Monday’s Life Change: The other side of the story

As we continue our series, “Monday’s Life Change”, I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine. She is a birth mom, who found herself making a life changing decision at the age of 38, which was about 2 ½ years ago. We often rejoice in stories of adoptions as they are amazing, but today, I thought it would be important to hear the other side of the story.

Vanessa became pregnant in 2010 after having sex just once with a guy she had just met. She knew within two weeks that she was pregnant. She also knew that she wasn’t going to be seeing this guy anymore. Vanessa was struggling in her singleness and wanted badly to be with a man who would love her and commit to her. Instead, she was giving herself away for an encounter that was never going to fulfill this desire in her heart. Vanessa admits, “I have trouble waiting for God’s plan, repeatedly.”

She immediately contacted my husband (her pastor) via email.  “Will God forgive me if I have an abortion?” she wrote. He knew this was a pivotal moment for her and counseled her to keep the baby and give the baby up for adoption if she didn’t feel she could raise the child.

Vanessa knew in her heart that it was the right thing to do. She knew that God could forgive her for having an abortion, but didn’t really want to do that. She was torn in the early hours after finding out that she was pregnant, because she also felt that she could not mother this child alone. She wanted this baby to have a loving family and she knew she couldn’t give it to her by herself.

She contacted the father of her baby. It didn’t go well. He didn’t want to be a dad either and he didn’t have money to help. Vanessa had also been talking with her parents. Her mom hoped she would keep the baby and really wanted to have grandchildren. She thought her dad might sway her into an abortion, because of the situation, but he didn’t. He told her that life begins at conception and this was indeed a life. His point of view was clear and not at all what she expected to hear from him. Vanessa knew right then what she would have to do and it wouldn’t be easy.

She reached out to our church for adoption services and called the first one on the list. She was immediately placed with a kind counselor who walked her through every step of the process. They found a family for her that she felt good about on paper, but upon meeting them, she knew they were the best people for her baby.

Vanessa and I met together a few months before the baby was to be born. I wanted to encourage her and be a resource in whatever way I could be. We talked through how she was feeling and she seemed so strong to me, although it was obvious that she was sad about how it all happened. We talked about forgiveness and how the Lord has forgiven her. She knew it was true. When I asked about her plans for finding a family that she felt comfortable with, her eyes lit up. Vanessa was thrilled about the adoptive family who would adopt her baby.

She admits that she felt mad a lot of the time during the pregnancy and said “I didn’t want anyone to see me”.  Instead of hanging out as per usual with her friends, she spent a lot of quiet nights at home and cried a lot. She felt that she was “carrying out a mission”. And while she knew in her heart that this was the “right choice”, it was very hard. She continued to receive encouragement through weekly services at our church and even through her small group. She was known and loved. Her friends were supportive and a  few of them even begged her to keep the baby. They were single mother’s themselves, but Vanessa felt strongly that this little baby should have both a mother and a father.

A beautiful little girl, “Baby E” was born on June 30, 2011. She had loads of dark hair and chubby cheeks. Vanessa said good-bye to the baby and quickly placed her into the care of her new loving family. Their empty arms were filled and years of prayers answered.

Vanessa sent my husband and I a picture of this sweet little girl around her first birthday. She had curly dark hair and the cutest smile smooshed between two round cheeks. She couldn’t have looked happier. Vanessa chose to give a gift that truly cost her something, but lives without the scars that a very different choice would have left her with. It was brave and difficult, but now, the child she brought into this world will grow up knowing all sorts of love-most importantly the love of Jesus-because her birth mom chose LIFE.

About shannalehr

My name is Shanna Lehr. I'm blessed to be the wife of Scott Lehr and mother to Ella, Ava, Janie and Gracie Belle. I love to cook, travel, run, and spend time with my family. My life has been changed by Jesus and I love to share him with others. Stop back often and join the conversation by leaving a comment. I love to hear from you! You can connect with me on Twitter: @ShannaLehr
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5 Responses to Monday’s Life Change: The other side of the story

  1. Roxanne Long says:

    Thanks for writing Shanna. I was the BABY in this story. I’m so glad my mom didn’t listen the “advice” she was getting when she was pregnant. It is so obvious how God has a plan for each of us while He is knitting us in the womb. Bless you for encouraging this mom as you do so many others!!

    • shannalehr says:

      Oh, praise the Lord for your Mom, Roxy!! We are so blessed to know you. You are a special woman of God and He certainly had a great plan for you! Thank you for sharing. I had no idea. 😉

  2. Sally says:

    Thank you so much for writting this story, I too am a birth mother in such a similar story. I was 32 years old and thought for sure I was the only one at that age that would give up her baby. I was a single mom with 3 children already and had just left my abusive husband of 13 years. through God’s grace I know I am forgiven. It is wonderful to know God has a plan for all of us. Blessing to you and Venessa.

    • shannalehr says:

      Sally, thank you for sharing a little bit of your story. You are definitely not alone in being a birth mother in her 30’s. You were brave to give your baby a loving home and I’m sure you’ve seen the Lord’s blessings for your choice of giving LIFE. I know Vanessa and others will take great encouragement from you! May you Flourish!

  3. Vanessa says:

    Hi Sally, I do PTL for your decision too! There is support with the agency after the adoption and I went on a retreat with the other birth moms one year. I have to say, I certainly felt different since most of them were young girls. I was picked up at my home and dropped off the next day, I got to ride with some other birth moms, and It really caught me off guard, because one of the ladies asked, “do you really live here”? I only have a town home. These ladies have far less than me. Some may not understand why I didn’t think I could do it or felt ready to do it. I have my reasons. You have yours also. Thank you for sharing your situation too! V

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