When I was 16, I was hanging out with the wrong crowd, and I started to make bad choices. Before long, I found out I was pregnant. I had already broken up with the father of the baby, and I knew I didn’t want to get back with him just because I was facing an unplanned pregnancy.
The truth is, I didn’t know what to do or think, so my mom talked to me about adoption. I wasn’t listening at first, because I didn’t want to “give away” my child. After about a month, my mom talked me into going to a support group meeting at Adoption Associates. I didn’t want to go, because I didn’t want the other girls to judge me. But when mom dropped me off, I discovered that they didn’t judge me or assume I was going to choose adoption. I loved the group.
A few weeks went by, and I got some adoptive family profiles from the agency. But inside, I didn’t want to look through them. My head was telling me to parent: “It won’t be that hard. You can do it. You made the mistake; now you have to live with it.” But my heart was fighting back and telling me that adoption was the best for my child and for me.
My heart was right. I wanted a two-parent home for my child and a dependable income—I didn’t want my mom to be raising my child. So I chose an adoptive couple from the profiles and met them. They were exactly how I thought that they would be. Nice and fun, and just as nervous as I was to meet them. I knew I was doing the right thing.
I delivered a beautiful little girl two weeks early. The adoptive parents waited in the hall while I was in delivery, and they and my family were helping me and supporting me with anything they could do. I stayed in the hospital for one night, and then said my goodbyes to my child. It turned out to be the hardest thing I will ever have to do, but I know that she will grow up knowing that I made the best decision for her and that I love her very much. I do regret the things I’ve done in the past, but I’ll never regret her or my decision to give her a loving home.
NOTE: Jessica shared her story with the world in an Emmy Award-Winning episode of “Adoption Stories” on the Discovery Health Channel.
“Mackenzie Grace’s New Family” celebrates the joy of adoptive parents Steve and JoLynn, and the loving relationship they developed with Jessica as she made the decision to place her daughter in their home.
“I will always be her mother, but they are her parents,” says Jessica. “I made the best possible decision for my daughter, and she will always know that I love her.”