An unexpected pregnancy can make anyone feel extremely overwhelmed and maybe even alone. At this point, you’re probably wondering what your options are and how to move forward. It’s okay to feel scared. However, you need to remember one thing: you are not alone. There are a lot of women out there who have been in your position, felt the same emotions, and have shared their stories on what they did to ensure their babies had a wonderful chance at life. One of your options is adoption, which is what every single one of these mothers went through.
Brenda Van Sickle
Brenda Van Sickle gave birth to a boy when she was only 16 years old. She told NBCDFW that her life was “unstable, and she simply couldn’t care for her newborn son.” Van Sickle only had 15 minutes with her son after she gave birth. This was during 1975 when closed adoptions were basically the only choice for birth mothers. She had searched high and low for her biological son but only had his birthday and the county he was born in. Then, at work, she got a call from her biological son. Wes Fenner called his birth mother and asked, “Hi, did you put a child up for adoption in 1975?” Fenner claims that he had been wanting to search for his birth mother for a while, but always backed out. He was able to get in touch with his birth mother by looking through a birth parent registry. They decided to meet at a hotel parking lot for the first time in 45 years. While Van Sickle was waiting, she heard a voice from behind her: “Mom, it’s me!” They hugged, cried, and began to nurture their budding relationship. While they are still catching up, they have realized that they have a lot more in common than they thought. You can read the rest of Brenda’s story and watch her interview with clips of her and Wes’s first meeting.
Marlys Monet had an unexpected pregnancy at the tender age of 15. She was able to conceal her pregnancy up until she was seven months pregnant. Monet didn’t tell her friends or her parents that she was expecting a child and tried to live her life as normally as possible. Eventually, her parents had her take a pregnancy test. Even though she was extremely fearful of her parents’ reaction, they were actually very supportive and wanted to make sure that they will make sure this baby is healthy and do everything they can to ensure this pregnancy goes well. After an OBGYN appointment, she felt it was more real and felt fearful about the future. Her parents set up a meeting with an adoption counselor as they felt that this was the best way that she and her baby could have the best life. Monet felt calm and relief with the kind counselor and decided on open adoption. She was even able to get her child’s birth father involved with the adoption. As they looked through what Monet described as scrapbooks of potential adoptive families, she said that she felt a special connection with the very first one she looked at and kept thinking of them as they were looking through the rest of the families. Then the time came for the in-person visit. She and the birth father met with their adoption counselor and the adoptive family. Immediately, she knew that this family would raise their baby girl. The birth family and adoptive family kept in close contact and even spent Thanksgiving together. Monet dealt with fear and grief throughout the rest of the pregnancy. Finally, January 10th came and her water broke. She was only 16 years old. After a speedy two hour labor, it was time to push. Her family was there to support her and get time with Kya Monet. Kya was able to be with Monet for 2 days, and she asked the adoptive family to wait until after her time was done, which they supported. She felt all of the emotions pouring out of her while being with Kya, but she knew that giving her to a new family was the right choice. Even after she gave Kya to her new family, she was able to keep in touch through updates and visits. She says that some years she was able to visit a lot and sometimes she didn’t visit that often, but the family triad (adoptee, birth family, and adoptive family) were still very close. Monet gives all the glory to God throughout her story and doesn’t regret choosing adoption for Kya. You can read more about Marlys and Kya’s story on Love What Matters and see her life as she talks openly about her open adoption story on Instagram.
Blair Johnson also had an unexpected pregnancy at the age of 15. When she finally got the courage to tell her parents, she was met with anger, frustration, and no support from her father. He actually scheduled an abortion at their local Planned Parenthood, but Johnson was too far along for the procedure to happen. Her father then went to plan B, which was putting her child up for adoption. She was about to refuse, but her father told her that she was being “selfish and he didn’t want to deal with a crying baby in the house”. As she tried to go through an adoption agency, she couldn’t find the perfect fit. However, she remembered that one of her teachers had talked about wanting to adopt. Johnson’s dad called her teacher, and she accepted. She says that her pregnancy was a secret since she was already homeschooled and that her mother felt embarrassed, yet still supported her during the pregnancy. She gave birth to a healthy girl 2.5 weeks after her due date at the age of 16, in 2003. After a few days of recovery, she held her baby as they were leaving the hospital with the adoptive mother walking right beside her. Johnson says that she felt a huge wave of emotions postpartum, such as anger at her parents and the birth father, but also grief from missing her baby K. She tried being a normal teenager but was still feeling like her role as the birth mother was confusing. Her original adoption plan said that she and K could see each other a few times a year, but she was able to interact with her more often. Johnson also felt that she couldn’t really contribute to K emotionally when she was smaller; however, that changed as she got older. They’re extremely close now that K is a teenager. She is also good friends with her former teacher as they’re now bonded from the adoption. The family triad has a beautiful relationship that has stood the test of time. Johnson is also thankful that she didn’t choose a closed adoption and that she has the privilege of getting to watch her daughter grow and help to raise her. Check out this article from Love What Matters to read more about Blair’s story.
Caroline Carver was 30 years old when she discovered that she was pregnant with her second child. She said that she was already raising her 7-year-old son on her own and didn’t want to “go through being a single parent again”. Open adoption was the solution for her. Her family members were telling her that she should just get an abortion, but she made the selfless decision to choose life for her unborn daughter. After choosing an adoption center, she was able to look through the parent profiles. Carver says that God brought a specific couple to her attention and she fell in love with them instantly. She felt that Mark and Bethany were perfect to raise her daughter. Mark was like the father that she always wanted for herself and her baby, while Bethany was incredibly kind. If she could pick one word that dominated her unexpected pregnancy, it would be fear. Now that fear has been replaced with joy and she is extremely thankful for open adoption. Carver mentions that she has gained a family herself along with her daughter. Caroline’s story is available on Live Action.
Amber Fielder was featured on Season 3 of American Idol. You may already know her moving story of going through an unexpected pregnancy and an open adoption so that she and her daughter can get to know each other. She candidly talked about it during her audition, while she was 23 and 38 weeks pregnant at the time. Fielder is living proof that pregnancy doesn’t hold you back from your dreams and goals. One of the judges, Lionel Richie (who adopted his daughter Nicole Richie), asked why she decided to choose adoption. She explained that she was going through a rough time in her life with partying, and continues to say that during her pregnancy, “I’ve learned who I was as a person. I’ve had time to sit and think and look at the big picture of life. There are days when I don’t even have $20 in my pocket. If I’m not ready to be a mom, why would I put her through that, ya know?” She was able to choose the family for her daughter and knows that they will do everything in their power to raise her well. Although she didn’t make it to the top 20, Fielder was able to share her story on a popular platform and speak healing words to others that may be going through the same situation. The family triad has a great relationship and in an interview with Shared Beginnings, she said that her lawyers thought that the adoption was “too open” due to the fact that they’re very close and keep in contact frequently. She just laughed and said, “Well, that’s just how it is!” Every story and plan is different, but this is a really beautiful story on open adoption. You can watch her audition on American Idol, a story of her from Live Action, and an in-depth interview with Shared Beginnings.
Unexpected Pregnancy Stories
If you had any worries or concerns about your unexpected pregnancy, hopefully these stories inspired you and helped you realize that you are truly not alone. There are a lot of women out there that have gone through exactly what you’re going through. Most of these women who shared their stories also have had great experiences with open adoption, if you choose to go down that road. Having this pregnancy doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dreams and goals, but you will be able to choose life for your baby and have a relationship with them. This is one of the beautiful outcomes of an unexpected pregnancy turned to open adoption.
Also, you can read more testimonies, be a part of a support group, and actually talk to birth mothers. It may be more relieving to have a conversation with someone who has walked a mile in your shoes and wants to reach out to help others. Check out the resources that the Gladney Center for Adoption has to offer birth mothers who are considering adoption. You can even talk to an options counselor via call or text at 1-800-452-3639 or email at [email protected]. There are so many people who are praying for you, want to give you support, and who love you already. Don’t feel guilty for finding a family for your child. You can do this.