Updated: May 10
Noelle had a secret; it was one she would be unable to keep long. The high school junior hid it from her parents, the teachers at the Christian school she attended, and others who knew her well. What Noelle kept locked away within herself was known by one classmate—the teen father of the child she carried. “We kept it a secret until the night before my senior year,” Noelle remembers. “We cried. We did not know what to do.“ The high school couple knew the news of her pregnancy would be difficult for others to
receive, particularly the faculty at their school.
They were afraid of what the potential repercussions could be once her pregnancy was revealed. That fear led Noelle and her boyfriend to consider terminating the pregnancy. “We’re two teenagers talking about abortion because we were scared. We were so afraid to tell anyone,” Noelle shares. “All you want is for your life to go back to the way it was the day before you found out you were pregnant.” The teens waited until she was too far along for abortion to still be an option. And when the truth became impossible to keep hidden any longer, Noelle found herself expelled from school.
She finally confided in her mother and father. Unsure what to do, Noelle’s mother made an appointment with a center that could provide them with options. “They gave us a couple of brochures,” Noelle recalls. “One of them was for Christian Adoption
Services (CAS).” A ministry of Baptist Children’s Homes, (BCH) CAS was the answer Noelle’s family needed. The comfort and confidence they received during their initial meeting with CAS staff was immediate.
“From the get go, they were loving and caring and understanding. They knew that our world was falling apart,” Noelle says. “When faced with a very big decision, nothing felt better than knowing that God was going to be a part of that.” Through the support and counseling of CAS staff, Noelle made an adoption plan for her unborn daughter. CAS works directly with Christian couples who desire to be adoptive parents. At the same time, they come alongside each birth mother, like Noelle, to help her identify one of the families for placement. The process allowed Noelle to help choose the parents for her child—a couple named Sam and
Noelle gave birth to a healthy baby girl who she named Olivia. “You can’t even believe that you’re looking at your baby and the love you feel. ” Noelle divulges. “It’s really the best thing in the world.” A short time later, Sam and Robin arrived at the hospital to meet the baby who would become their daughter. “I was trying to hold it together because you know that all these steps lead up to the finality of the decision you’ve made,” Noelle explains. “And it’s a good decision, but seeing Sam and Robin at the hospital made it even more real.”
In the midst of the reality, Sam and Robin shared heartfelt words that were not only what a teenage Noelle needed in that moment, but were sentiments she carries within her heart today. “They told me that they would teach Olivia to pray and that she would always pray for me,” Noelle shares. “They said she would know that she was loved and that this decision of adoption was always God’s plan. They’ve been wonderful throughout this whole journey.”
As Noelle reflects on that time in her life just four months before giving birth, she recalls the hopelessness she and her boyfriend felt. Her journey that culminated in choosing life for Olivia put everything in a new perspective. “There is grief in abortion and there’s grief in adoption. In adoption, however, there is also hope because you get to see your child live the life that you envision for them,” Noelle confides.
Olivia is living that life and thriving. Last year was her senior year in high school—she was the same age as Noelle when her biological mother gave birth to her. As her graduating class’s salutatorian, Olivia gave a speech to her classmates. “At the end of the speech, Olivia thanked her mother (Robin),” Noelle says tearfully. “She said how her mother was her biggest fan, how she was there for all her games, and how much she knew she loved her.
“I always think, what is nine months of your life so that someone else can have an entire lifetime?”
Pregnant & Not Ready? Consider Adoption. Free & Confidential Services.
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Written by Blake Ragsdale, BCH Director of Communications and Kourtney Dye, BCH Creative Specialist