Birth mother: Adoption the best choice
Three years ago, Katie Brown of Lincoln found herself facing an unplanned pregnancy for the second time. Unmarried at 18 years old, she already had a 6-month-old and wasn’t sure she could take on the responsibilities of parenting two children alone.
Throughout her first pregnancy, Katie had strong support from her family and friends when she decided to parent her daughter. That support continued with her second pregnancy, she said, but this time her step-grandmother asked Katie to consider another option – adoption.
"She mentioned the idea of adoption as a good option for the baby … that I’d be giving the baby a chance at a really good life and give somebody the chance to have a child of their own," said Katie, now 22.
She had never really considered adoption, but decided to do some research, she said. Upon discovering she could choose the parents and maintain an ongoing relationship with her child through open adoption, Katie said she knew that’s what she wanted.
She turned to the Nebraska Children’s Home to help her with the adoption process.
And that’s where she met Reggan and Brent Simons, 30-somethings from Omaha who sought to adopt after struggling with infertility for more than three years.
"We prayed, had lots of tough conversations and educated ourselves about open adoption," said Reggan, office manager for the Archdiocese of Omaha’s Center for Family Life Formation. "I was excited and scared and really had to put my trust in God for how he wanted to build our family."
After studying six family profiles, Katie said she chose Brent and Reggan, members of St. Stephen the Martyr Parish in Omaha, because she liked the fact that they were younger and had no other children.
The three met just a week before Katie gave birth to a healthy baby boy March 23, 2013. The Simonses were in the hospital room; Reggan helped keep Katie comfortable throughout the labor and Brent cut the umbilical cord. Katie said she made sure Reggan held her son first so the two of them could bond immediately.
It’s been three years since the adoption took place, and the families remain close. The Simonses, who have since had another son, and Katie, who works at Nelnet in Lincoln, usually get together once a month, and keep in contact regularly through texting and social media.
"Our relationship with Katie is best described as family," said Brent, an estimator for Table Rock Company. "We love her and accept her as if she is part of us."
Katie, who is now engaged and has had another child, said she doesn’t regret her decision to find a family to parent her son, who has been told he grew in "Katie’s tummy."
"I really wish I could’ve kept him … but I know that it was better to do adoption," she said. "Adoption gave my son life and a really great family to be with. It was just the best life choice for him."