There have been many standout auditions on American Idol over the years, but one in particular has resonated closely with us. On March 15th, 2020 – during the last round of auditions for the 18th season of American Idol – we met Amber Fiedler from Idaho. She wowed America (and the judges) not only with her vocal ability, but also her personal strength.
Amber Fiedler was 23 years old and 38-weeks pregnant at the time of her American Idol audition. She sang a beautiful rendition of Etta James’ “Trust in Me,” all while nine-months along with a baby girl. Prior to her performance, judge Katy Perry asked Amber if she had a name picked out for her daughter.
Amber replied, “No, I’m actually placing her for adoption.”
She went on to explain the reasoning behind her choice to make an adoption plan. Amber shared the story of her upbringing, and how she was raised by her grandmother because her mom was a substance user. Amber then explained how she developed some drinking tendencies of her own.
“The last few years I was going out and drinking a bunch. I was getting caught up in life. With this pregnancy, I’ve learned who I was as a person. I’ve had time to sit and think, and looking at the big picture of life, there are days where I don’t even have $20 in my pocket. If I’m not ready to be a mom, why would I put her through that?”
“With the family that I chose, they are going to be able to give her everything she wants—and I know I’m not able to do that.”
Amber Fiedler decided to make an open adoption plan. Through open adoption, she was able to choose the adoptive parents to raise her baby. She also has the opportunity to continue contact with the adoptive family, and to visit her daughter as she grows up. Similarly, Amber’s daughter can get to know her biological mom.
In an interview with Raise Magazine, Amber talked about her open adoption arrangement. “A lot of people say it will be so sad for Nora to not be around her birth mom, and I always tell them, she didn’t lose a mom. She gained a mom. She gained a whole new family. And she didn’t lose me. I can see her all the time.”
One of the many benefits of open adoption is that it allows the child to get to know her biological parent, and to ask questions about her adoption story. The child can find out why she was placed for adoption and learn to understand her birth mother’s choice. That is Amber’s hope. “I think she’s going to, or at least I’m hoping anyway, that she’s really going to understand that I’m trying to choose the best for her.”
“My dream for the baby is that she lives a beautiful and happy life, with the life that I have chosen for her.”
Amber Fiedler was given the golden ticket to Hollywood. As she took the ticket, Katy Perry assured her, “Maybe you are not ready to be a mom, but you are ready to be an American Idol.”
The American Idol contestant made it through the first round of Hollywood Week, where once again she wowed the judges with a heartfelt ballad, “Rise Up” by Andra Day. She had given birth just three weeks before this performance, right after her audition aired.
The adoptive parents named the baby Nora Rose – Rose, as an homage to Amber’s fiery red hair. Shortly after the birth and adoption, Amber wrote to her fans on Instagram:
“For those who haven’t been able to follow my journey until now, Nora was born happy and healthy. It was the most beautiful experience to be a part of. To watch the adoptive mom hold her when she came out. I knew in that moment; it was the right thing. Nothing about the birth made me second guess my decision. I knew the moment I made the decision it was what God had planned.”
Amber said on American Idol how happy she was with her decision, and how peaceful it felt to see the adoptive family together. This is a sentiment that many birth mothers feel after giving birth and making an adoption plan. Many women feel peace of mind knowing they chose the “right” family, who will love and care for the child unconditionally.
As Amber said in her interview with Raise, “I’ve never felt so at peace about a decision in my life.”
Adoption comes with many benefits. On one hand, it gives expectant/birth mothers the ability to give their baby a safe and loving home, with parents who are fully prepared to raise a child. As Amber Fiedler explained on American Idol, “There’s always going to be that ‘what if,’ but I know she’s going to have a life that I would never be able to give her.”
Adoption also enables adults who have always wished to become parents (but maybe who could not do so biologically) the chance to fulfill their dreams of growing a family. In addition, adoption gives women like Amber Fiedler the opportunity to fulfill dreams of their own.
“There were a lot of reasons why I placed Nora for adoption, and I wasn’t making smart choices with my life (hence why I got pregnant). I was quite literally throwing my life away. She saved me because she brought me out of that and made me realize my worth. I’m not ready to be a mom. I realize the mistakes I made, and I will be smarter. She has so much love in her life.”
Amber Fiedler made it through several weeks of American Idol but was eliminated right before reaching the Top 20 Semi-finalists. Although she was eliminated, Amber Fiedler’s adoption story will carry on. It has touched thousands of viewers across the nation, and hundreds of young women walking in similar shoes.
If you would like to learn how to make an adoption plan, or to learn more about the positive benefits of open adoption, please do not hesitate to reach out to Adoptions With Love. Adoptions With Love is a private adoption agency that works with expectant/birth mothers nationwide. We provide caring, compassionate, and free services to women considering adoption. We are here for you.