that I knew I could no longer fight my decision.
I cried and prayed every night for an answer, but I still didn't feel comfortable with saying "yes, adoption is my choice." I mentioned before that I had been working with LDS family services and my bishop. That Sunday as I attended church meetings I came across my bishop in the hall. Because I had moved from my apartment into a new home with my host family, I was no longer in the same ward, and was now seeing a new bishop (I will talk more about him later), it was my old bishop that I came face to face with in the hall. I had the very distinct feeling that I needed to talk to him and asked him if we could meet. We went into his office and I immediately told him that I had found my answer. I didn't know what I was saying. I had found my answer? I didn't tell him I was choosing adoption, or that I had decided to single parent, I simply said I know what I need to do. Did I? I was so confused by what just happened and know now that the Lord play a huge part in me speaking those words. It would be because of that moment that my prayers were ultimately answered.
I rushed home from church and immediately went to my room. I fell to my knees and I prayed. Upon finishing my prayer, I looked up from my bed and to my wall. On my wall I kept a pin board filled with pictures of friends and little sayings. My eyes went to a quote at the bottom of my board. It read "The greatest risk is not taking one." In that, I found my answer. Adoption seemed too hard, the heartache seemed like it would be too much, I didn't want to risk the pain. Obviously I now knew that I needed to take the risk. I knew that regardless of the heartache that was sure to come, and regardless of what was sure to be the longest road of pain I would ever walk along, I had to take the risk. I can't explain fully why that quote led me to finally admit things, but it did, and it was what I needed.
Finally. I had an answer. But now that I had an answer, what was the next step? How was I to prepare myself for what was bound to be the hardest thing I had ever done? How was I to know where my baby was supposed to go? Sure, I knew that I was supposed to place her for adoption, but where was I to place her? Suddenly the decision of choosing adoption seemed easy. I now had a whole new set of choices ahead of me and I was afraid of where to start.