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If Not For Grace Ministries: Unconditional love

What do you want to be when you grow up? As a young girl, I knew I wanted to be like my own mother – a good wife and mom. We had a big family with four kids, lots of pets and lots of love!

My mom had a rough upbringing so she was determined to show us what unconditional love felt like. People knew our family was different… special, even.

In high school, I met the young man that I would one day marry. We were crazy about each other but soon found ourselves with an unplanned pregnancy. We knew our options; I had friends who had been through abortion and adoption… and those who decided to parent their babies.

I knew that my life would never be the same, whatever we chose. After a couple of months, pretending to be adult enough to take on the world and a new baby too, I realized what I was up against.

I wanted more for this baby boy, more than I had to give as a teen mom. I contacted Catholic Charities who put me in touch with a counselor named Suzi. She came often to visit. She never pressured us.

Soon she brought some profiles of potential parents for my baby. We chose a lovely family who lived on a farm. They were ready to love our son. The day I had Thomas, Suzi came with some news: the family we had chosen was pregnant and were no longer looking to adopt. I was crushed! She had two more profiles and I needed to decide right away.

So I said a prayer and made my forever choice. I didn’t realize at the time that God’s hand was all over this decision and that I’d be forever grateful!

His parents were just right(!!!) and made it clear from the beginning that they cared about ME and wanted to share as much as I was comfortable with. It was a closed adoption but Catholic Charities continued to forward all the letters and pictures for years. This boy would be Our son.

He had the most amazing life with the very best parents! His mom and I met when he was a young teen and became close friends. I married my highschool sweetheart and had a daughter and two boys of my own. Life was very, very good. My relationship with Thomas’s mom deepened over the years and I began voicing aloud – I wonder if he’ll want to meet us?

She assured me that it wasn’t meant to hurt… but… no, he’s definitely not ready. When he was a young man, he met the girl HE would later marry. She, along with his parents, always encouraged him to find out more. His mother even said – You don’t know what you’re missing, son.

We always shared with our kids about him, their brother, and had hoped that we would all meet one day. I actively prayed about it for two years and decided to reach out and with his mother’s blessing, I shared my heart with him. Before long, we were crying and hugging and making memories together, all of us!! Last year, he married that darling girl and guess what, he and his mom had me come up to share in their Mother/Son dance!!! It was magical!

Unconditional love is when someone else’s happiness is your own. It is complete love. God continues to bless a decision I made almost 30 years ago. I did indeed grow up to be like my own mom, still married after all these years, four kids and lot’s of love! And maybe before too long, I can add doting Grandma to my wish list!

–Jacque Long | If for Not Grace Ministries