For Jacob

My adoption decision was was for my son, Jacob. I found out that I was pregnant during my exit physical from the military. My pregnancy was not planned, although I did love my boyfriend very much. Unfortunately, he did not love me and my choice not to terminate the pregnancy ended our relationship. He told me plainly that the Army would make him pay child support, but that he would never be a part of my baby's life.

During the first trimester I planned to raise my baby myself. However, no one would hire me and I had no education or skills to speak of. Imagining what it would be like to raise my child alone was terrifying. The very thought of having to put him in daycare for most of his formative years was simply unacceptable to me. After all, to make a better life for both of us I would have to work and go to college, which would leave very little time to spend with my son. In fact, I wouldn't be raising him at all, a childcare worker and the state would. Regardless of if I finished my education and found a good job, my son still would have no father.

Additionally, I worried that without a solid upbringing my son would not know what a healthy relationship looked like. My siblings were single and even my parents weren't married anymore. Jacob would only have a very small childhood with cousins, no money, no security, etc. The list of how I would be cheating him went on and on. Compounding my concern for his welfare were studies indicating that children of single parents were more likely to go to jail, develop substance abuse problems and less likely to even finish high school. There was no doubt that he simply deserved a better life than I could give him.

Before I told anyone about my adoption decision, I made a list of the criteria by which I could measure potential parents for my son. Then I contacted an adoption agency to find out exactly what the process entailed. Since I really wanted to be able to always be a part of my son's life, I asked about open adoption.

After exploring the qualities I wanted in a family, the adoption agency called me to say they thought they had found the perfect family. The adoptive couple were totally open with me from the beginning. The adoptive mother once said that she couldn't do what I was considering and was concerned that I would be all right afterward. Their compassion for my welfare, as well as the welfare of my baby, was paramount to my decision in asking them to be my son's parents. They agreed to an open adoption and spent the last months of my pregnancy learning all about Jacob's biological father and me. We discussed parenting issues, potential problems and biological implications. They put to rest all of my concerns about my son's future upbringing, and we seemed to agree on everything.

When the time came, they went to the hospital with me and even spent the night in my room. We prayed together and cried together and made a pact to always do what was in Jacob's best interest. After the adoption was finalized those same tears flowed for what seemed like forever. Just the thought of Jacob reduced me to an emotional wreck. Then the pictures started coming. The adoptive family once again calmed all of my fears with the most telling pictures of Jacob's happiness. I still couldn't bear to see him regularly, but the pictures never stopped coming. Each one seemed like another testament to the fullness of his family life. As the years passed and the adoptive family's letters revealed each important first in Jacob's life, I found peace in my adoption plan for him. I know now that he is exactly where he is supposed to be and that the adoptive family was truly meant to be his family. I would have it no other way..I don't worry anymore that he will ask me why someday because he is so well adjusted. He has everything that I would want him to have...especially our love.