Most names have been changed to protect privacy.

Dear Deborah,

My name is Teresa and I am an 18-year-old mother of two. My son is 15 months old, whom I chose to parent and my daughter is almost 2 months old, whom I placed for adoption. I know that I did not go through this web site to process my adoption but I would like to put my story in your Birthparent Index so that I can encourage other teen mothers in the same way that other stories on Christian Adoption have encouraged me. Please respond ASAP to tell me what to do. I realize that it is a requirement for your adoptive couples to be Christian. I love the Lord with all my heart and firmly believe that He placed it in my heart to place my beautiful baby girl with a family that will love her. I have been raised in a Christian family all my life but have made the faith my own in the past few years. I took it from my head to my heart! Thank you so much for making this web site available to the teen mothers out here. May God bless your efforts. Thank you, Teresa

Dearest Teresa, my sister in Christ!

We would consider it an HONOR to post your testimony online--just send it along, whenever you are ready! Thank you for writing to us. You are so very kind to offer your story to glorify God and to encourage others considering adoption. WE LOVE ADOPTION! Deborah

Teresa's Testimony

Hello! My name is Teresa. I'm a teenage mother of 2 beautiful children, and I'd like to tell you my story. But before I do, I want to say that I realize that most teens do not learn from other's experiences, but from their own, which in the long run causes more heartache. I hope that you can learn from my mistakes, because I wouldn't want any girl to have to go through what I have.

I was brought up in a good stable Christian family. I wouldn't say I had too many rules or was too sheltered; although I was home-schooled. I was always given the opportunity to make mistakes with the hope that I'd learn from them. I had some friends, but not many. My mother used to say, "If you can count all your good friends on one hand then you're blessed, because most people can't count good friends on one hand!" I was involved in home-school groups, as well as public school activities, and when I went into high school I attended all proms, and homecoming dances that I was able to. All of which, except my senior prom, were because of being asked by that special someone at the time. My parents were relatively young when they married, but they loved me and raised me the best they could. My father worked at a Computer Management job. My mother was a stay-at-home mom, and gave my younger sister, brother, and myself lots of love and guidance. When I was 14 my parents joined the staff of a Christian organization, and things went crazy--with me!

At 14, teen girls are very impressionable. They are lead by peers to make decisions, and depending on their attitude towards authority they can be easily swayed to the wayward side. I was swayed to the wayward side. (I wouldn't admit that, until I had my 2nd child, when I humbled myself before God.) I began liking boys for the wrong reasons; I viewed them as sex objects. I thought that they were cute, (that's normal) often wondered what it would be like to kiss them and to do many other things with them (and my viewpoint became abnormal.) I began arguing my opinions with my parents and authorities, because I thought I knew what was best. Dismissing the fact that my parents had been through life already, and had been through difficult times; I continued to learn from my own experiences rather than from my parents. I listened to unwholesome music behind my parent's backs, which caused me to become desensitized or to block out what I'd been taught about sex, drugs, dressing sexy and cursing. I began doing these things, because I wanted to have a lot of friends. But little did I know that it would not bring me friends--only enemies (users) who did not care if I got into trouble, as long as they got away clean and streak free.

15! We moved to a new town, although a temporary move. I got involved in the church and promised to change the way I thought about girl/boy relationships, but once again temptation returned. I got involved with a guy 2 years older. He introduced me to the big wide world of premarital sex, sneaking out of my home and away from a safe haven. I was a good student for this rebellious behavior and I learned quickly. I began to hang out with "friends" who smoked pot, sold drugs, were associated with gangs (not exactly involved but as close as they could get without being in one.) I went to wild parties, experimented with drugs--cocaine lines, speed, acid, mushrooms, as well as pot and smoking. Even though I knew all the harmful effects on a person, I had to learn it MY way. My excuse was "If I learned first hand that this was not good for me, I would have a better testimony for God." Yeah, right. That was lousy perspective! The consequences of that perspective ranged from having the police called on me for violence to not being able to use the telephone at home.

I like to say I was in Luck: Living Under Christ's Kindness! I did not get arrested, I did not get Aids, I did not get pregnant, and I did not die! I survived by GOD'S grace, not my own. We made a move out of state and "I promised a new start" to my parents, but not to myself. I went behind their backs once again and flirted with danger. I attended all the Christian conferences like a perfect SK (staff kid), but in my heart I was nowhere near a Christ-like walk. I found another guy and got involved sexually--which resulted in being raped by several "Christian guys" at a conference. I was degraded, I was treated like trash and used. But all I could think about was that my testimony would be better because of this. HOW NAÏVE! Once again "I promise to make a heart change!"

This time I really and truly tried. But I tried with my own strength and I didn't rely upon the Lord's help and strength. I thought I could do it alone! HA! Yeah right! My grandfather says that there is no such thing as trying--only doing! And in some cases that doesn't apply, but in this one, he is right! I dated though this time of trying! He was a wonderful Christian guy and we got along great. We went to conferences together, read our Bible's together, prayed, fasted, and went to church! But then my sinful flesh slowly crept back in and I swayed him away from Christ and into sin. We sinfully decided to give each other the gift that God intended for marriage. From then on, our relationship went downhill. His mother knew I was bad for him and he did too--soon it was over. Because I had put so much faith in myself and let myself down, I returned to my old ways. This time I would suffer consequences for my illicit behavior. I got involved with friends that partied, did drugs and had sex. I ended up giving away a part of my marriage gift, without hesitation. Soon I became pregnant and I had no idea what to do. I took one pregnancy test after another until I had spent over a $100--I couldn't believe this had happened to me. I cried, and cried, and cried for 2 weeks until I realized that I had to tell my parents. First I went to my Mom and she handled it better than I thought she would. She told me she had figured it out, because I would caress my stomach. She asked what I planned to do and I told her that I felt that God wanted me to keep and parent the baby. She understood, but suggested that I look into adoption. I made a Dr. appointment and prepared myself to tell my Dad and siblings. I needed to tell my Dad first. Ouch! My father's opinion of me was always very important to me, and telling him would mean risking a relationship with him than I had already shambled by distrust and disappointment. But I told him and he took it well; my Mom had prepared him. He gave me a hug and asked me what I planned to do. He understood what I was saying, but encouraged me to inquire about adoption, just to get more information.

I made an appointment with a local adoption agency, just to get more information. The meeting went okay, although I felt as if the caseworker was very into the formalities of the procedures, rather than full of compassion for my situation. I had still decided on parenting my baby! I felt that was what God wanted me to do, and so I followed my heart! I told the caseworker "thank you" and went on with my pregnancy. My Dr. was very compassionate towards me. He told me about a family that he knew, that wanted to adopt a 2nd child, if I decided to choose adoption. And his wife was adopted by her parents when she was an infant and was willing to share her heart for her birth mother, if I wanted to know more. I shared with him my desire to parent my child, and he wished me the best. From then on he never mentioned the adoptive family. When 8 months pregnant I went on a trip back home, and went into premature labor with my son. I survived through an amnio and many other foreign procedures, but soon delivered a beautiful baby boy whom I named Anthony. He has taught me to better myself and to be "others" minded. He is such a joy and a blessing. His smile brightens my day--everyday! I have no doubt in my mind that I did do the right thing for my son.

Three months later I thought that I would give my son's father one more chance to prove himself worthy of my love. Soon I was pregnant again. This was a surprising shock. All my life-through all my mistakes, especially drugs, I'd made sure to learn my lesson the 1st time. Now I was pregnant again, risking someone else's future--my child's! I spoke to the baby's father and told him that I thought that abortion would be the easiest way out! So we agreed and I made the appointment. Before the appointment, I asked 3 of my closest friends their opinions. One of them felt that the decision was wrong but said she'd back me up. The second said that she also did not agree with abortion, but she understood my position, and said if she was in the same predicament she would probably do the same. The third was very upset with me, she told me "Not only do I think that you are wrong, but I can't believe that you would murder one of your own children after seeing how beautiful your son is." I was still set in my decision or so I thought! I made them all promise not to tell anyone, but they all did! But due to the circumstances my third friend couldn't keep quiet. And I 'm glad she didn't! She told her mother, and asked what she should do and her mother said "PRAY and PRAY HARD for Teresa!"

I dropped off my son with his father and picked up the money for the abortion. The procedure (a chemical termination) was going to cost $480. Ouch! I proceeded to go to the clinic and when we arrived I hesitated a little, but went inside. When I walked in I looked around and saw young girls, older women, and what looked to be mothers with even younger girls! All seemed to be downcast and it was oppressive. And sad, very sad! I told the woman at the front desk about my appointment and she took my license, handed me a stack of papers to sign and initial. As I sat down, across from me was a young girl with her mother. She was holding her stomach and crying whole-heartedly, as if the procedure had been done, and she felt horrible. Her mother sat there with a scowl on her face and looked at me and shook her head, then the counselor came out and called her name along with a number "for postpartum procedure counseling." I knew she had already had an abortion. Then I reviewed what I was to sign and the list of side effects. The list varied from lung cancer to death. It hit me that what I was doing was wrong, and that the people completing these procedures were murdering innocent babies. I turned to my friend and said, "I think I need to leave!" She looked at me and said "Are you sure?" I old her I was, and she said, "Good!" with a smile on her face. I returned to the desk to get my license and let the receptionist know that I would not be having this done. I will never forget her comment, "WHY?" she said with confusion. All I could say was "Because I can't kill my baby!" And walked out! This made me feel horrible, as I thought I'd dug myself into a deeper hole. "Now what should I do?"

I called my Drs office and asked for the nurse who helped deliver my son, and I had become close to. I told her that I thought I was pregnant again and wanted to come in to find out for sure. She told me to come in free of charge. I remember going into the bathroom and feeling so scared! I didn't know what I would do if I was, but I had to know! The results were positive! I cried and my friend and the nurse comforted and told me that I should tell my parents right away, and that they knew that my parents would be supportive, because of the past year and my previous pregnancy! After leaving the Drs office, I called my two other friends and the one who was against it said "Thank God!" It made me laugh, out of fear and joy, because I didn't know what to do now, and yet I knew it was wrong! I called my parents and told them to meet me at the local Café to talk. When they arrived I asked my parents to try and understand, and told them. They hugged me and said that they were sorry and that they loved me, and would help me in anyway they could. I felt that God wanted me to give this baby back to Him, and let His will be done. I decided to choose adoption for my baby! I knew that I needed to prepare for the worst heartache of my entire life--placing my baby for adoption. Yet I believed in my heart that this was what God wanted me to do. I started thinking about who I should contact for the placement process. I felt God leading me back to the agency that I had turned down a year ago. I told my caseworker about the family that my Dr. had mentioned to me over a year ago. I wanted more information on them before looking at other profiles. I received a phone call from our associate youth pastor who told me about a family that he had attended seminary with, and he told me that they were praying to adopt a 2nd child. This sounded too familiar, and oddly enough it was the same family that my Dr. knew about! This "God-incidence" helped me to realize that God was guiding me. When I told my mother she had also heard about a family and it was the same family! By God's grace and guidance, we all knew who would be adopting my child. The family had been married for over 10 years, and had adopted a baby girl 6 1/2 years earlier. They were everything I was looking for in an adoptive couple. They could offer stability, family structure, maturity, liveliness, compassion, and love! And the baby would have an older sister! The caseworker informed the family that I had chosen them and informed me of the things that would have to be done. We met every week from then on to discuss my feelings, emotions, and anything else that was on my mind.

When I was 8 months pregnant the adoptive parents, the baby's father, my family and his, and I met for dinner, to get to know one another. Dinner went well, the baby's father and I left there saying "Too bad we won't be able to hang out with you more often after this!" We had gotten to know them better and we loved them, they were everything we wished for in an adoptive family! Their transparency and truthfulness encouraged all of us. We all shared in the excitement of the upcoming birth of our beautiful baby girl.

A month passed and my due date arrived. I began to feel strong contractions on the exact date! They were 7 minutes apart, so we decided to call the adoptive parents just to let them know that we were timing contractions, not to come until we called when it was time! But they were so excited, they packed up and called from the road saying that they were on their way! We told them to meet us at the hospital, because by now the contractions were 5 minutes apart. We met at the hospital, but the Dr said to go home and walk at a mall the next day. This was a disappointment for all of us, but we arranged for the family to stay at a hotel and we returned home. I determined that I would walk non-stop to help this baby arrive ASAP! When we got up the next day and went to the mall, we bought the cutest going home outfits for a boy and a girl. We shopped until the guys dropped! They won't visit another mall after those 5 hours of shopping! Soon the contractions were 3-4 minutes apart, but we all decided (well they decided for me) that we would wait through the night, to see if they were the same tomorrow or stronger. We had the adoptive family bunk with us that night. We played games and laughed a lot. That night was horrible for me; I had terrible contractions but didn't want to say anything, in fear that the Dr would only send me home again. But at 6 a.m. they were terrible! I woke my mom, "Let's go for a walk!" We woke up the adoptive parents and told them to get ready--we thought this was it. The whole house was up and getting ready when we returned from walking, yet the contractions were not stronger. The adoptive parents called to check on their daughter, to find her in tears, because she missed them. They asked if I would mind if they went home to get her, and I of course had no problem with that. It would relieve the pressure that I was feeling and help set my heart at ease. Hours went by after they had left, the contractions stayed the same! I finally called the Drs' office and asked their advice. They said it was better to be safe than sorry, especially since I lived an hour away from the hospital. So we called the family and told them we were on our way to the hospital. They said they'd meet us there. We arrived and they put me on a monitor, to check the contractions and the baby's heartbeat. All was well, with 3-4 minute contractions. The nurse called the Dr, I was 3-4 cm dilated, and 70% effaced. "The Dr told us that I should walk around in the hospital for no more than 2 hours and see if it would help--and then admit me. Yeah, we knew we weren't going home!

Two hours of walking went by fast! I was on my last lap around the hospital when contractions started becoming piercing pain! We went in and told the nurse that I was unable to go any further. She checked me, and said 6-7 cm and 100%! We all cheered and smiled! It was finally time to give birth to a beautiful baby whom God gave me to share with another Mom. The second phase of labor only lasted about 8 hours, and the pushing phase, phase 3, lasted only half an hour. Then at 4:40 a.m. my beautiful daughter was born. The adoptive parents and I had agreed on a name, she would be named Tori. I had decided to room in with the baby as well as to nurse her for the few days we were together. That way I felt that I had said good-bye to the fullest extent that I could. If we ever met again and she asked me about that day, I would have some special times to tell her about. Along with a great big "I love you!"

The time came to sign the adoption papers and my heart was aching, as I held her in my arms and kissed her forehead. As her father and the witnesses walked in my room my heart slumped into what felt like a trap at the time. In my mind I thought, "Well now that everyone is here I can't change my mind or everyone will think that I wasted their time. Especially the adoptive parents." The first set of papers confirmed that I knew who the birthfather was and that I was willing to provide all information about him. I signed the first paper and felt as if my life now had no meaning. Next I signed a Waiver of Appearance for the court date, and last but not least the dreaded Waiver of Surrender and Consent. As I read through this last set of papers I wished that God would just take me now. Yet on the other hand, I wished that the adoptive parents would just adopt my son and me--then they would have 3 extra children! Oh how my heart felt like it was being torn from my soul! After each signature I kissed my beautiful baby's head and told her that I loved her and my heart will never give her up! This was the hardest and will always be the hardest thing I have ever done. I cried until I looked as if I had been allergic to bees and had been stung. My eyes were swollen shut, and I could not breathe. I gasped for air but it felt that none was going to my lungs. I was in panic! The time came for the nurse to come and take the baby. I kissed her once again and handed her to her father. With tears flowing like Niagara Falls, I watched as she was united with her new Mommy and Daddy! Her new family and I had made prior arrangements to meet with their whole family for dinner. My father asked if I still wanted to go and without hesitation I wanted to see them as a family. I went to dinner with my huge swollen eyes and I had to come to terms with them as a family with Tori. I was no longer a part of her immediate family. I watched as her adoptive mother caressed her and loved her so. They were very thankful, and voiced that many times during the evening. As the night ended it was time to say good-bye for a final time. With one last kiss for my baby, now their baby, we promised to meet for a final visit when Tori turns 3 months. Now Tori is 2 months old and I'm waiting to see how much she has grown.

I thank God my Father for bringing me to this point in my life. To understand the sacrifice that He made for me when He sent His son to be crucified, and to bear my transgressions. Thanks be to God! He is the all in all and full of grace!


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