When Gwen* found out that her son’s girlfriend was pregnant, she was shocked. She felt overwhelmed and devastated. There was no obvious solution. They were teenagers, but he wanted to keep the baby even though his girlfriend didn’t.
Gwen questioned whether she could raise the child herself. What would that mean for her family? Would it be fair to her other children? Would it be fair to the baby? It felt so unnatural and so against her maternal instincts to think of giving up her grandchild, but she knew the final decision had to be what was best for the baby.
Throughout the pregnancy, they could not come to a decision. Gwen’s son and girlfriend interviewed possible adoptive parents, but it was still uncertain. Surrounded by many friends, Gwen, her husband, and their family “literally prayed the whole eight and a half months, up until the moment he signed.” In the end, they believed that “the Lord made it clear that [adoption] was the right thing.” When Gwen’s grandson came into the world, his adoptive parents were able to be there.
The decision to place the baby for adoption was not easy for Gwen or her son. But Gwen knows that the decision was the best one for her grandson, and that is an enormous comfort. Although it will always be painful, there is so much joy knowing that through this sacrificial act of love, a couple who could not have their own children were given the gift of a child. Gwen’s grandson has been raised in a loving home and was given a wonderful life.
Nineteen years later, Gwen has no regrets and recalls, “God never left us. He directed us because we relied on him.”
Because it was an open adoption, Gwen was able to send letters and gifts as her grandson grew up. When he was older, he asked to meet his birth parents and grandparents. Gwen and her son are able to have a relationship with him. Although they are not the ones who raised him, they have been able to see him grow up and can demonstrate to him their ongoing love for him. “When he gets married, we’ll all be there. He has all these siblings and family who love him.”
When Gwen thinks about the many birthmothers who face this choice, she admires them and is struck by their courage. The decision to carry a child, and then choose to give him to another family so that he can have a better life “isn’t a disgrace.” It is an act of love that goes “beyond human nature.”
*name changed for privacy