I first found out I was pregnant when I was about three months along. The father wasn’t much interested, and so I decided I wanted to give the baby up for adoption. I did tell my family, and my mom was supportive. My dad wasn’t happy, but he got more supportive when he found out I was doing the right thing.

I looked up adoption agencies in the phone book, and that’s how I found AAI. When I called, they were very friendly. They made me feel comfortable, and they gave me lots of information over the phone. I called one other agency, and they just didn’t seem very caring. Pretty soon after I called, AAI sent me some more information in the mail. They also had a list of apartments, and they helped me get into an apartment complex here in town.

During the pregnancy, I called AAI a lot. They were always willing to listen to me. They also paid for a counselor, so I was able to get some counseling. I don’t think I would have been able to make it through without that help. When AAI told me that I could meet the parents, that surprised me. I didn’t know that when I first picked adoption.

AAI sent out three or four profiles of some parents, and I got to talk to them pretty quickly. There was one couple who I wasn’t comfortable with, and there was one couple who wasn’t interested in me. The third couple was Ed and Carrie, and they were really nice. The first time we talked, we didn’t spend too much time because they were on their way to go somewhere. I was so nervous to talk to them that first time, but they were so great that they just made it a lot easier. The second time we talked, we talked for at least an hour. They wanted to know more about my background, and I asked them about their background.

We didn’t get to meet in person until about a week before I had the baby, when they flew down here for the baby’s birth. The first time we met was really hard. It was a little bit more comfortable meeting in person than just talking to them on the phone, though. I liked that they got to be at the hospital throughout the birth. They thought it would be a little uncomfortable to be in the room, so they saw me right afterwards. I let them hold the baby immediately. The hardest part came after I had actually had the baby and I had to go through the process of filling out papers. Knowing that that was IT was really hard. The agency was there with me, though, and they helped and made it a little bit easier.

That first night, I wanted to keep the baby overnight, and so I took her home from the hospital. But I just couldn’t do it – it was too painful. I ended up meeting the Ed and Carrie at their hotel about four hours after I got home. They kept the baby in the hotel for a week, and I got to visit every day until they left. I think it made it easier to go and visit – it was a little bit of a letting go process. I knew that they were good people and that was all that mattered.

Now that they’re home, they send lots of pictures and we talk on the phone. I’m kind of like extended family to them, so they call to let me know what they’ve been doing. They keep an 800 number that I can call on for free, and recently, they sent me some pictures that Emma colored. Ed and Carrie called to let me know when they adopted another baby, and they send pictures of that baby, also. They are great people.

I met my husband about a month after I gave the baby up for adoption. We got pregnant pretty soon after that, and we have a one-and-a-half-year old now. It was a little bit hard to have a baby so soon after you’ve given one up for adoption, but when I look back on the adoption now, I know that it was the best thing for everyone. The people at Adoption Advocates helped me all the way through, and they gave me so much emotional support. I still love talking to Sandie at AAI every time that I call. Mostly, I feel so good that I was able to help another couple.