Finding an adoption story that is similar to yours is like looking for a needle in a haystack. All adoptions are different. To Have and Not to Hold is an adoption memoir written from the birth mother perspective. In 1981, Lorri Antosz Benson made an adoption plan for her daughter in the Chicago area. This is a real-life account of the journey through unplanned pregnancy, to adoption and to open adoption. Read my full review here.
After our interview with The Ann, my friend shared with me the below Facebook post. I knew instantly that I needed to tell Erin that her post spoke to me. I already knew Erin a little bit. I was a major fan girl of her Studio West fitness classes.
Erin shared her story of teen pregnancy, giving birth to a baby girl May 4th, 1994. (My son was also born May 4th.) She is a strong and successful woman, amazing mother, fearless entrepreneur, and fitness superstar. Erin is also on a mission to help others with her story. She gave me permission to share it here.
Many of my friends know my story, and many of my friends don’t. Here it is: May 4th, 1994 (22 years ago today) on one hand feels like yesterday, and on the other, feels like a lifetime ago. I was 16 years old, a Junior in a Catholic, all-girls high school, facing something no other 16 year old I knew was. I was having a baby. Yes, I was pregnant and in labor with a baby girl. My high school sweetheart and I had gotten in over our heads with something we knew very little about. We ourselves were babies yet faced with a huge decision that would impact our lives and the lives of many others forever. We KNEW we did not have what it took to be the parents this baby girl deserved. We KNEW we weren’t ready to grow up yet. We KNEW there were many people in the world unable to have children. We KNEW (thanks to the awareness from my mom’s new volunteer position at a teen pregnancy crisis hotline center-ironic or miraculous?!) there was another way. We were so scared, but with the support of our amazing families, friends, and teachers, we KNEW would get through it.
When I was 5 months pregnant we were introduced to open adoption at Catholic Charities in Louisville. We were counseled through the process then hand selected from portfolios a couple we wanted to meet to possibly adopt our baby. We were so blessed to have staring back at us the perfect couple who would later end up adopting and raising this precious baby they named Sarah.
While this decision was so completely heartbreaking and difficult, it was the BEST decision we could have made. Sarah turns 22 today, is graduating from college this weekend, and is such an AMAZING and beautiful woman inside and out. Her parents, Bob and Marianne, have done such a wonderful job raising Sarah and giving their daughter the best life. Unselfishly, they have let our families be involved throughout Sarah’s life with tons of visits, phone calls, cards, etc.
I love my relationship with Sarah today. I love our trips together, our texts, our visits. I love her relationship with my husband (who told me he knew he wanted to marry me when he heard my story), her relationship with my kids, her relationship with her parents. We have been so blessed.
I am sharing this with you today because I want to create awareness. Teen pregnancy happens…and it is not prejudice. It can happen to anyone putting themselves in the situation. There are so many wonderful people out there yearning for babies to love. While open adoption was the right decision for us, I am not saying it is the best decision for everyone. I am, however, more than happy to talk to ANYONE (parents, teens, family members and friends) out there who may find themselves in a situation like mine. I am happy to answer questions about open adoption, about dealing with pregnancy as a teen, or anything else relating to this subject. If I can help even just one person by sharing my story, my mission is complete.
I love you, Sarah!! Happy 22nd Birthday, sweetheart!! 💗💗💗
I look up to Erin; First for her bad ass workouts and now for creating a life and world that would not exist without her. She’s a big deal. You can contact Erin here.