Adoption is a beautiful decision that should always be celebrated, but especially in November, during National Adoption Month.
From the first time I unexpectedly saw that positive pregnancy test, I knew that I was destined to become a birth mom and give another woman the chance to experience the beauty of motherhood.
Growing up in my Christian household, adoption was always discussed and viewed as a gift, and without the shame or secrecy that is, sadly, often associated with it.
Having known many people who adopted, we never questioned or judged how families came to be, but rather cherished the light they brought to our corner of Minnesota.
Knowing that I wanted my child to grow up in a loving family, I found New Life Adoption and made an appointment when I was three months pregnant.
I was assigned a personal social worker who interviewed me about what I was looking for in a family: What kind of life did I want my child to be brought into? Did I want there to be a faith foundation? What kind of schooling would she have? Would she be raised in an athletic family?
After my interview, I was handed a stack of books, filled with details and pictures of families that matched what I wanted. Looking down at the stack, the maroon book on top seemed to instantly call to me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but something was telling me this was the family meant to raise my child.
Wanting to give the others a fair chance, I put the maroon book on the bottom of the stack and continued my search. I gave the stack to my parents, family, friends, and co-workers.
All of them independently chose the same maroon book from the pile.
Unable to ignore the signs pointing toward this family, I set up an interview to meet with them. After getting to know them and learning that the son they already had was adopted as well, I knew in my heart that my baby belonged with them.
As the months passed and my womb grew, I began spending more time with the family. We would meet for dinners and doctors’ appointments, and I made sure to involve them in every step of the process, including the naming of our baby girl. Sitting down and seeing that we had come up with similar names, and spontaneously agreeing on “Avery,” I was again assured that this was the right family.
As I met their relatives, and they met my uncles, aunts, and sisters, we never felt like strangers, but instead like extended family.
Going into labor, I was relieved knowing that I was bringing a child into the world with an entire family full of love and support waiting to welcome her with open arms.
I wanted Avery’s parents to experience each part of the birth, and so I opted to have two hospital rooms. When it came time to have Avery, her new mom was in the room, as well as my own mother and best friend.
Once Avery’s sweet cries blessed our ears, I didn’t want to risk changing my mind and urged the nurses to place her in a crib. As Avery took her first breath, I told the woman next to me to go see her baby, as she was now a mom to a beautiful healthy girl.
Avery’s family was able to spend the night holding her, just as any other newborn parents would have the opportunity to do.
Now, 11 years later, Avery has grown, and she reflects my personal creativity and zeal for life. She is being raised in a strong family of faith, full of patience and care, all while knowing who I am and the immense love that I have for her.
I remain close with her family, and see them for holidays, birthdays, and random lunches, as they live just 40 minutes away.
I am grateful that in my family we do not treat adoption as a word that must be whispered, but celebrate it as a chance for new life, happiness, and unconditional love.
Having control over the birth and getting to choose the family who would raise my child gave me an immense sense of peace and empowerment, as well as the confidence and certainty that my child has the best life possible.
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