Choosing life … a story of restoration

By Jacqueline Jagger, Written for AFA Journal

May 1995 – It was early April in the deep South, when the wondrous sound of a newborn baby’s cry pierced the silence of a sterile delivery room. There, a beautiful 17-year-old girl lay asleep on the delivery table unaware of her child’s birth, waking only to realize that she would never see the child she had delivered and decided to give up for adoption.

Due to circumstances of family illness, the mother’s age, and the inability to provide for her child, this young woman chose life for her child by choosing adoption.

I am that child!

I was adopted at the age of three months, and spent my childhood knowing this fact, and being assured that I was a special gift from God. From time to time someone would curiously ask, “Do you know your ‘real’ mother?” To this questioning my reply would always be “No! she didn’t want me, why should I want to know her?” This remained my attitude throughout childhood and adolescence, although my parents always assured me that my birth mother was a good person and that she loved me despite her decision. As adults know, rejection of any type is difficult for a child to accept.

As I matured, married and became pregnant with my first child, I began to contemplate the feelings of my birth mother during her pregnancy and delivery in 1960.

After delivering my first child, a little girl, also on an early April morning in the deep South, I praised God and thanked Him for this wondrous creation that He had given my husband and me. I also realized something that day that changed my attitude toward my birth mother – she had loved me, and I was absolutely certain that she still did, wherever she was and whatever she had become. I understood that for a woman to carry a child and nurture it with her own body for nine months and then be willing to allow someone else to love and raise that child was, I feel, an unselfish and totally loving act, particularly in her circumstances! Abortion, although illegal in 1960, would have been available if she had so chosen, but she chose life! Realizing this, I asked God for the opportunity to thank my birth mother for her choice, and to assure her of my wonderful parents and the life that they had given me.

I really didn’t expect to receive this opportunity, but because of the necessity of a family medical history during my third pregnancy, and through two very diligent social workers, I was given the opportunity for my prayer to be answered!

In August of 1985 I spoke, for the first time, with my birth mother and received the necessary medical information. I also took this opportunity to thank her for her choice. In meeting my birth mother face-to-face shortly thereafter, I was able to show her how I had grown up and how my life had turned out. This filled a great void in each of our lives!

My birth mother and I maintain periodic contact. We both feel comfortable with the relationship we share, and there is respect for the role we play in each other’s life.

I am thankful for my birth mother and her decision to choose life, because in so doing, she allowed me to have the most wonderful family a child could ever have, and a wonderful childhood that was full of events and memories I will forever cherish.

I feel that I was a gift of love to a man and a woman whom God had chosen to bless with a special child. I am eternally grateful to Him for this. I am also thankful for the decision, though excruciating it must have been, that my birth mother made in choosing life for me – her child – through adoption.

Through my experience I have come to believe that choosing life is the only choice! Because of that choice I am able to relate my story, to express my gratitude, and to be alive to say, “Thank you, for choosing life!”