Maddie got pregnant as a junior in high school and says immediately after she found out she couldn’t think straight, and scheduled an abortion to take care of her mistake.
“I myself am pro-life, but when I found out I was pregnant at age 17, I immediately asked the woman at the clinic what I could do to get rid of this? Because I didn’t want to have to tell my mom that I was pregnant,” said Maddie Griggs.
Only God could write this story…But as Maddie was saving up money and waiting for the day of her appointment, she felt like God impressed upon her multiple times not to go through with the abortion; the money she saved up was stolen at a party, a friend’s mom spoke words of truth to her, and her friend Joe, the father of the child (read Joe’s story), told her not to go through with it.
“I always felt like God was telling me, ‘Maddie don’t have this abortion.’” said Maddie. She finally confessed to her mom that she was pregnant, “she immediately covered me with grace and said we’ll get through this together.”
“From day one I’ve been super proud of Maddie, she has been extremely brave. And she turned a situation that could have ended really poorly into a beautiful situation with a beautiful little baby girl,” said Maddie’s mom, Beth Griggs Nelson.
Maddie and Joe came to New Life Family Services for options counseling, and decided to place their daughter Elise for adoption.
“When I went to New Life, I realized I could hand-pick exactly what I wanted. It was really relieving and further encouraged me to go through with adoption knowing that I could pick how open I wanted the adoption to be and I could still have a relationship with Elise,” said Maddie.
Through New Life Family Services, Maddie and Joe chose the Schmidt family because they shared their faith and family values.
I was able to… save some girls from getting abortions.
“I loved this couple so much, and I knew placing Elise with them would make them so happy. They are people I want to have in my life. I chose an open adoption so it wasn’t like I was going to give her away and never see her again,” said Maddie.
“Only God could write this story. This couple that Maddie and Joey chose, have become family to us. It has turned out I spend a lot of time with Elise as her birth grandma, I get to baby-sit her. It feels like one, big family, I feel really blessed,” said Beth.
During Maddie’s pregnancy, even in the face of gossip and malicious rumors at her big, public high school, Maddie said God started opening up doors for her to share her story of choosing life with other girls contemplating abortion.
“At high school, God changed the situation completely. Girls would come up to me who had past abortions or were thinking about getting abortions. And I was able to talk to girls about it, and help them from making poor decisions, and save some girls from getting abortions,” said Maddie.
I have had the opportunity to go to college… by the ocean.After giving birth to Elise in September of 2014, Maddie was up for homecoming court that fall and was able to finish her senior year in high school and pursue her dreams to attend college in California one year later.
“I placed my baby for adoption so I could have a life, so she could have a life, and so we could have a life together. I love her and I’m going to keep going and living through the hardships because I have her in my life,” said Maddie.
Maddie is currently in school at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, but still keeps in touch with her daughter Elise and the adoptive family.
“I wanted to have a relationship with Elise I just didn’t think I could be her mom. I have had the opportunity to go to college all the way across the country, which has been a dream of mine to go to college by the ocean,” said Maddie.
Maddie and her mom now have a different perspective on the pregnancy they once considered to be a huge mistake.
“We look into Elise’s sweet little face, and see how God has redeemed this situation; only He could turn this into such a beautiful thing,” said Beth.
“I know the beauty that can come from choosing life because I got to see the beauty,” said Maddie.