How did your family react to you deciding to place? What could they have done to be more supportive?

ANNALEECE MERRILL

What I really appreciated about them is that they would have supported me whether I had decided to single parent or if I decided to place. That was what mattered the most to me because I really didn’t like feeling pressured from other people to place. So if I ever had second thoughts or anything what they did was just tell me that if I change my mind I’d have they support, but that I needed to think it out and make the right choice not just for myself but for her. That was something that I really appreciated.

AMY SCHUMAKER

With deciding to place, we kind of made up more of like a family thing. It was a family choice. My parent didn’t want me to be the one executed because I was choosing to place this child. We kind of made it like a family agreement. My parents stood by me with whatever decision I chose. They’re going to be okay with me parenting as well but they put in place that I would have to find a different place to live. I wouldn’t be able to live at home. I would probably end up on welfare. Not to tell me these things to scare me into adoption but to really give me the real world, reality.

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So because we chose to go into adoption, I really made sure that my family was involved with the adoption placement. Ultimately, it was my decision on which parents I chose and what type of agreement I really want to go with. So they were okay. My extended family, some of them were not too happy. My maternal aunt had told my mother, if the baby was black she want to have it, she wanted to adopt it. Other family members said, “Why don’t we do more of a family adoption so she can see and have regular contact on a regular basis?” I was very against this because I didn’t want to have this child growing up full well knowing that I may or may not be their child. My daughter and I look very, very similar. A lot of our friends call us mini me because we are so close looking. Having a family adoption just wasn’t going to work. I wanted to make sure that it was outside of the family. It was a family that was within a couple of hours from my parents so I didn’t have to run into them in the grocery store because I was afraid that that was going to be extremely awkward but my family was very supportive in everything.

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