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Hello everyone my name is Crystal I’m a mom of 3 and a birth mom of 2.

I have struggled with many addictions since I was 13 years old. I was 28 years old and addicted to smoking crack and intravenously using meth when I was faced with my 5th pregnancy. I conceived my baby while on drugs and in prostitution. On May 24th, 2012 I was walking the streets in the pouring rain in search of my next high. I was experiencing a bottom & crying as I walked the street. I walked to my mom’s where I had a trespass warning against me. I asked my husband & my mom to call the cops on me so I could go to jail to get help. I felt beat down & broken to the core of my soul. I found out in jail I was pregnant.

I was overwhelmed with shame & sadness because this was the second time being pregnant in adultery also. I felt like my baby had no hope for a good life because of the way she was conceived. I told my husband I was pregnant again. We wept together & I agreed I would have an abortion. The court ended up giving me an intensive outpatient drug treatment program.

When I was released from jail my husband came to get me & I had him take me to the only place I knew I could get help educating myself on an abortion. The Leesburg Pregnancy Center has helped me since I was 16 years old. They showed me a video on abortion & I wept watching it. I couldn’t bring myself to have an abortion. Since I had already made an adoption plan before the director of the center Wanda Kohn encouraged me to place my baby with the same family I released for adoption 3 years prior. So I wrote my child’s adoptive parents an email and they graciously accepted & were actually praying for another child.

I graduated my drug treatment program and I was sober my whole pregnancy. I had a support system through the pregnancy center, my doula coach Wendy, and the drug treatment program and that made it a lot easier to cope and stay sober through the roller coaster of emotions. My merciful husband of 12 years took care of me and our 3 kids the whole pregnancy. I had to hide my pregnancy from all of our family.

It was a very lonely depressing time some days. I would stay on the computer most of the time & I was a stay at home mom. During my pregnancy I had requested that the doctor do a hepatitis C panel. The day I found out I was positive for hepatitis C I was devastated & felt like my life was over. I was scared my baby would have it.
I was scared it would shorten my life. To me it was a death sentence. I was told my baby had a 5% chance of getting hepatitis C. I had to go to a special high risk pregnancy OBGYN. The day my baby was born I didn’t know if I wanted to hold her.

I had a fear that it would make it harder on me to place her for adoption. The highlight to my story is that I had not seen my son Chase since I placed him with this family while I was in prison in 2011. I only held my son for 4 hours & I was taken down to a ward for prisoners and they shackled one of my legs to a bed for 24 hours then took me back to prison to finish my sentence. It was one of the hardest times of my life. I finally got to meet the adoptive parents that I had never met because when you are in prison you are not allowed to have anyone with you when you give birth.

They came in the room with my son I hadn’t seen in two years & we all burst into tears. It was a bittersweet moment. God had taken my ugly complicated situation and made it more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I placed my baby in their arms & we cried, laughed & enjoyed every moment getting to know one another. The adoptive parents walked with me through all of my pregnancies via email and mail.

We have an open adoption plan. Shea was born very healthy and we found out when she was 18 months old that she was hepatitis C negative! After she was born I went to an infectious doctor to begin hepatitis C treatment. I took triple treatment with interferon for 6 months. After a year went by I was retested and I was completely erased of hepatitis C.

I’m drug free & I’m a stay at home mom married to my husband of 15 years. I have a passion for being a birth mom mentor & advocate for pregnant woman incarcerated. God healed me & restored my family’s whole life full circle! God took the ugliest parts of me and gave me beauty for my ashes. Together I & God created a family through the loving option of adoption!

Link to read my whole testimony about how adoption made a beautiful ripple effect and changed our lives forever!
http://www.talkaboutadoption.org/beautyfromashes/

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