My passion is to reach teenagers and women that view themselves as worthless, disposable, and damaged beyond repair, who are in a cycle of self-destruction, and continue to make bad choices because of the hurt and pain that they feel from their past. I know this feeling. When I was a little girl I was sexually abused by a family member for several years, and then raped by a man close to our family at age 15. I had no self-worth. I was damaged beyond repair. I didn't know what innocence was or how to preserve it.
And whether it’s a choice you made or a choice made for you, having that purity and innocence taken from you causes you to feel like it’s something that you can’t get back. Being reckless with my choices because I was hurt and was searching for something that I couldn't find in this world. But when you’re stuck in that cycle you can’t see that.
At age 17 when I was a junior in high school, I dropped out of school and moved out of my mother’s house. I was living carelessly without consideration of the consequences of my actions. I became pregnant in October. I remember when I saw that test, oddly enough; I had peace, happiness, and joy. In that moment I felt complete. I felt that God had given me, the most beautiful gift in the world, the love, hope, and the joy that had been taken from me. I knew instantly that my life had to change. My child needed more from a mother. I was going to have to be responsible and get my life back on track. So I moved back home, I reenrolled in high school, and began preparing for a life with my daughter. As the pregnancy continued I was filled with so much love and excitement. Feeling your child move for the first time just takes your breath away.
A few months before my due date, my mother gave me a pregnancy plan; I think to show me the reality of what becoming a parent takes. Not just emotionally, more than just the love, but the financial side of it as well. I remember looking at that plan and doing my research. The amount of diapers, formula, wipes, clothes and how much all those things cost. Going to school in the morning, working in the evening. How was I going to show her my love? How was I going to be there to protect her and make sure she never experienced the pain and hurt that I had. I began feeling helpless and overwhelmed and all those feelings of hurt and unworthiness came flooding back. When adoption was suggested, it hurt and truly it made me angry. How could some couple be better for my daughter than me? How could strangers give her a better life than I could? The thought of placing my child into the arms of strangers scared me. How could I ensure they would give my child the life she deserved, the life I couldn’t. But I went to Gladney Center for Adoption and sat down with a counselor to begin exploring the option and what adoption could mean for my daughter. My heart just sank and broke into pieces with the realization that adoption was going to be the best life for my child. She wasn’t going to be raised by strangers, but rather raised in a family with a mother and a father that love her unconditionally, who want her, who are ready to complete their family with this beautiful precious child.
That summer I moved into the Gladney dorms and began making an adoption plan. I made a list of qualities the adopted family must have. A Christian home, a stay at home parent, siblings, parents that involved their children in every part of their lives, etc. When I received Randy and Jane's profile, I knew almost instantly I wanted to choose them as my daughter's family. They had their son, Dustin, help illustrate their profile, the first impression to a perspective birth mom. Not only did they have all the qualities I was looking for, but also the illustrated profile spoke volumes to the roles children filled in their home. It was less important to have a perfect profile than one that included their son. It was perfectly imperfect. So, the communication and getting to know each other began. Jane and I talked for hours.
“While it was painful, it was so comforting to see that Morgan wasn’t going to be an adopted child, she was their daughter and their family was complete.”
When they came to visit, I completely fell in love, and honestly wish I could have gone home with them. To have such love, compassion, and adoration towards a stranger was a true blessing in my life and I had no reservations that they would provide the same love, compassion, and adoration to their children.
As I began to plan for Morgan’s arrival, I requested Jane, Randy, and Dustin be at the hospital for my scheduled C-section. My desire was for them to hold their daughter before anyone else. I had done a lot of research and I wanted to insure a healthy bond between Morgan and her family. So they were there. It was their eyes that she saw, there touch she felt and their love that she felt immediately after being born. I remember waking up from the anesthesia, and seeing them holding their daughter and seeing Dustin’s smile beaming from ear to ear. I could see the joy, love and completeness they felt. While it was painful, it was so comforting to see that Morgan wasn’t going to be an adopted child, she was their daughter and their family was complete.
It’s been 18 years now and my daughter has lived an amazing life. She is happy and healthy. She is currently attending a major Christian university. Because of her parents she never had to doubt how loved and wanted she was. She knows that her parents love her unconditionally. They have given her everything because she was their own. But she also knows that her birth family loves her just as much and that she wasn’t unwanted, that she wasn’t a mistake. God has a plan for her life and I am thankful that He entrusted me to begin it. I’m thankful that He orchestrated every event so that I could find Jane and Randy, the family I have no doubt she was supposed to be with. Sometimes it’s less about a mother’s heart and desire as it is about your child’s life and wanting them to have better. Wanting her to have all her needs met. Not having her live through and see the cycles of self-destruction that I was in. Morgan’s life was not a mistake, she was born with a purpose, and by God’s grace she will fulfill His calling on her life.
1. Me proudly supporting BraveLove | 2. Sweet kisses. I must have kissed her a million times trying to make sure my love would last through the years | 3. Morgan's hospital picture | 4. Morgan and I on Placement Day | 5. Morgan and I during a nursery visit. It's during these visits you to explain, make memories, and say all your I love you's | 6. Holding her and seeing her, She was perfect. I had no doubt this was God's plan for her life | 7. My family: My husband Stacy, my two step-son's Tyler and Cody and my daughter, Victoria
We are so thankful for Angela's honesty in sharing her story with us. The tragedy she experienced has given her a greater platform and a deeper passion to reach women who are suffering the aftermath of abuse. Will you share this story with someone you know? Or share it on Facebook for others to read and be encouraged.