BOISE - A New Beginning Adoption Agency in Boise is where families are born. Cara Walsh is one of the people working every day to make that happen. She helps birth parents make the best decisions for their babies - whether that is adoption or parenting.
"I love the opportunity to help create families and adoption does that," Cara said. "It's not an easy thing to do to say 'I love this baby, but this baby needs more than me. That is a selfless act."
It's an emotional job, but it's something she's passionate about.
"It's gotta be right," she said. "This isn't about us, it's not our baby, it's theirs. So, we have to make sure that this is right for them and they have all the tools to empower them to make this decision."
When Brenna Lawrence was just 15 years old, she had to tell her parents she was pregnant.
"She definitely cried," Brenna said of her mom's reaction. "But she cried more because she went through the same thing as a high schooler. She knew the emotions I was feeling."
Her mom, Kristen Lawrence, was also a teen mom. "I knew how challenging it was," she said.
Brenna went to A New Beginning during her last trimester and met with Cara. She learned that adoption doesn't necessarily mean saying goodbye to her baby forever.
"I think it was just realizing I can still have a relationship with him if I do this, I can still watch him grow up," Brenna said.
With Cara's help, Brenna and the baby's father picked the perfect family, and an open adoption plan.
"When they connect with a family, they say this to me all the time, 'it's like I've known them forever, they were meant to be my family, this baby was meant for them,'" Cara said. "That's priceless."
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When Brenna's baby boy arrived, she felt confident about her choice. Her parents and the adoptive parents were there with her.
"I've always known she was a strong person," Kristen said. "To see her use that strength the way she did, so unselfishly, I've seen love and she taught that to me."
The nature of Cara's job means she's on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"When baby's here, that creates a different dynamic," she said. "And so I'm there all the time. I'm just monitoring them, I'm helping them, we're texting late at night. And I help them prepare for the termination for their parental rights, which is the hardest thing someone would ever have to do."
As expected, Brenna went through a whole range of emotions.
"Just leaving the hospital, that was the hardest part," she said.
Because her adoption is open, Brenna sees the baby twice a year and she gets regular updates from the family.
"There's so much faith in that process and so much trust," Cara said. "And for a woman to look inside themselves, it's not easy to do, to say I'm not it for this baby. What I would say to them is 'you are the hero, you're the hero to be able to do that.'"
November is national adoption month. For more information about adoption in Idaho visit A New Beginning's website.