A birth mother’s love

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The hardest part was leaving the hospital without her newborn baby girl. Nurses and even a stranger asked Sarah if she was alright as she sobbed uncontrollably. She wished they’d go away. Those moments were the worst part of placing her daughter for adoption.

The thought of carrying a child to term and then letting someone else parent that child is almost unthinkable for many expectant parents. “Nearly half of pregnancies in our country are unintended. Less than two percent of those pregnancies end in adoption,” said Meaghan Lane, diocesan Catholic Charities pregnancy and adoption support program manager. “In 2014, over 650,000 of those pregnancies ended in abortion and 18,330 being place for adoption.”

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Lane is hoping to reverse those numbers by empowering women experiencing crisis pregnancies to choose what is best for them and their baby. Often, a change in mindset and terminology helps. “Giving something up means taking all the power away. Plus, babies are not property to be ‘given or kept,’ ” she said. “We always encourage people to say ‘make an adoption plan.’ Making a plan for your baby is proactive.”

Many people feel blessed to have adoptive parents or adoptive children. Some adopted children have a life they never would’ve had otherwise. Sarah placed her child for adoption hoping her daughter would have a better life and a stable home. “I would argue that sacrificial love comes in many forms and this is absolutely one of them,” said Lane.

As an organization, the pregnancy and adoption support program hopes to expand its Fairfax office into Manassas as well. They partner with pro-life groups to encourage counselors to present adoption as an option. They continue to serve the women who have placed their babies for adoption. “We remain a lifetime resource for birth parents with support groups, counseling and sometimes facilitating the exchange of information with the adoptive family,” said Lane.

Sarah continues to go to a support group and counseling to work through her loss. Though heart-wrenching, those three days in the hospital brought her precious time with her daughter. But it isn’t the only time she had. Because Sarah opted for an open adoption, she’s able to watch her daughter grow. “I’m so grateful that I chose an open adoption because I have an amazing relationship with my birth child and her parents,” she said.

Sarah wants to encourage women in crisis pregnancies to consider adoption. “I want to let other girls know — you can do this,” she said. “You are not alone. You will be OK.”

Find out more

To learn more, call 703/ 425-0100 or go to ccda.net/Need-Help/Pregnancy-and-Adoption-Services.

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018

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