Shana's Story: I Will Never Regret My Choice

A home pregnancy test confirmed my suspicions. I was pregnant. I was pretty scared and didn't even know how far along I was. The advice of a friend led me to an abortion clinic for an ultrasound. There I sat in a room with about ten other teenagers. At eighteen, I was the oldest. As the other girls would leave the room and go back for an abortion, I quickly realized how badly I wanted to go home and cry.

I slowly began to search for other alternatives. Unfortunately, in Greenville, SC, most single pregnant girls are encouraged to raise the baby and just file for state and federal aid. I wasn't interested in spending my life on welfare (or raising my baby that way) and I feel that there is more to parenting than money. I felt my child deserved more than spending his or her life in daycare, while I worked full-time (or more) to make ends meet.

One day at work, I was reading "USA Today" when a small ad for the Independent Adoption Center caught my eye. I was not familiar with open adoption, so I called out of curiosity. Everyone I spoke with treated me so kindly and I was very interested in the idea of selecting and meeting the adoptive parents. I was very excited the day the packet came from the Independent Adoption Center. I spent hours reading all of the letters until I found exactly who I wanted to speak with. What a tough decision! Every couple seemed to offer something I liked, but I narrowed it down. I called Walt and Debbie and everything has been great ever since. I flew out to where they lived and we began preparing for the birth.

It wasn't always easy to face the loss I knew I would have at the end, but my counselor was terrific, and really helped keep my spirits up. My favorite part of the whole experience was meeting other birthmothers and sharing stories. The loss is much easier because I know that Walt and Debbie love being parents to my beautiful baby girl. Because of open adoption, the entire decision has brought me much joy and peace.

I've been a volunteer speaker at the Center and it was so sad talking to a group of couples who were just beginning the adoption process. All of those nice people just really wanted a little baby to love. I'm happy my baby has such wonderful parents. I have loved her more through adoption than I ever could have trying to raise her alone. I miss everyone from the Independent Adoption Center as much as I miss Ashlyn, Walt, and Debbie. I will always pray for Ashlyn's happiness, but I will never regret my choice.


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