A Birthmother’s Reflection: Ashley

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I was 17 the first time I got pregnant. Everything happened so fast! Because my brother and I were adopted I knew right away I wanted to find an adoption agency. My mom looked in the phone book and we called Adoption Associates. I really liked them because I could choose the family for my baby, and I could decide how open I wanted everything to be. Some of the other places didn’t give me all the options that AAI did.

I chose an adoptive family who was like my family—people who do a lot of things together. I was able to spend time with the adoptive parents and really liked them—I felt good about placing my baby with them. But I won’t lie. Things weren’t always easy. After I placed, I had a hard time talking about it. My family was really supportive and helped me any way they could.

When I got pregnant the second time, I called AAI right away. The second time I placed for adoption it wasn’t as hard as the first time because I knew what to expect. I knew that both my kids were taken care of and that’s what really mattered. Both families I chose are really great and I couldn’t ask for a better life for both my kids.
I look at people around me and I see girls who are my age and have one or two kids. A lot of them show off their kids like “look at me,” but the truth is that they aren’t really parenting. Their mom is taking care of the kids because they don’t have a job or aren’t mature enough to raise kids. There are some people in my school who criticize my decision to plan adoption, but that just fuels me even more. I knew that I didn’t have the ability to take care of my kids and I know I did the right thing and the best thing because they won’t have to struggle and I gave them a good life.

If I were to give advice to another girl facing an unplanned pregnancy, I would say don’t get an abortion because you will be taking that child’s chance at life away. But if you want to parent, you have to be sure that you can have all the necessities to be able to take care of the child. Adoption is a good choice because you can know that your baby is happy and healthy and taken care of. The best part is that you have the option to receive pictures and letters that allow you to see them growing up while you’re still doing the growing up that you need to do. You need to be real and choose what is best for the baby—not what you want. Even though it’s a hard thing, you will find support in places you don’t expect. I still read the “Love Stories” book all the time and it helps to know that those people made this good decision and so did I. Your life is not gonna end when you plan adoption. It’s just gonna change. And that’s ok. I have no regrets. I made the best choice for my kids and I know that.

It was hard, but now I am doing really good! I am on the honor roll, in National Honor Society, and I do service in my community to help other people. When I graduate, I hope to go to college to be a registered nurse and help cancer patients like the nurses who helped my mom when she had cancer. If that doesn’t work out, then I want to either be in the Navy like my dad or in the Air Force like my grandpa.

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