When I was sixteen years old I was dating this guy and we were very much in love. We decided to take our relationship to the next level. It was the first time we had been intimate with each other. We used protection, but the protection failed. I then found myself pregnant and very scared.
I was one of four children and the only girl. I was a “daddy’s girl”. My father was old-fashioned and really did not like my boyfriend. The thought of going to my father and telling him that, number one, I was having sex, and secondly, I was pregnant, was overwhelming. I was scared to death.
I went into total denial about my pregnancy. It wasn’t until I was almost seven months that I told my parents. I thought for sure that my father would disown me and kick me out, but he totally took me by surprise with his support.
One day, my boyfriend and I sat down with my father and my father said, “I assume you’ll be getting married and quitting school”. That’s when it hit me. Married! Quit school! My pregnancy became a reality.
My boyfriend was nineteen years old, had just graduated from high school, and wanted to marry me and have our family, but my dream of a beautiful house with a white picket fence I knew would never be. I did not want to rely on welfare or my parents to help me financially. I knew that I was too young to be a wife and a mother, and he understood that.
I did not know a lot about adoption but it was something I wanted to look into. I had so many goals that I wanted to achieve. I was not financially or emotionally ready to be a mom. The baby deserved so much more than I could give.
I remembered seeing an advertisement for Golden Cradle® and decided to call. The support I received was unbelievable. Golden Cradle® set me up with prenatal care and paid my medical costs. I worked with a counselor for the rest of my pregnancy. She was wonderful. She was more than my counselor, she was my friend. At a time like this, that is what you need. She never put any pressure on me. For those last few months of my pregnancy, my life was like a yo-yo. One day I was parenting and the next day I was placing. My counselor understood my feelings and was there to help me work through them.
In September I had a beautiful little girl. I had 72 hours and spent every moment with her. Adoptions at that time were not open so I did not have the opportunity to choose the adoptive couple, but I decided that this beautiful little girl deserved a good life. If she stayed with me, it would have been a struggle, and that was not fair to any of us. I signed the adoption papers, said good-bye to my daughter and off she went to her new family. I do not have an open adoption with my daughter and her family, but I do receive updates upon request.
After my experience, I decided to take life one day at a time. I achieved all of my goals. I finished high school; I went to college and became a Social Worker. I also met a wonderful man and married him. Now I have a beautiful son.
Even though I accomplished all that I had set out for, not a day goes by that I don’t think about my daughter. Choosing adoption was the hardest decision I ever had to make. I’ve had my good days and I’ve had my bad, but I’ve never regretted my decision. I look back at my decision, and if I had it all to do over again, I would still choose Golden Cradle®.
Note: Karen is still a Social Worker. If you would like to talk with her, call (800) 327-2229 and we can have her call you.