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Janelle and Kevin

Janelle and her son (now 16) who she placed for adoption.

I had just turned 18 when I found out I was pregnant. Although I was young and it was unexpected, I felt an unbelievable amount of love for my unborn child. My parents pushed for adoption, especially since I was adopted myself, but I dismissed the idea because of the overwhelming connection I felt with the child inside of me. I made the decision to parent my child, even though I knew that the father wasn’t going to stick around.

In July of 1996, my beautiful son was born. He was everything I had envisioned him to be. He was my pride and joy. Then reality set in: I was responsible for giving this little human being the best life possible, and I had to do this as a single parent. I started to think about all of the things I had growing up with two parents – things he would not have. I wanted to go to college and better myself for him, but that would mean limiting the activities that he could participate in as well as limiting our time together. To raise him by myself meant that he would not have a dad to show up at his Little League game to watch him and cheer him on. All of these thoughts made me cry daily.

One day, when my son was about three months old, I broke down in front of him. He looked up at me and just smiled and giggled out loud. I will never forget that little face smiling up at me. I knew then and there that he deserved a better life. He deserved the life that my biological mother so selflessly gave me when she placed me for adoption.

Now, more than 15 years later, I look back and smile at all of the happy memories that I hold. I think of the indescribable joy on the faces of his adoptive parents when they realized they finally had a child. I hold close to my heart the pictures and stories they have shared with me over the years. I remember, most of all, the unsurpassable amount of love that I felt for my son – a love I still feel – that led me to choose adoption.

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