Friday, April 29, 2016

Looking Back.... Hannah's Story

Growing up in a small, southern town, and being raised in a prominent family in that community, never made it easy for me to share my story. From the minute I found out I was pregnant during my freshmen year of college, I ran away to another state and hid from anyone that could find out. I was in a broken relationship, and I knew that I didn’t have a chance of giving my baby a Christian father figure. Through a lot of endless prayers and my supportive parents, I found a "home away from home" with the Liberty Godparent Home. They showered me with love and patience as I healed and made a plan for my baby's future.

For many years, some of my closest friends never knew that I placed my daughter, Grace, for an open adoption. Guilt and shame seemed to grip me, and for some reason, I couldn't find my voice as a birthmother. So for 12 long years, I sat in the shadows, and watched as other birthmothers found their voice and told their story.

A couple of months ago, a woman from an organization called Starkville Pregnancy Care Center came to me for marketing advice. She told me about the small clinic here in Starkville which was close to Mississippi State's University’s campus. She explained how they tried to witness to college students at MSU who found themselves pregnant and scared. They tried to give the young women who came to see them options other than abortions.

I knew instantly, that this was a way that I could not only tell my beautiful story, but find a way to give other young women the courage to choose life during an unexpected pregnancy. So many girls only see two options in front of them: abortion or parenting. They miss the magical option of adoption.

There are some things in my life that I'm not proud of, but adoption is the one, beautiful choice that I made, and therefore I will hold my head high.

So today, I'll start sharing my story, and hopefully it will save a life of a little unborn girl or boy. 

To any birthmothers out there that cannot find their voice, this message is for you:

 "You are beautiful in every way, and the life that you gave, is worth sharing. Don’t waste it by hiding away in the shadows.” 

To the young girl who is reading this and finds herself in an unexpected pregnancy

"You are precious. You are loved. And you are NOT alone. This day will someday pass, and you will look back on it like it was a distant dream. You’re right, it IS your choice, and with that choice, you could give the most amazing gift of love to your unborn baby. Your life doesn’t end with this pregnancy….. it’s just beginning. Take a deep breath, dust your shoulders off, and listen to the words of the song “Oceans" by Hillsong. That song gave me the courage to speak out and find my voice, and I pray that it will give you a little bit of courage as well."