I made the appointment but quickly cancelled it. I knew that having an abortion was the wrong choice to make.”
Paula Morey was 15 and pregnant in July of 1993. Her boyfriend, a recent high school graduate and Marine Corp recruit, was not interested in being a father and recommended she have an abortion.
“I just couldn’t do it,” Paula said.
After Paula and her parents met with the leadership of their church, they decided to send Paula to live with a foster family in Louisiana. She left in August. The foster family would help and support her in continuing her education and making the best decisions for her unborn baby. She’d need to decide if she’d keep her baby or place her child in an adoptive home.
“I knew I needed to leave and make a decision for myself about whether or not to keep the baby. I didn’t want my family to go through any shame of my being pregnant and unwed.”
As she explored her options, her relationship with God grew stronger.
“The Lord was my best friend,” Paula said. “I had never been so close to Him until I was in that situation.”
With the support and kindness of her foster family, Paula was able to make the hard — but right — decision to place her baby up for adoption.
Through her church’s social services program, Paula formed an adoption plan, which included picking the family in which her baby would placed.
“I was able to list the attributes I wanted the parents to have,” Paula said. “I wanted the baby to have a mom and a dad who were committed to each other and to her. I also wanted her to have a sibling, access to participation in sports and a good education. Helping plan for the beginning of her life brought me a lot of comfort.”
Paula prayed over five sets of potential parents, and felt God directed her toward the ones who would become her baby’s parents.
On March 15, 1994, Paula gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl. She named her Brittany. She experienced an overwhelming peace as she looked at her baby that day.
“It was as if God spoke to me saying, ‘It’s going to be OK. She belongs to someone else.’ ”
After three days in the hospital, the adoption papers were officially signed, and Brittany was picked up by her new parents, who renamed their baby Tosha.
“Letting her go was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, even though I knew it was the right thing to do,” Paula said. “On the day we were separated, I yelled and cried out to God, asking for peace, and He gave it to me. I’ve never regretted the decision to give her what I knew would be a better life with her adoptive parents.”
Two weeks after giving birth, Paula returned home to Texas.
For the first year of Tosha’s life, Paula was allowed to communicate with the adoptive parents via their social workers. They wrote to one another, sharing stories and pictures of the baby.
“Sometimes I would shed a tear or two seeing pictures,” Paula remembered. “But I always knew that she was where she was meant to be.”
After one year had passed, the communication stopped as per their adoption agreement.
While Tosha grew up with her adoptive family, Paula’s life took many twists and turns. In 1996, Paula dropped out of high school to have another baby, this time a boy. She eventually married the baby’s father and earned her GED. While their marriage began in earnest, it ended in 2008. Later that year, she married her current husband, John, and they soon had two beautiful children, Isabella and Gabe.
But through the highs and lows of parenting her three children, Paula always wondered what had become of her first baby.
“The Lord protected me from any negative thoughts about the adoption, but I would wonder about her through the years. Did she have a lot of friends? Did she get a car when she turned 16? Was she excited to graduate from high school?”
In 2019, Paula would not have to wonder any longer.
An Unexpected Message
“I knew that Tosha could start really looking for her birth parents once she turned 18. I had always hoped that she would be able to find me, but I had to be OK with the idea that I might not ever see her. I had to trust that God knew what was best.”
On Jan. 13, 2019, Paula was up late working on church ministry tasks at home when she received a message from the birth father. He said Tosha had found him and wanted to reach out to her.
“At first, I thought this was just another roller coaster ride,” Paula said. “We had thought she had found us once before, but it wasn’t her. I didn’t want to be disappointed again.”
But he reassured her that this was, in fact, their daughter. A DNA test through Ancestry.com had connected his mother with Tosha. After conversations and shared pictures, he was sure this was the girl Paula had placed into adoption.
Just minutes later, Paula received a text from Tosha.
“I was still skeptical, but agreed to talk with her over the phone,” Paula said.
It didn’t take long for Tosha to convince Paula of her identity as she read a letter Paula had written to her during that first year.
“That sealed the deal! I said to John, ‘It’s her! It’s her!’ ”
Paula and Tosha stayed up until 2 in the morning, crying and talking, and they quickly scheduled a visit for Jan. 25, 2019.
The day finally came. Paula and her husband and children patiently waited at the airport in Huntsville, Alabama, with signs, flowers and smiles. Tosha emerged from the terminal to be reunited with Paula after 24 years.
It was a joyful reunion captured on video by Tosha’s friend, Kara. In fact, a great deal of Tosha’s journey to find her birth mom was captured by Kara. You can see that video here.
A Love Story
Paula and Tosha spent the next three days catching up on the last 25 years. Like Paula, Tosha had been through her own struggles at a young age, becoming a mother at only 17.
Being a single mom of two boys, Tosha hopes to glean wisdom from her birth mom. Paula wants to be a helpful guide to Tosha now, especially since Tosha’s mother passed away in 2013.
“Now she is an adult, and I want to be there for her, although I would never attempt to replace her mom,” Paula said. “I couldn’t! I pray for God’s guidance in how to best relate to her and help her as her birth mom.”
What does the future hold for Paula and Tosha? They’re already looking forward to future visits and experiences together.
“Our adoption story is a love story,” Paula said. “It’s a story about the love you feel for your baby and wanting the very best for them. I want people to know that even when they mess up, God loves them.”
At 41 years old, Paula is passionate about Bible study and sharing her story with others.
“Now is the time for me to share my story. If my testimony can save a baby or help a mother make a wise and informed decision toward adoption, that’s wonderful. I want my story to impact the people God has in mind,” Paula said.
She also wants people to know God loves all of us, no matter what.
I’m still a sinner, but He still has love and grace for me. The same is true for you, too,” Paula said. “…Through all of our sins, He still loves us and finds value in us. He is able to renew your spirit and your soul. He has shown me how He can restore what was lost — even if you have to wait. I had always hoped Tosha and I would be reunited, and now we are. God brought us back full circle.”