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I was starting my senior year of high school and found myself pregnant. I thought of my unstable home, the stepfather I didn’t get along with, and my boyfriend who was even younger than I was.

My boyfriend and I landed on the idea of adoption, and I thought of my aunt. She had a baby at 19, chose a closed adoption plan, and then never saw her baby again. I couldn’t imagine not knowing where my child was.

I turned to my mom for help. She researched open adoption, found The Cradle, and came with me to my first meeting with my counselor. My boyfriend also supported me: He stood by my side while I gave birth, signed the paper work, and even though we broke up afterward, he still sees his son regularly.

My son, Justin, is 11-years-old now, and I see him twice a year – around his birthday and Christmas. Those visits remind me of why I made my decision in the first place, as he’s blessed with loving parents and, now, a younger sister.
Just as Justin’s life has evolved, mine has too. I married in October of 2009, and I’m about to finish my master’s degree in accounting and financial management. My husband’s 7-year-old son sometimes reminds me of the life I could have led if I didn’t choose adoption, but I know that if it weren’t for that choice, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Today, I’m 32 weeks pregnant and reliving some of the emotions I felt 11 years ago. When I told Jim, Justin’s adoptive father, of my pregnancy, he was so overwhelmed with happiness for me that he cried.

It wasn’t easy for me, but my story is testimony to how there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

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