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The Choice Is and Always Will Be Yours

The Choice Is and Always Will Be Yours

When the word got out I was 19 single and expecting, so many people wanted to share their opinions on what I should or shouldn’t do; whether it was to my face or behind my back. I felt pressure everywhere I turned: so many people either telling me how selfish I was for making the decision to place, asking me to place my son for adoption with them, or telling me I should parent and it was wrong of me to “run away from my problems”. At night when I laid in bed I would hear all the advice over and over again, making it feel impossible to sleep.

If I could speak to that young girl today, knowing what I know now 6 years later, I would tell her to read the facts about her options, to not listen to anybody’s advice, and to get on her knees ask the Lord to guide her in this choice. And here is why:

I can count on one hand the amount of people who actually stayed my friends after finding out I was going to place. Many people judged me and even more gossiped. I quickly found out what a real friend was and who I could count on. In the end I knew it was me that would have to deal with the choice I made, and not them. I knew that I could parent. I knew that I could scrape through and find a way to support both me and my baby. I also knew that I was not in a place in my life that I could emotionally and spiritually be as strong as my son needed. I knew that I couldn’t be both a mother and a father. On the other hand I knew placing my son was not going to be an easy choice. I knew it was going to be so hard to place my sweet baby boy in the arms of another mother. I knew that I was going to miss him and that every birthday or huge mile-stone I was going to feel a twinge of pain and wish I could just hold him. And looking at it from the perspective of my religion and my beliefs, I also knew that he was/is a Child of God and he deserved SO much more then I could ever give him at that time of my life. He deserved to be with an eternal family, he deserved to have a father who could not only teach him about sports and bugs, but who could teach him about the power of the Priesthood. I knew that he deserved a mother who knew not only who she was, but also had a firm faith in the gospel. I knew that I could not give him that. I knew that going into an open adoption I would have the ability to see pictures of him and to watch him grow through the years. I knew that he would know who I was and that his adoptive parents would be able to tell him how much I love him, and when the time came, why I made the choice to place him.

Six years later, I now know that all the people who gave me advice, helpful or hurtful, are not here now, and do not see what I can see. I see the blessings that have come from this adoption. I get to talk to him and I get to watch him and his family grow. The choice was mine and no one else’s. Because I researched and prayed about my choices I did what was right for me and for him.

— Katy VanderDoes