Monday, November 21, 2016

Voices of Birth Parents and Adoptees: Karen's Story

Karen and her husband, Dirk, are one of my sweet CAC couples. Karen is a compassionate adoptive mom and she's also a courageous birth mother. When I asked her if she might be willing to share her story, Karen quickly responded, "I would be honored to share my story as a birth mom. I pray it will continue to speak to others! And I hope that it will shed light on the heart of adoption and a birth mother's love for her son/daughter." I count it such a privilege to share Karen's words with you.


Denial, Sacrifice, Freedom and Adoption: By Karen

Over twenty years ago, life was much different for me than it is today. I was a young girl living a secret life, emotionally and physically scarred, in a dysfunctional family. Today, I thank God for being my Rock and Savior. My scars have healed and turned into beauty marks and my emotional suffering has been set free through my faith walk with God!

I grew up in a dysfunctional family with a lot of hurt. I was sexually abused by a family member for many years. Even when it ended, I kept it a secret for a very long time. I didn’t know how to deal with it or whom to talk to. I felt like it was better off just keeping it to myself. The abuse led to me have an unhealthy view of males.

In my early teen years, I lived a sinful life of lust and unhealthy relationships, which led to an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 16. I was an athlete and an honor student in high school, completely ignoring the fact that my body was changing. I was in complete denial until a friend on the swim team approached me during swim lessons to ask me directly, “are you pregnant?” My immediate answer was “NO!”  She then took me aside and indicated to me that everyone was talking about me “showing.” The following day, she had a friend call her OBGYN and asked for his assistance to see me. I was in denial and scared. The doctor had no doubt that I was truly pregnant and began to ask me questions during the exam. That day, I discovered I was approximately 6 months pregnant. I was asked to go home and tell my parents. So, I did and of course they were not happy to hear this. My mom actually didn’t talk to me for a few days.

I felt many mixed emotions at this point in my life. I was only 16 years old, scared and alone, facing an unexpected pregnancy. I made the hard choice to place my baby for adoption. Although I was able to select a family to care for and love my child, I never followed through with sending photos to be kept at the attorney's office for my son to look at as he grew up. I was young and felt alone. I had no guidance to help with my emotions and therefore did not follow through with a relationship with my son or the adoptive parents.

For many years, I hid behind a wall of shame and guilt and acted as if my pregnancy did not happen. I buried it deep in my soul as the pregnancy was never discussed any further with my family or friends. I was alone with this secret of mine until about 10 years ago when I met my husband. Dirk accepted me for who I was and I was finally able to start breaking down that “wall.” As I shared with him my story, Dirk opened his heart for me in so many ways. He has been so supportive of me and the choice I made to place my son for adoption.

Through the years, I have been able to forgive my abuser for their actions and give my life to God. In the last 5 years my relationship with God has grown strong and he has encouraged me to share my story with family members, close friends and church leaders. I have also shared my story with other women that are facing an unplanned pregnancy by being a volunteer advocate at a non-profit Christian based pregnancy center. It has been with great joy and some heartache to share with others and help other women through their journey of becoming birth moms. I feel as if a heavy burden has been lifted off my shoulders and I am able to live a healthy and positive life by sharing my story. I truly respect and admire a birth mom for her courage of choosing life for her child.

Although I have had no contact with my son or his adoptive parents yet, I am actively pursuing to find my son and to meet him. There is not one day that goes by that I do not think of my son. I have loved my son since the day he was born and will never stop loving him. Though it has not been easy, I am thankful that my child was given a hope and a beautiful future. I know that he has been able to live a healthier life by the choice I made. I definitely look forward to the day we are able to connect with one another.

I have been married for 8 years now and we were blessed with our son, 5 years ago. After trying to conceive again for four years with no success, we knew that God was not done growing our family just yet. We knew in our hearts we had more love to give and we faithfully believed that adoption was the next step for us in order to grow our family of three. In August we adopted our son. We are so blessed that God brought him into our family! Each adoption is unique in its own way, bundled up with a special love for a child of God. Adoption has been such an important part of my life story.


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