This is a letter from Elizabeth, Emily's mother, about their experience with adoption.
"By far, the greatest blessing of our lives has been the gift of our daughter, Emily.
Tom and I always wanted children and were excited about the prospect of being parents. After 10 years of trying, including 4 unsuccessful in vitro attempts, the doctors still could find no apparent reason why I could not get pregnant.
Given that we really wanted to have children, we decided to pursue adoption. My father had been adopted so, to me, adopting a child was a very natural way to create a family. Dad and his parents had always been very open about his adoption. As a child, he felt special because he had been chosen. In our hearts, we knew that all children are gifts from God and that God would provide for us if we followed our hearts and trusted in Him.
My father’s family had been very involved in The Gladney Center in Fort Worth, Texas and we had several friends who had adopted children there. I knew in my heart that this was where we should go. The Gladney Center started as a home for unwed mothers in the late 1800s and their focus was on the wellbeing of the women in their care. Gladney provides a place to live, counseling, educational opportunities and health care to young women in need. They counsel these women about their options for the future and whether or not they want their babies to be a part of that future. The decision about whether or not to keep the baby is solely the birth mother’s. As adoptive parents, this was very important to us.
I will never forget the elation of getting the call that we had been selected by a birth mother to be her baby’s parents. Words cannot describe our overwhelming joy and gratitude. Because of Andrea’s desire for her child to be raised in a loving home with two parents, we were given the answer to our prayers.
At the time, Andrea was 20 and a student at a junior college. She worked with Emily’s birth father but did not have a relationship with him. When she became pregnant, she immediately sought out help at Gladney. She did not feel that she could raise a baby on her own and decided to place the baby for adoption. Andrea’s parents had adopted a child – Andrea’s little sister - so the adoption option was very familiar to her. With the help of the counselors at Gladney, she selected us.
Emily is our greatest joy and the answer to our prayers. Tom and I are blessed to be her parents and are ever mindful that this honor was due to the generosity and selflessness of her birth mother. I am eternally grateful to Andrea and to God for his perfect gift."
The Pritchards live in Atlanta, Georgia today. Emily is a sophomore at Auburn University. Scroll down to read her perspective!
By giving a voice to those whose stories include unplanned pregnancies, we hope to empower those who may be in the midst of their own. These are The Stories We Tell.