Katie DeSantis had a difficult decision to make. Nearly full term in her pregnancy, the thought kept pressing on the single mother’s mind that adoption might be the best option for her baby daughter. In our interview with Katie, she was able to speak openly about her adoption process and how the Savior helped to heal her during this very difficult time.
How did you know that choosing adoption was the right thing for you to do?
For the majority of my pregnancy, I was planning on keeping my little girl. I was so excited to be a mother. I have always wanted that privilege, and the closer it got to my due date the more I questioned if this was the right thing for my little girl. I couldn’t give her a mother and a father, I had no money to raise her, and I knew that she deserved the best life has to offer. Adoption was always in the back of my mind, but I pushed it away, almost in anger, because I thought women chose to place their children for adoption because they didn’t love them or they didn’t want them. That is not the case at all. I couldn’t love my little girl more if I tried. Finally, after much humility and prayer, I made the incredibly hard decision to place her for adoption.
What were some ways that you coped with the loss of your daughter? And how did the Savior help you during this time?
Prayer was my number one outlet. Sometimes I would pray to Heavenly Father just to help me get through the next day, the next hour, the next minute. That peace would always come. The hurt didn’t go away, but I always felt His comfort.
I also allowed myself time out of each day to grieve. For just a small amount of the day I would cry, and I would let myself grieve. After I grieved I would get myself up and pray for the strength to do so and continue on. Realizing that it’s OK to cry, it’s OK to hurt is so important. Sometimes we feel this need to be strong, put on our brave faces, and move on, but sometimes that is just impossible to do. We don’t always have to be strong; that’s what our Savior is there for. His ultimate act of love through the Atonement was the best gift that was ever given. He knows us, He loves us, and He is the only one who knows exactly how we feel. He hurts for us, He rejoices with us, and through Him we are able to stay strong.
I’ve heard it said that God doesn’t give us trials that we are unable to handle. I think that is only partly true. God allows trials to come into our lives that we are able to bear only with and through the love and help of our Savior. We can’t do it alone, and that is where humility comes in. Cling to Him; pray to Him—not just daily but constantly. Keep a prayer in your heart, thank Him for your blessings, and ask for His help when you need it. If we do not ask, He cannot help us. Matthew 7:7–8 reads, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be open unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” He is waiting to help us, longing to help us.
What would you say to other young mothers who are contemplating placing their babies for an adoption? What words of comfort would you offer to people who are struggling with the aftermath of an adoption?
You are not alone. You are so brave for even considering adoption. No matter what decision you make, there will be pain and heartache, but you do not have to suffer alone. Please understand that. Our Savior is waiting for you to help you. If you have faith in Him, trust Him, and allow Him to direct you, He will turn your pain and heartache into something so beautiful. That is the miracle of the Atonement. That is the purpose of the Atonement—to be sanctified, purified, and made whole again. Life does go on eventually and the pain will subside, but the sting of remembrance will be with you forever. That is why we need Heavenly Father and the Savior every single day. Never forget Them, and They will continue to bless your life and bring you peace and comfort in times of need.
What do you hope someone will take away from viewing your story?
My story is not just for those who find themselves single and pregnant. Each of us are fighting our own battles, each of us will experience heartache, and each of us have the incredible opportunity to turn to the Lord and find peace and comfort in our most trying times. His gospel, His love, and His Atonement bring hope. It brings hope in times where you see no way out. It fills you with strength when you need it most, and when you look back on those times, you will see just how much the Savior was there for you. He loves you. He is waiting for you. Turn to Him, and He will direct you for good. Trust Him, and He will bless your life more than you could ever imagine. Love Him, and He will fill you with that same love and hope that I have felt.