For every famous "Teen Mom", there are thousands of pregnant teens who make a very different choice: Adoption. They don't go on reality TV, and we rarely hear their stories. But in their way, they are mothers, too. And that's why I'm so glad Haley told her story about why she chose adoption.
Haley is a teen who wrote the story of her pregnancy at the age of 15 for the blog Portrait of an Adoption. She's breathtakingly candid about how the whole experience felt for her. It ends with positive outcomes for everyone involved, but my heart broke along the way as I read what Haley went through.
Like many young teens, Haley became pregnant not through promiscuity, but kind of more through innocence. She trusted a boy she was seeing. He was her first. And she never expected that they would have sex -- until they did. How many other girls have gotten pregnant because they weren't prepared with birth control because they truly didn't think they were going to have sex in the first place?
Haley is lucky to have a supportive mom who rushes to her side and helps her think through her options without judgment. I'm so glad she felt loved by her mother even after making this mistake. I think she was more capable of making the best choice for herself because of that love and support.
There's drama during Haley's pregnancy and delivery. But the real emotional impact is her relationship with her baby. When it looks like she'll delivery early, Haley is worried for the baby -- but also sad that she'll have less time with her baby.
I gripped my stomach with all the love in the world and said "She is still mine; she is still my baby for another 5 weeks. She is my baby; I am not ready; I can’t do this."
Oh, that just killed me. Saying goodbye to her baby girl after she's born and handed over to her adoptive family is heartbreaking for Haley. It reminded me of an essay a friend of mine wrote about her own pregnancy and experience with adoption. She titled it "All Parts of Me" -- because once you've carried a baby inside you, even if you give the baby up to another family, that baby will always be a part of you.
It's bittersweet. Haley will always feel that connection. She loves her baby's family and is positive that the baby is exactly where she needs to be. She has no regrets about choosing adoption. But that doesn't make it any easier. Sometimes the best choice for you is the one that hurts the most.
Have you had experience with giving up a baby for adoption after an unplanned pregnancy?
Image via normanack/Flickr