I'm seven years old. My mom and stepdad ask me if I want to be adopted—to have the same last name they do. Of course I do! And now, not only will we share a last name, but my mom's husband, whom I've been calling by his first name since I was four years old, will now be DAD!
It took a while to get used to a new last name, but I was so proud to tell everyone that my DAD ADOPTED ME! People even told us we looked alike. We always smiled and said thank you. Of course we look alike...I'm his daughter! I would think. And it didn't even matter that he wasn't my biological father. The love he showed me in choosing to be my dad linked us for life.
I'm 21 years old. I'm graduating from college and getting ready to start my life as an adult in the real world. And guess what? I'm pregnant.
I didn't know it at the time. I found out at five weeks, and I remember thinking, I can't do this. I'm not ready! It didn't take long for me to realize there was only one thing for me to do: give this child a family through adoption. I knew a wonderful couple who desperately wanted to be blessed with a child of their own, so I reached out to see if they'd be interested. They were, and I could tell they were as terrified as I was at what was about to happen.
In the meantime, people discovered my "situation." Some condemned me, saying I was selfish and that they could NEVER do what I was doing, nor could they be associated with me. I lost friends, respect, and even my job. My parents were furious: How could I be so irresponsible? Hadn't they taught me better? Needless to say, it was an extremely tough time in my life. And when the time came to bless those new parents with a child, it was heartbreaking. I never knew I could be so strong and so weak at the same time.
Through my pregnancy, I found true friends, the amazing love of my parents and family, and the joy of carrying a baby, all through the grace of God.
FAST FORWARD AGAIN.
Ignite Hope was mentioned to me by a friend who felt called to help. I had no intention of becoming involved, but the Lord kept tugging at my heartstrings. I finally set up a meeting with Jacqui Jackson, CEO of Ignite Hope, to talk about how I could be of assistance. The only things in the world I'm really good at are organizing and administrative duties. Jacqui said they had been praying for someone with those exact skills in their most recent prayer meeting! The Lord had led us straight to one another!
That was only two months ago. I jumped in to help wherever I could, and I am being blessed every single day by Ignite Hope. I'm excited to be a part of this amazing ministry where I can be a blessing to parents, children, and birth mothers and their families. It's amazing to look back and see that God had plans for my life experiences to help others. Of course He did! He's my Father...and HE CHOSE ME!