What are some supportive things that people did when you were going through the adoption process?

AMANDA

My parents were really, really supportive and I think that was very helpful and my sister was as well. I had visited with the counselor and that was very helpful to have someone to talk to about it because I didn’t really know anyone else who was going through that same situation. I didn’t know anyone who had even looked into adoption. Having that there was just really helpful because I think the father and his family were not initially sold on the idea and so it kind of took a bit of just diligence on my part really, just knowing that that was what I felt was the right choice to make.

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Having my parents there and having friends around, I think my friends were just really helpful at making me feel quite normal and that just because I was pregnant didn’t really mean that I couldn’t be the same old Amanda. Those were I think what helped me actually get through the situation. Also the adoptive mother was really supportive and she was very great about coming to the appointments and she came to the ultrasound and she just sometimes wanted to kind of meet up with us and just go out to lunch and be involved in as much as we wanted her to be. That was really helpful because it felt like she was almost becoming a bit a part of the family. I got to know her more and get to just see who she really was and that was really helpful as well.

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LEAH OUTTEN

Supportive people on my life surrounding my adoption were my family mostly, my social worker that I connected with in early pregnancy and she walked it through me, through the hospital, through and through post-placement and so she was a huge support. And then I had supportive teachers that kind of loved on me and encouraged me through my pregnancy and working with me in that. And one thing that they did for me, my family and my friends, was threw me a lady shower which helped to, instead of having- since I chose adoption, and I didn’t get that baby shower experience of getting that excitement and the party and celebrating and gifts and all that kind of thing.

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They wanted to love on me and my choice and so that was really, really special and touched me that, you know, I’m not just here to incubate a baby but I’m a person too and they wanted to celebrate with me, so I got– they treated me with gift cards to buy new clothes after she was born and spa treatments and scrapbooking materials so that I could use that to heal afterwards and put my thoughts and feelings into creativity. To share my story with her through that if I wanted to. That was really encouraging. And one thing that I had a teacher who gave me a card that said bloom where you’re planted, and so that meant a lot to me. I was like, you know, I’m gonna own this. I’m going to choose adoption and I’m going to accept where I am right now and I’m gonna make the best of it. So I feel like having that stance and that encouragement of, you know, just be who you are and do the best you can with what you have and bloom in it. So 11 years later I feel like I have embraced that and I could be proud of my choice and who she is and what we’ve become.

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MAKENA LEIGH PORTER

So I was in high school. I was a sophomore and I went to school all the way through the school year and when I ended that school year I was 8 months pregnant so I was there the whole time. It was hard being in high school, I mean, high school but my support system grew a ton. I went to church every Sunday still. I had activities on Wednesdays for that and I went to that too. I had a religious year in our class so I got up at 6 am to go every school day and having that in my life help me a ton. My family, at first, they didn’t know what to do.

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It was, they’re a little bitter and I totally understand why they’re bitter and over time my support system got stronger and I was totally confident through my whole pregnancy after that. I actually went into a job interview when I was pregnant and I was confident and I was unafraid to say that I was placing and it was just so helpful to have all those people there for me. And to be able to even find a community of birthmoms when I was pregnant. I found that and it was awesome. It was wonderful.

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BAILEY CORRELL

Well, first and foremost, my parents. It was kind of hard on them to understand why I had made some of the decisions I’d made and [no audio] really they had a hard time coping at first with the fact that their 17-year-old daughter was pregnant but after that they really backed me up a lot. They financially supported me through the whole thing which was really, really great of them and of course, you know my daughter’s adoptive parents before I knew that I’d even thought about letting them adopt my daughter, they had been just emotional support throughout the whole program which is one of the reasons I was able to trust them with raising her. I knew they weren’t being kind to me because they wanted a child. They had been kind to me beforehand and that was huge and trusting and because I knew they cared for me and for her.

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I played volleyball when I was in high school and my coach was a foster parent and so she was able to give me stories about just kids whose birthparents have been in and out of their lives versus people who raised their children when adoption might have been a better choice. She gave me such a great perspective because she’d seen so much. I had so many teachers, I went to the same school from kindergarten through senior year and I had teacher who had been investing in my life since I was 4 years old and a lot of them, especially my teacher from kindergarten came alongside me through this whole process. She was always there if I needed to vent. I was a very hormonal pregnant person, I needed to vent [no audio]. She was always there. I had her cellphone number. I could call her at any time. My best friend in high school was also really there the whole time. She was one of the only people who didn’t just looked at me like something was wrong with me like I had got a strange disease somehow [no audio] and those people really were the ones that had my back the whole time.

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HEIDI RUSSO

So supportive things when I was going through the process was really hard. I didn’t have a lot of support to be honest. My family, I want to say they were supportive of adoption but the fact that it wasn’t an unintended pregnancy at the time made things really stressful with my family. My mom had a really hard time with it. Her family had a really hard time with it and there wasn’t a lot of support there other than this is what you’ll do and this is what we want you to do so you’re going to do that and that never goes ever well with me. So, that was hard. I know during that time I didn’t speak to my mom for several months. I want to say, maybe 5 months and it was quite far along in my pregnancy before we started speaking again.

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It was really tough. My dad, he was great, he says I love you and let’s figure this out and let’s look at your options and what is parenting look like, what is adoption look like, and I will support you in whatever you decide but if you decided to parent I won’t raise your child for you. So, it was tough. I think I found support through my dad. My dad helped quite a bit. Nobody else in my family had never been through this. I didn’t even know that we had anyone in my immediate family even extended family that had been through adoption so it was unchartered territory and I think once I met up with my dad’s friend, his wife, Susie was with Lutherans Social Services, I felt more supported in that somebody knew about the adoption process and options and yet at the same time I paved my own path and I did what I wanted to do because I want to do it my way. So again, in going through it I went against the rule, if you will, of what they had done in the past with adoptions. I did what I wanted to do and what felt best for me in going through with placing.

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KELSEY QUESENBERRY

Unfortunately my family was not the most supportive. They were kind of jerks. They really, really, wanted me to parent because like I said adoption wasn’t really anything that was discussed in our house. The most supportive person by far was Zach, Henry’s birth father. He really stepped up and he really took care of me. We don’t really talk about the adoption a whole lot. He is still trying to process it. We spent a lot of time together and we try to take our minds off of it.

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I’ve stayed with him in his apartment while he was in school until I went home. I was home for maybe like 2 weeks, living with my mom. Things weren’t just working out. Then his mom offered to let me live with her which was really the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. It let me get out of my mom’s basement and get out on my own. I lived with her for maybe 7 months before I got my very own apartment which I never thought I was going to be able to do. I didn’t really need any kind of special gesture, just being there was enough for me because I felt abandoned by my family. Just a simple act of opening up her home or just being willing to take me out for sushi because I had a bad day meant the world to me.

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