The decision of a lifetime

Christal shares her experience of placing her daughter in an open adoption.

April 30, 2019

I had never envisioned myself as a mother. But at 25, one week after I left a negative relationship, I learned I was pregnant. As an expectant mother, you continually ride an emotional roller coaster as you process your options.

I decided to make an open adoption plan. I looked through hundreds of family profiles from three different adoption agencies. I eventually found Eli and Cindi who were both teachers, involved in their church, and had a black lab. After an initial phone interview, I flew to meet them. They had that “thing” I was looking for.

Although finalizing the adoption was emotional, I never second-guessed my decision. I knew it was the right choice for me and my daughter. However, I hadn’t realized how hard adoption would be for my family to process. It was a significant adjustment, and there were some intense feelings early on.

When Emma was born in 2001, we had an agreement that, for the first five years, her adoptive family would send pictures and letters, and I would get together with them for a visit once a year. However, Eli and Cindi made an intentional effort to include me beyond our original agreement. They put together a bedtime storybook—one for them and one for me—that told their story, my story, and how Emma came to be.

This relationship didn’t come automatically. We worked for it. Open adoption relationships need positive nurturing and shouldn’t be forced on either end. You need to be patient with the process, allowing it to grow in its own way.

Emma is now an amazing, well-rounded young woman with talents in music, athletics, and academics. I never would have thought this relationship would be as wonderful as it has become. My dreams were not big enough for what God did in my life.

When an expectant parent decides to pursue adoption, Bethany offers support as they seek adoptive parents for their child. It’s your decision to make, but you don’t have to make it alone. Want to learn more? Talk to a pregnancy specialist.

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