Today’s post is from guest Alison Westerfield. Her amazing story of a teen pregnancy, her choice of adoption and how it shaped her life today.
My name is Alison Westerfield. At 15 years of age, I walked through a crisis pregnancy. I wrestled with issues of having an abortion or keeping the baby. However, abortion was on the forefront of my mind because all I could think was how I had shamed my parents, my family, and myself. I just wanted the problem to go away. I figured that I could get an abortion and no one would ever have to know what I had done. I became a Christian at age 7 and this wasn’t the situation someone who regularly attended church should have gotten herself into. But I knew that I had to reveal my situation to my parents. It was a shock and disappointment to say the least but in my mother and father’s wisdom they decided to take me to a Crisis Pregnancy Center to receive counseling. I thank God everyday for my parents and the counselor who spoke with me. They helped me decide against an abortion. I decided to continue the pregnancy. During the counseling session, adoption was mentioned by the counselor. I immediately told her…that was not something I would do. There was no way I could ever give my child away.
The pregnancy progressed and my parents as well as the counselor reminding me that adoption was an option. The father of the baby had made it clear that there was no future for us, but I still wanted to keep my child. I was convinced by my parents to talk with a lawyer who dealt with closed adoptions. I was given detailed profiles of seven couples who could not have children and desperately wanted them. I began to gather information on the couples by reading profiles. There were letters included in the profiles to birthmothers contemplating placing their children for adoption. After reading all of the couple’s stories and hearing how they could not have children but desperately wanted them that I decided adoption was in the best interest for my baby. I wanted my child to have a mother AND A FATHER that could provide her with opportunities that I as a single teenage mother would have been unable to do. These couples could give her so much more physically, emotionally and spiritually than I could ever hope to provide at sixteen years of age. Before I knew it, I was 8 months pregnant and still had not picked which couple out of the seven that I wanted to raise my child.
I prayed continuously asking God to direct me and to help me make the right decision and still, no answer. Until one night, I was unable to sleep. The discomfort of the pregnancy was taking its toll and something told me to reach under the bed where I kept the profiles of the couples and reread them. I got to couple F and began to read the letter that the young woman had written to me. In it she said, “It seems strange writing a letter to someone I’ve never met, but at the same time I feel that we share a very common bond. That is the love a child. I cannot begin to imagine how it would feel to give up a child. I only know that it would take as much love, if not more, to give a child up than perhaps to receive one. Since we have been seeking to adopt an infant, I have been praying as to whether or not this is what God really wants for us and I believe it is. I’m thinking of you, the birth mother. I am reminded of the story in the Bible where the 2 mothers come before Solomon both claiming to be the mother of an infant. Solomon, in his wisdom, makes the decision to cut the baby in half, to which the birth mother’s response is to willingly release the child to the other woman in order to save its life and thereby reveals that she is the true mother. I sincerely believe that this story applies to you. You have chosen not to abort your child but to give it up in order to save its life. Your child will be brought up in a Christian home with lots of love and attention. Although you carry this child within you, I have also carried it within my heart for many years. God bless you in your decision.”
It was at that moment that I made my decision as to which couple’s home I would place my child.
On October 1st 1989, my child was born, a 7lb 6 oz baby girl. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I spent time holding her in awe of this little miracle that had changed my life so much and was about to change someone else’s life. The lawyer arrived to take my child to her new home. Everyone stood around my bed holding their breath’s as I held her one last time. We prayed over her and then I looked up and said, “It is time for her to go.” Just like that, she was gone.
The years came and went but not a day went by that I didn’t wonder where she was, what she looked like, and how she was doing. I never questioned if she was safe or happy. I knew God watched over her and protected her. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
After graduating from high school, I attended Georgia Southern University I met Joe, the man I would one day marry. After only a few weeks of dating, I told him about my past. He responded with love and understanding. I knew God had put this man in my life and I knew I would spend the rest of my life with him. After both of us finished college, Joe and I were married. We immersed ourselves in working on our careers and spending time with one another.
One evening, two years into our marriage, the phone rang. It was my mother. She explained to me that the same lawyer who 11 years before had handled the adoption wanted to talk with me. I told her to give him my contact information. He called me later that night and spoke the words I had only dreamed of hearing. “Your daughter would like to meet you.”
I met my daughter and her mother for the 1st time on July 1st, 2000! To be able to see her after all of these years was amazing! There are no words to describe how I was feeling at that moment! What was even harder to grasp, was the willingness of her parents to allow me to be part of her life again. She is almost 21 years old and we continue to stay in contact to this day.
The Lord chose to bring my daughter, Amanda, back into my life for many reasons. HE proved faithful because I put my faith and trust in HIM so many years ago. HE also knew I would benefit from some closure to that part of my life before Joe and I started a family of our own. Two months after being reunited with Amanda I became pregnant. Bryce, the pride and joy of my life, was born in May of 2001. Now, 9years old, Bryce, is a blessing to both Joe and I. Probably, the most important reason the Lord brought Amanda back into my life is so I could use this wonderful testimony to tell others about HIS love and mercy.
For years I did not share this story with many people for fear of judgment or rejection, but now I have chosen to use my greatest hurt to minister to others that find themselves in the same place that I was so many years ago. After much prayer and consideration, I decided to resign as a teacher because I wanted to spend more time with our now 9 year old son but I also knew God had something else in mind for me. Two weeks after resigning as a teacher for the local school system, the pastor of our church informed me that our local Crisis Pregnancy Center was in need of a director. It was then that I knew what God had in store for the next season of my life, becoming the director of the center.
I pray my past hurt can be used to minister to others.
Thank you Allison! I love your beautiful story!