The minutes on the hospital clock dwindled as I swaddled my infant daughter one last time before she was placed in the arms of her adoptive parents. In those final moments, I thought my heart might shatter. My entire body felt blanketed with grief. My cries echoed down the hospital corridor as I left without my baby girl. As I drove away, I wondered if I’d made the right decision by making an adoption plan. I wondered how I would overcome the shame and guilt that I felt. I wondered if I was still worthy of Christ’s love.
I learned I was pregnant during my junior year of college. Holding a positive pregnancy test in my hand, I recoiled in fear and shame. I attended a Christian college, held numerous leadership positions around campus, and was an A-student. I dressed for church on Sunday mornings and reserved Wednesday evenings for bible study. I strived to live the perfect Christian life and wanted to be someone that others could live up to. Only, I didn’t want anyone to know I struggled with sexual sin. The pregnancy stick shook between my fingers as I contemplated my fate.
I fell on my knees and asked God to forgive my sin. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Despite my circumstances of being unwed and pregnant, I understood that my unborn child was perfect and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13states, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Therefore, I found the confidence to choose life and carry my baby to term.
My boyfriend was supportive of my decision to continue with the pregnancy, but we had doubts whether we could support and raise a child together. Whenever I felt my unborn child stirring in my womb while sitting in class or my dorm room, I’d cradle my belly and whisper, “I love you little one,” and dreamed about life as a mom. Over time, those dreams faded with the realization that I wasn’t prepared to be a parent. At the time, I wasn’t capable of giving my baby girl everything she deserved. I wanted her to have a stable home with a married mother and father who shared the same Christian faith and family goals that I did. I wanted my daughter to receive the utmost care and have her basic needs provided. After months of prayer and Christian counseling, my boyfriend and I made the heart-wrenching decision to move forward with an adoption plan.
I began researching local adoption agencies. The moment I walked into a Christian faith-based adoption agency located in my hometown, I knew I’d found a safe place. Not only was I welcomed with loving arms, I was provided with a variety of parenting options and counseling services so I could make the best decision for me and my child. Every encounter I had with the agency left me with greater clarity, direction, and a renewed sense of hope. I praised God for His providence in my decision.
When my baby girl was born, I held her tight and told her, “I’ll always love you.” My boyfriend and I knelt side by side in the hospital chapel and prayed that God would be honored by our decision to make an adoption plan. Leaving the hospital without my daughter was the single hardest thing I’d ever done. At times, the grief felt unbearable and I was afraid to go on without my daughter. Yet, I sought refuge in Christ’s love for me and allowed God to give the strength and courage I needed to forge ahead. Whenever shame and guilt crept into my thoughts, I held onto Psalm 103:12. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” I knew I was forgiven and loved beyond measure. God healed my heart and demonstrated his enduring love for me.
As the years passed, my home filled to the brim with children. I married my high school sweetheart and birth father to my daughter, and gave birth to three boys. Then, I was asked to adopt another son from a family friend. I reveled in motherhood and nurtured each of my boys with utmost care. God revealed to me that each day brought new mercies. When the time was right, I reached out to my birth daughter and was able to begin a new and beautiful relationship with her.
Today, my daughter is thriving as a college student. She enjoys spending time with her brothers and creating new memories with our family. The greatest gift is knowing that she loves Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. I can now hold her hand and tell her, “You are loved beyond measure.” When I look upon her face, I praise God for intertwining our lives and for his faithfulness. Despite imperfect circumstances, God has a perfect plan for each of our lives. He continues to mold and shape me into unexpected ways, using my story for His glory.
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
Copyright © 2018 Adrian Collins, used with permission.