Like all good stories, this one starts at the beginning. The first choice I ever had that I knew would change the course of my life came when I was 17 years old and found out I was pregnant. It was the summer before my senior year of high school. No one would have expected it. I was an honors student, on the track and cross country teams at school, attended church every Sunday morning and youth group on Sunday and Wednesday nights. I went on mission trips and had lots of friends.
If you are a mama who woke up to the tear streamed face of your baby girl who just told you that she is having a baby, know that I am praying for you. “I’m pregnant.” is a sentence that will turn your world upside down. What about school? What about the baby’s dad? How will you afford financially to add another family member? What will your friends say? What will your daughter’s friends say? This isn’t how it is supposed to be. You imagined your daughter going to college, getting married and having a huge celebration as you told your friends and family about your new precious grandchild. If you are in this position right now, the best thing to offer your daughter is grace and wisdom. Your daughter will need to make wise choices from here on out to have the best outcome. In James 1:6 the Bible tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” You and your family will need this wisdom to help you in the months and years to come.
The very first choice will be whether to keep the baby. A heavy choice for a teen whose previous choices were, “Should I wear the black dress with flowers or my cute jean shorts and red shirt?” At this point, any option you choose will be filled with difficulty and will be life changing. I am going to focus here on some of my thoughts regarding adoption vs. raising your child yourself. I know that some women will choose abortion but because of my faith, and the fact that I believe that a baby is a human being the moment it is conceived I am going to leave that option off the table for this discussion.
Adoption or Raising Your Child Yourself?
Here are some things to think about if you are considering adoption:
- Are you ready to raise your child yourself (not with mom and dad getting up in the middle of the night and doing the hard work but you doing it day in and day out)?
- Are you ready to become a responsible adult? Clearly you have made some less than responsible decisions if you are pregnant and a teen. However, that has to stop now. Adoption is the best option if you are not ready to act like a responsible adult who will choose to raise your child in a healthy way.
- Are you willing to be set free from your addiction if you are addicted to alcohol or drugs? Your child does not deserve to grow up in a house where they are neglected because of substance abuse. There are plenty of places to get help but if you are not at the point where you are ready to own your addiction and seek help, then adoption is your best choice.
Here are some things to think about if you will raise your child yourself:
- Are you willing to make your child and not yourself your focus? Every day, even when you are tired…sick…depressed…
- Are you willing to do the work needed to make sure that your child is raised in a safe environment and is well taken care of?
- How are you going to provide for your child?
- Will you work?
- Go to school?
- Where will you live?
- What do you need to do to prepare yourself for raising a baby -> toddler -> preschooler -> child -> teen?
- How much family support do you have?
- What is your relationship with the child’s father?
The choice I made was to keep my son and raise him myself. It has been a choice I have never regretted and I am happy to say that at age 19, he is doing well. He loves God, has friends and a sweet girlfriend, and is going to college to get a degree in business and computer science. If you are facing the difficult decision today about whether you will keep your baby or put your baby up for adoption, I will be praying for wisdom and peace for you and that the decision you make will be one that has been made with wise counsel from people that you trust, a long look into your heart about what sacrifices you are willing to make and a whole lot of prayer. There is no easy choice here but one that is made with wisdom and love will prove itself to be the best choice.
Click here for the first post in this series: http://www.lightnhope.com/there-is-no-easy-button-one-teen-moms-story-19-years-later/