I never thought I was pregnant. My cycle has always been really irregular, and I didn’t think anything of it when I missed my period. I noticed some physical changes, but I dismissed it as just something that happens when you turn 30. Finally, I couldn’t ignore it any longer, and I decided that I’d better get tested. The doctor confirmed that I was about 20 weeks pregnant. I already have a 13-year-old son, and I knew that he was the only child I wanted to have. I’m a single mom, and I couldn’t even let myself think about having another baby. I couldn’t afford it; I didn’t have any savings. About a week before I found out I was pregnant, my boyfriend and I had talk about how we don’t want any children. He is 43, and I’ll be 32 this year, so we’re waiting for my son to grow up so we can spend our lives together. I knew that he would not want to raise this baby. I was on my own.

My first reaction was to have an abortion that day. The doctor had to do a sonogram to measure the baby’s head, and when I saw that, I just fell in love with the baby. I just couldn’t go through with the abortion – I knew that I had to find another answer.

When I got home, I looked in the phone book for adoption agencies. I was familiar with open adoption, and I knew that I wanted to know how the baby was doing after he was born. AAI was about the third agency I called, and I talked to Rory. She told me that somewhere out there, a family was going to be so grateful that I didn’t go through with the abortion. Rory was so caring, and I knew that if she could say something that beautiful, then AAI was the agency I wanted to work with.

My boyfriend wanted to be involved in the adoption, but I didn’t want him to be. I was afraid if we went through the whole process together – the pregnancy, and picking the family – I was going to grow bitter towards him. He was supportive of the adoption plan, though, and he knew that I would do a good job. I told him I would pick an adoptive father that reminded me of him.

Rory scheduled an appointment the following day for me to go in to meet with them. When I got there, I filled out a questionnaire with personal information about me and the birthfather, and about what I was looking for in an adoptive family. One of the best things was that AAI provided financial support while I was pregnant. They paid rent for my apartment, and they paid a few bills and for groceries and clothes. I was really grateful to have that help.

About a month later, AAI gave me about four parent profiles to read. I liked them all – all the Dear Birth Mother letters seemed informative, and they had pictures, so I could see what the people looked like. There was one couple that really stood out. As soon as I saw their picture and the picture of the child they had already adopted, I knew they were the ones. I told AAI, and they said that they would have the couple call me.

I was in my apartment when they called the first time. I don’t remember if we had a scheduled time or if they called me out of the blue. The woman, Sarah, had a nice voice, and I liked her immediately just from her voice. Her husband John was on the line, too, and they told me a little about themselves and their families. I don’t remember a lot about what we talked about, but it went well. I was nervous, because I wanted to sound nice and I wanted to impress them so that they would adopt my baby. After we talked, I knew that they were definitely the family I wanted. I think they felt that way, too, because they called AAI right away and said that they wanted to be considered for my baby.

About a month before the baby was born, John and Sarah came to visit. They spent a couple of days here in Texas with me. Immediately when I walked into their hotel room, they hugged me and gave me a wonderful welcome. Even though we had talked a lot on the phone, it was good to spend some time getting to know them in person.

I wanted the adoptive parents to be there for the birth, so we induced labor on a certain day. It was actually a little earlier than my original due date, because my doctor was afraid that if I carried the baby to term he would be too large. The actual delivery was fabulous – it took a little over 12 hours, but I had an epidural, so I felt no pain. I got to the hospital at 6 am, and the adoptive parents got there at 9 am. At about 8 in the evening, the baby was born! Sarah was in the room with me the whole time, and she even cut the umbilical cord.

We did the relinquishment a couple of days after the delivery. I drove myself to the agency and met with Jane, but I just couldn’t do it that day. I went there determined to sign, knowing that it was something that I had to do and wanted to do. Once I got there into Jane’s office and sat down, I realized that I needed more time to think. From the time I found out that I was pregnant to the time I gave birth, I kind of made myself numb. I didn’t think about my options, I just thought that the adoption plan was the way to go. In the end, when I had to sign over relinquishment, I panicked. I thought maybe there was a way I could raise the baby myself.

The day that I had gone to sign, I was supposed to meet with John, the adoptive father, to give him some tickets to Sea World. I called him up, and he already knew by then that I didn’t sign the relinquishment that day. The baby was with them at their hotel, and John sounded devastated. Just hearing how broken-hearted he was helped me to decide what to do.

A few days later, I finally signed. I had really thought it through, and I knew that I couldn’t raise the baby the way I would want to. This time, I had no trouble signing. After the relinquishment, I talked to a counselor, and that helped me, too.

Now that they are back home, John and Sarah call me whenever they can. They keep in touch with letters and pictures, and I’ll see them in a month or so when they come back to Texas for the finalization.

If I had it to over again, I would still do the same thing. Adoption is a positive thing, and it’s there to help people like me who get into unpredictable situations that there’s no other answer for. After going through all that, I would definitely recommend adoption to other girls who were in my place. You worry that you’ll be sad because you won’t get to raise your baby, but through open adoption, you can keep in touch. It’s a very positive, mature and wise choice to make.