A Beautiful Solution to a Challenging Situation
By Lynda MacFarland
There are approximately two million couples in the U.S. who would love to adopt a baby, yet less than 1% of those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy choose the adoption option. It’s too often never discussed or considered as a viable plan of action for birthmother and child.
Lamb of God Maternity Home is working to assist women who have chosen to place their babies for adoption with one of these couples who want a child in to be a part of their “forever family.” Lamb of God Maternity Home helps a pregnant woman in crisis with 24/7 support. The Home helps about one hundred women a year with resources, adoption education and support through their crisis line. Able to house 6 residents at a time, Lamb of God Maternity Home has housed over 80 women since opening in 2013. All services are free. These include shelter, food, counseling, financial literacy and life skills, spiritual direction, educational/vocational help, transportation, and one-on-one mentoring. Individualization of access to other needed services such as employment, schooling, and addiction programs are also available at no cost to the women. The program is designed to support the woman throughout the pregnancy and complete the journey to self-sufficiency and the appropriate integration of their role in the child’s life afterwards. The founder, Grace Dulaney, is a birth mother herself and obviously has a huge heart for pregnant women in crisis situations.
Adoption Advocate, Nicole Berrong, speaks of birth mothers as “absolute heroes.” She began as a mentor to birth mothers but after a year and a half applied for and was hired as the Adoption Advocate for Lamb of God. Her love for birth mothers began decades ago as she adopted two children, now 20 years and 18 years old.
Nicole explains that today, most adoptions are termed “open adoptions” where the children know their birth parents and even grandparents. Birth fathers can also be involved, if they so choose. There is no secrecy or shame involved with this very courageous decision made by birthmothers or with the forever families who adopt. The birth mother may choose the level of openness that feels comfortable for her. She is encouraged and guided to understand her feelings, so that she is prepared and supported during her decision and as the process continues with the adopting family.
Nicole also shares that Lamb of God is one of only 2 out of 400 maternity homes in the U.S. that houses women that are facing an unplanned pregnancy when exclusively choosing adoption as their parenting plan.
If you, or someone you know and love, is in this situation, prayerfully consider the adoption option for that unborn child and for the birthmother and the family who will accept and also love that child.
Below is an excerpt from a poem written anonymously by a birthmother about her baby that sums up what generosity and courageous love a woman must have for a child she places in an open adoption.
Please contact Lamb of God at this number for any questions you may have, if this could be an option for you or someone you love at 760-294-7969. The Crisis Line number is 760-715-6463 for anyone in an emergency situation.
“Their world is so much brighter
So I share my love for you
With lots of happy smiling faces
& they will let me love you too
I will always love you
I want you to know
You are in my heart forever
You are everywhere I go
Now we wait on your arrival
We can’t wait for you to see
How good it feels to share a love
That only through God can be
Our happy smiling faces
Stand together now as one
To love this life inside of me
Our precious little (one).”
Lynda is the author of one book (so far!) and has a blog by the same name, Drowning in Lemonade. She lives in San Diego with her husband, Sean.