Ashley is a high school senior with a passion for writing. She lives with her mom and her sister in McKinney, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. Ashley relies on her mom for a lot, but she has big aspirations to move out soon, go to college in New York...... Read Full Episode Summary »
In this online exclusive scene, Ashley and her Aunt Jenna get emotional while making a scrapbook for baby Callie.
In this week's after show, hosted by SuChin Pak, Ashley admits to having doubts about giving her daughter up for adoption, and talks about her plans for the future.
High school senior Ashley wrestles with the decision to give her baby up for adoption, and must make difficult choices when it comes time to choose what's best for her baby girl.
Ashley is a high school senior with a passion for writing. She lives with her mom and her sister in McKinney, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. Ashley relies on her mom for a lot, but she has big aspirations to move out soon, go to college in New York City, and study to become a photojournalist. However, she may have to reconsider her dreams because now Ashley is pregnant.
Ashley and her ex-boyfriend Justin didn't stay in touch after they broke up. With Justin out of the picture and her mom as her model of a single parent, Ashley knows that raising a baby alone won't come without huge sacrifices. After careful consideration, Ashley and her mother agree that adoption is the best option for her baby. Neither one of them has the resources to support a baby right now, nor can they afford the cost of a nanny or daycare. Though giving the baby up will be hard, Ashley knows it is the best thing for everyone.
Ashley has another big decision to make: her plans for college. The baby becomes a key factor in her decision. If she decides not to parent, she will be able go to school in New York City like she had planned. But, if she decides to raise the baby, Ashley will have to look for a college closer to home, if she looks at all. Either way, application deadlines are approaching quickly.
She starts working with an adoption agent, who puts her in touch with another girl (also named Ashley) who gave up her baby at 16 years old. She learns that it is natural to become emotionally attached after carrying her baby for 9 months; she just hopes it won't keep her from giving her baby to an adoptive family. Great news arrives when Ashley's aunt and uncle offer to adopt the baby. She thinks this is a good idea because now she will be able to visit whenever she wants and her baby will be in the best hands.
Ashley heads to the hospital for her scheduled inducement. The medication kicks in and with an epidural, 12 hours of labor, and a great deal of pushing, Ashley welcomes baby Callie into the world. With Callie finally here, Ashley questions how she will ever going to say goodbye in the next 48 hours.
Doubt plagues her mind as Ashley and her mom drive to her aunt and uncle's house to sign the adoption papers. She knows that they can give Callie the best life, but she is having trouble seeing past the baby in her arms. Ashley finds the strength to sign the final paperwork and say goodbye to Callie. She leaves, still unsure if this is the right decision.
The next day, the regret from her choice becomes devastatingly overwhelming. Even though this isn't an easy or comfortable decision, Ashley and her mom call her aunt and uncle to tell them that Ashley would like to parent Callie. Ashley picks up Callie from her aunt and uncle who try to be supportive of her decision to parent.
It is great to have Callie back, but Ashley finds parenting to be a massive challenge. Not only is she busy learning how to be a mom, but she is also busy applying to college. Although she doesn't want to be without her baby, Ashley knows that her life will be changed drastically if she chooses to parent, and she feels that adopting Callie may give her the best possible chance. After heavy consideration, she calls her aunt and uncle to let them know that she has decided they should parent Callie. Ashley's family agrees that this will be the last time they exchange Callie back and forth.
Ashley plans to start college in New York City. Her decision to adopt her baby wasn't easy and she is still working through her remorse but she will always be able to see Callie when she wants to. Even though choosing adoption was the hardest decision Ashley has ever had to make, she knows that in the long run, it's the best thing for both of them.