Riley’s Story: Choosing Life, Choosing Adoption

by Kristan Hawkins | October 1, 2014

Riley and Family

My name is Riley, and I am 19 years old. I am the birth mother of two beautiful children whom I have chosen to place for adoption. I became pregnant with my son at 17, the summer before my senior year in high school. I was blessed to be embraced and supported by my family although they were disappointed. Many people insisted that I have an abortion, especially because I was still in school. “It’s your senior year! You’ll miss out on all the fun!”, “Your future is going to be ruined!” The birth father even offered to pay for one. I knew in my heart that abortion was wrong; so I surrounded myself with people who could support me through all of the criticism.

Being pregnant in school was not as challenging as I expected. I was treated with courtesy and respect, and I was even given special amenities to feel comfortable. I decided to finish school at home and graduated soon after the birth of my son.

I had adoption on my mind my whole pregnancy, and I made my final decision when I was 7 months pregnant. I prayed this simple yet powerful prayer, “God, I want to do Your will… just set it up for me.” He was faithful to do just that! I met the adoptive parents soon after. They were perfect! We have such a beautiful relationship that God has authored.

I became pregnant with my daughter when my son was 6 months old. Telling my family was difficult, I thought that I should have “learned my lesson.” I felt very ashamed. I made the decision to live in a maternity home for the majority of my pregnancy, and it was a wonderful experience. During my stay there, I realized that I was making the same poor decisions over and over again from a place within me where I was hurt. I had to go to God for my healing. Finally, I realized my worth, which empowers me to make better decisions.

I decided to place my daughter for adoption with the same family as my son. It is so touching to see them interact. They adore each other! I have come out of the other end of my experience, and I am stronger, more compassionate and more confident than ever. I have grown more in these past two years than I ever have in my life. My children have completely changed my life. To be entrusted with such a special gift is revolutionary.

To any woman in a similar situation, embrace your motherhood! It is the most meaningful thing you will ever do. Choosing life, especially in a crisis situation, is the ultimate act of love. Love is unselfish; it is putting the needs of someone else above your own. It is refreshing in the midst of the negative world we live in.

Follow peace. Follow God. Choose Life!


Riley is sharing her story to show others the beauty of adoption. If you have a story to share, contact Beth Rahal at [email protected].