Adoption Stories Blog

A Latter-Day Saint Success Story

I remember looking into the mirror at my face, swollen from tears and the physical toll of labor. My hair was wet; my hospital gown hung loosely off my body, and I ached. No amount of pain medication could ease the hurt I was feeling. Tomorrow morning, the baby girl I had carried for nine months would become someone else’s daughter.

I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to remember why I made the decision to place my sweet baby for adoption. I replayed the memory I had gone over a million times in my head. I was sitting in church, reluctantly. I was only going because I was living under my parents’ roof and didn’t want to cause any drama. I felt angry. I felt like everyone was judging me. They didn’t know my story, how many trials I’d been through that got me to where I was: 17 and pregnant. I had no time or patience for anyone who suggested adoption to me. Sure, I’d thought about it. I had even met with a couple that seemed like they would be amazing parents, but in that moment, I was bitter. How dare anyone tell me I wasn’t good enough for my baby. I’d show them.

I tuned out the lesson—eternal families, of course. How typical. I was trying as hard as I could not to listen, but something came over me. I don’t know if it was the Holy Ghost or my sweet baby nudging me from the other side, but something made me wake up. The conversation had shifted to the blessings of the temple. My baby started kicking harder than she ever had before, and my heart was filled with warmth. In that moment, I knew that I had to do whatever it took to give her the blessing of being sealed, even if it wasn’t to me.

I knew it was a prompting from God because it certainly wasn’t what I had planned. But one of His daughters had trusted me to get her where she needed to go, and I had to make sure she had the best. For her, that meant adoption. The idea of adoption was the only thing that tempered my anger and brought me peace. So I trusted Him and emailed the family I had met with before to let them know they were going to have a baby girl.

I heard baby R start to cry in the next room, so I opened my eyes and returned to my family. I sat back down in my hospital bed and held her close, savoring every second. These were precious moments that I would never forget. I kissed her little head and prayed for the first time in a long time. I couldn’t do this by myself, so I asked God to carry me.

And He did.

I received a blessing that night from two strangers who knew nothing of my adoption plan, promising me angels to help me through the following days. I could not have survived without them. Somehow, I made it through signing relinquishment papers and walking out of that hospital with empty arms. The following week, angels on both sides of the veil cared for me and helped me through my anguish. It didn’t make it easy, but it made it bearable.

The next year of my life was tumultuous, to say the least. Despite all His efforts to help me, I pushed God away. I didn’t want help getting through the pain. I wanted the pain to just go away. I couldn’t understand why God would put me through all this. I quit going to church again and tried to numb the pain any way I could.

It wasn’t until I visited my parents that Christmas that got any answers. I landed back in Relief Society and tuned out the lesson, just like I had before. The lesson finished early, so the rest of the hour was opened up for testimonies. The same spirit stirred in me again, and as hard as I tried not to listen, somehow I ended up in front of that room of women. I spoke words from my heart that I didn’t know were there.

I told the sisters that I knew that God hadn’t left me alone. He knew exactly how I was feeling. He sent his only Son to this earth, for us. He watched His little baby be born in a stable and grow up being raised by a father that wasn’t Him. He watched his Son suffer in Gethsemane and die for us, the rest of His children, on the cross. He ached, just as I did. He knew better than anyone else how badly I hurt. And if I would only let Him, He would hold my hand through it all. Standing before the Relief Society that day, everything changed again.

Slowly but surely, I started coming back to church. I stopped pushing away the family and friends that He sent to help me. I began to trust that even though I was scared and hurt. God wouldn’t let me fall. Every time I’ve stumbled, He has been there for me without fail. It’s been almost three years since I placed little R, and I can finally say that I am a happy, healthy, successful person. I hold a calling, go to church, and in just a few short weeks, I will receive my temple recommend. I am not perfect, and I make mistakes, and I still grieve. But now I’m not doing it alone.

God sent me His baby to help me through placing mine. I will always be so grateful for the Atonement of Christ so that I can be clean and strive to be worthy of Him. Everyday, I try to live in a way that shows my gratitude for God and His Son, because they know how I feel.