Growing up I was raised in a Christian home. We attended church each Sunday, Wednesday evening and anytime the church was open we were there. I knew the story of Gods intentional design, forming each of us in our mothers womb, knowing us before we were created. Psalm 139 was a favorite and a comfort to me. I knew my life and each life was created for a purpose and God had great plans for us according to Jeremiah 29:11. The Lord was my comfort as I lived through physical and mental abuse from my mother who suffered bi-polar, manic depressive and obsessive compulsive disorders. My parents divorced and my father did his best to keep us in church around people to support us in our spiritual walk. In high school we were homeless for the first part of my freshman year but, during that time, the Lord connected me with mentors who continued to pour into me and encouraged me in my foundation of Christ. I did not date and believed that true love waited. My 16th birthday my dad gave me my "true love waits" ring that I proudly wore. The next few years the Lord restored my relationship with my mother. She had sought help and had been dating and married a retired marine that traveled all over the US as a photographer. The summer that I graduate from high school he murdered her. We had no clue that there was trouble within their new marriage. I was shattered and went through questioning God's goodness.
That fall, despite the grief at home, I was encouraged by friends to go to college as planned. I moved 12 hours away from home and was able to start a new life without many knowing my past. I slowly started to embrace a different lifestyle that I had avoided in high school. I began to skip church and attend bars instead, living a lifestyle completely void of the morals that had previously been my compass. When I was 22 I started dating a guy who was 10 years older than me and from Kenya living in Dallas, Texas. He was working at a corporate office and playing rugby on a working visa with the goal of getting a school visa to pursue his commercial pilots license. After 2 months of dating he took me into an engagement ring store and began putting rings on my finger talking about marriage. I broke out in hives and knew it wasn't right. I also found a letter stating that his work visa was expiring and he was due to be out of the country within the next few months. I was ready to end the relationship but chose to wait until after his birthday weekend to do so. That weekend we attended a BBQ party for his birthday with many people from his country that live in the Dallas area. He instructed me not to decline food or drink that was offered to me so as not to offend the host. That night he made sure my cup was constantly replenished with wine. Shots of hard liquor were given out to toast his birthday. That evening I was very sick. Despite my state he still chose to take the opportunity to have unprotected sex. As soon as I recovered I left his place in Dallas and returned to my apartment in Oklahoma. I ended the relationship and bought 2 dogs ready to close that chapter. A month later I realized I was pregnant.
I was 22 and pregnant with a baby from a traumatizing night that I wanted to forget. I was very sick with morning sickness and was spotting. I went to the local planned parenthood clinic to obtain the required pregnancy test and ultrasound to get into see a Doctor. While there, I was presented with all of my options. Abortion was heavly presented, encouraged and deffinitly justified in my situation by the nurse. I am ashamed to say that I did consider the abortion and justified it in my mind. I told my ex about the pregnancy and he was eager to offer marriage again. I was broken but the Lord was faithful to provide families around me that I nannied for to encourage me and support me. I chose to keep the baby, declined the marriage proposal and moved to live with a family I had been nannying for. The Lord provided my every need physically and emotionally. I felt strongly that God designed the family unit to have a mother and a father specifically. I desperately wanted a father for my daughter that loved the Lord and his wife. Although I always looked forward to the day of becoming a mother I knew that this was not the way God intended. I did have support from family and friends around me. I even had family members offer to help care for us. But I knew that I wanted to give her both a mother and a father that were married and in love with each other and the Lord. At the time the birth father was angry with me declining him and accused me of lying. He declined any support towards medical bills financially while I was struggling with extreme morning sickness and unable to work full time. I knew that he was not a man I wanted to marry or wanted to be a father to my children. I decided to look into adoption. I searched online for adoption agencies and found an agency that facilitated adoptions in all the US states. I felt the Lord impress upon me to place her for adoption in another state far away from where her birth-father lived for her protection. I browsed through several hopeful parent bios and prayed over 3 specifically. My criteria: a mother and a father, Christian, active in church, the father had to be in love with the mother, and siblings. Of the three selected families that met my criteria I only interviewed and spoke with one family. The family had a son and a daughter but desired to add to their family. They homeschooled, were involved in their church and lived in the mountains near a city. We scheduled a phone interview and I felt the Lord in all the details. The father was so in love and spoke so highly and tenderly about his wife. He worked full time to support her to stay home with the kids to homeschool and raise them. During this interview I spoke of my love for astronomy and my favorite memories in high school was going up into the mountains to chart constellations with my dad for my AP astronomy class. I learned a lot about their family and it was confirmation that they were the family for my daughter. The name they chose for my daughters middle name reflected the mothers maiden name of Starr. I thought it was a sweet confirmation of my love for the stars and her soon to be family. A friend at the time also gifted me an angel holding a star as a prayer token during labor. It was another confirmation. I began to gather things I wanted to give her. It broke my heart to try to put into words my story for her. In her gift, my friend made a baby blanket from fabric we picked out together. I also had a string of real pearls that I bought when I was in China for a semester in college. Turns out that one of the birthstones for June is the pearl. Another confirmation from the Lord I felt. The labor was long and emotional. It was like my body was fighting letting her go. After 19 hours of labor our beautiful daughter was born. I cherished every moment in the hospital with her. I met her family and just fell in love with each of them. Though a very painful situation there was an unexplainable peace. Leaving the hospital empty handed in a wheelchair was so difficult. I knew I had made the best choice for her.
Over the next year they would generously share with me pictures and letters of her new milestones. The joy on each family member's face and her big smile left my heart at peace that she was deeply loved and cherished. Each year I receive updates and a few pictures. She has been blessed with a family and community that loves her deeply. She loves to dance hip hop and ice skate. When she was little she had so many pictures of her fishing or enjoying the outdoors with her family. I've always been open and shared my story and the pictures with my children when they come in the mail. When they were younger they were so crushed to not know her. They long to meet her. My prayer and hope is that she has every need met and no voids. But I do hope that one day we will be able to meet again. Stars still hold a special place in my heart and seem to be connected to God giving me confirmation. I got a tatoo on my foot that has a star for each of my children. Her star is a shooting star. I pray for her and family every day.
Adoption has been one of the most difficult things to walk through but the Lord has provided great peace. I know she is greatly loved and cherished. My family loves to hear updates and each update is confirmation of an answered prayer.