Ashley's Story

After four pregnancy tests, I yelled for my mom from the bathroom.  She hoped it was a joke.

I had hooked up with a guy a few times about six weeks earlier. I remember laughing about the irony.  One of my friends was pregnant and told me I should be thankful it wasn’t me.

I didn’t laugh long.

I was not in a position to take care of myself, much less a child. I lived with my parents, I made $8/hour, I didn’t want to live on government assistance, and I didn’t know how the father was going to react.

I wanted to be a part of the child’s life, but I knew better than to only think of myself. You see, my mom was adopted. If her parents wouldn’t have placed her for adoption, she would not be my mother. If I parented this child, I would be stressed constantly. How can I expect someone to depend on me when I was so dependent on others?

If I couldn’t parent, I wanted an open adoption.

I selected Graceful Adoptions because their adoption program was tailored to respect birth mothers, they were selective regarding the adoptive parents they worked with, and they provided a very personal experience.

I wasn’t a number at Graceful Adoptions and they gave me the freedom to make decisions on my timeline.

Their adoption process was clearly defined, but the specifics were all based on what I wanted for myself and my child. Talking to the adoptive parents on the phone and then spending time with them in person gave me a better idea of who they were and made me feel more comfortable with my decision.  Ultimately, having a relationship with the adoptive parents prior to the birth, spending more time with them at the hospital, and continuing our relationship since then has given me much peace.

Every step of the way, Graceful Adoptions eased my mind. I knew that Graceful Adoptions didn’t approve every adoptive family that applies to their agency. This gave us more assurance that, not only we had selected the right adoption agency to work with, but that the adoptive parents are really as good as they seem.

I didn’t tell a lot of people about the adoption plan because it’s just not something you hear people talking about. I was surprised by the number of people who were supportive of my decision and expressed how proud they were for the difficult decision I made. It’s been so rewarding to share pictures of my daughter with others.

For other mothers considering adoption, make sure you think about all your options, and think beyond yourself – think about what’s best for your child. Understand, it is not an easy decision and you likely will change your mind many times. That’s normal. Just keep thinking about all of the reasons you made the decision to place your child for adoption.

If you do make an adoption plan, I recommend you use Graceful Adoptions. They tailor what you want for your child. You make all the decisions about the parents and type of relationship. They will help you find the perfect fit or they will keep looking. Graceful Adoptions will do everything in their power to help you through the adoption process. You will not feel like another name in a file.

Waterloo, IA