Forget Adoption. I Decided To Keep My Baby At The Last Minute
I was 18 years old. I had just walked across my high school graduation stage. I had college applications out to all of my favorite universities.
Two weeks later, I was in the bathroom at my parent’s house about to take a shower. It was a casual decision to take a pregnancy test. I didn’t really think I was pregnant but my boyfriend and I were sexually active and I was late for my cycle. I decided to take the test, just in case. I got into the shower, washed my hair, got out and there it was: two lines. Positive. My heart sank. Actually, my whole body sank to the floor. I cried and cried and cried and begged God for this to not be true. “Please be negative. Please be wrong. Please, oh please, oh please.” I called my boyfriend over. When he got there I was in a ball at the top of my parents stairs. He walked in and ran up the stairs. “What’s wrong? What is wrong?? Talk to me!” I just took the test out from the tight grip of my hand and he said, “Oh no. No, no, no.” After collecting himself, he reassured me that “everything would be ok.” I just sobbed. I thought about all of the things I would not be able to do, all the plans I had, what my family would think. It just seemed so impossible.
As Michael and I talked more he made it clear he would not support a decision that involved abortion. At the same time, others were saying things like “Lindsey, you always think of others, now you need to think about yourself.” What they meant was get an abortion. I had other friends offer to take me to the clinic themselves. This all sounded very tempting to a vulnerable, scared 18-year-old girl. This could all go away. I could go off to college as planned. I could return to the life of a normal, 18-year-old girl and no one except a few close friends and Michael, would ever know this happened. But there was a different voice in all of that. One of my best friends knew of a crisis pregnancy center in town. She knew I needed some direction. My mind was all over the place and fear was taking over. I went to the center and met a sweet lady who counseled me. She talked to me about all of my options. After listening to her, I knew that as “convenient” as it seemed, I could not end this child’s life for the sake of my own fears and plans.
The director of the center and my counselor vowed to stand by me and help me through things. I accepted that life was not over — it was just going to be a whole lot different than I planned. I sat my parents down and told them. I cried. And cried some more. I knew I disappointed them but they still loved me. I didn’t understand how they still loved me but now that I’m a mother, I completely understand it.
The Women’s Resource center helped me explore my two options: parenting vs. adoption. They put me in contact with an open adoption agency in my home state and I spent the next several months consumed with this decision. The seven months of walking through the adoption process was anguish. The more I saw the value of this life growing inside of me, the greater the pressure to make the right decision.
I would spend many days and nights with the two workbooks that the agency sent me: “Is Adoption Right for Me?” and “Is Parenting Right for Me?” Every single question forced me to think about where I would be in a year, in two, in ten. If I chose adoption would I want to see him before saying goodbye? Would I want to have contact with the adoptive parents? If I parented him, how would I provide for our needs? What would our budget look like? How would I finish school? The questions on both sides engulfed every second of every day. I would picture my routines each day with my baby involved in them, then I would picture my routines without him in it but knowing he was with a wonderful family.