Wednesday, May 6

our trials make us who we are

with mother's day fast approaching, and a lot of feelings resurfacing, i thought i might tell a story about a rather important event in my life that has, in part, made me the woman i am.. it has been brought to my attention recently that people judge me based not only on the me that they meet, but also the me that is represented in words on my blog as well as other social networking sites.. with that in mind, i thought maybe i could get this off my chest, as well as give other people a glimpse into who i really am.. or at least, one story as to how i got to be this woman..

summer 1994. i was 14.. my best friend left me for the summer.. i started hanging out with some older kids, which unfortunately lead me into a rather upsetting situation which i will not get into.. needless to say it involves a 14 year old me, a 17 year old boy and a lot of tears.. i never mentioned it to anyone, and soon my best friend came back home.. school started.. i was a freshman.. things seemed to be going well.. i was beginning to make a lot of friends, i was socializing way more than i ever had.. I'd always been awkward and shy.. i was participating in school activities and having a great time.. 3 months into the school year i noticed some things weren't as they should be.. i called planned parenthood, who delivered a pregnancy test to me at lunch time in a brown paper bag.. during break between classes i took the test in the girls restroom.. afraid I'd be late for class, i hid it there.. a few minutes later i excused myself from class to check the progress of the test.. it was positive.. i was devastated.. after school, i had a friend take me to get another test.. also positive.. afraid of what my parents would say and how they were going to react.. i asked a girl friend of mine to come home with me to tell my parents..

my mom was stunned and my step dad was extremely angry.. in fact, he would not speak to me for quite some time after finding out.. they were very disappointed and didn't understand how this could have happened.. i was 14 and completely confused.. i told my mom the story of what had happened.. i was afraid of the boy and also his family (who attended my school although he did not, he lived in another town).. so while my mom pressed the issue asking if i had consented i just told her that i hadn't said no. truth be told, i wasn't prepared to press charges against anyone on top of being pregnant.. it was too much all at once..

my parents informed me of my "choices".. 1. i could have the baby and place it for adoption through an agency run by the church my parents attended.. 2. i could have the baby and relinquish my rights to her and allow my parents to raise her as their own. My parents didn't believe in abortion, and i am not sure that it would have been a good choice for me anyway.. i couldn't allow my parents to raise my daughter and live my life as her sister with no say in how they raised her.. my mom is amazing, i do not doubt she would have been a good mother.. i mean.. I'm pretty fucking awesome.. and she raised me.. :) my step dad however, was a mess of a man who i wouldn't want near my daughter..

i was not old enough to get welfare, nor old enough to get a job.. and i would have had noway to properly care for a child.. my parents were broke and we were barely making it with the four of us already.. the father of the baby was a train wreck.. and also denied having sex with me.. even though I'd never been with anyone up to that point.. so i had a very hard decision to make.. i only wanted the best for the baby growing inside me.. so i decided adoption was the way to go.. my parents found an agency and the process began..

i looked through profile after profile of families looking to adopt.. nothing seemed to fit.. everyone seemed nice.. but no one really struck me.. until i found the perfect couple.. i never doubted for a second that they'd be a great fit for my daughter.. i met with the couple several times.. they were amazing.. a sweet and loving couple that were very excited to have a baby in their life..

i went to school everyday.. i studied hard.. i came straight home from school everyday to cook for my brother and my mom and dad.. i was always very tired and all i wanted to do was eat baked potatoes.. i was a huge all during the winter months and sometime in January or February of 1995 i slipped on my way to school and was too fat to get up.. luckily my neighbor was the music teacher and so he found me and helped me up on his way to school haha.. i had lots of doctor appointments and lots of tests..

on may 10, 1995 i went into labor during my biology class.. it was a very uncomfortable and strange feeling.. i called my mom and she took me to the hospital.. the delivery itself was not without complication as i was very young and i have a small frame.. also my sensitivity to anesthesia did not help matters at all.. by 6pm I'd given birth to a beautiful little girl.. 8lbs 5 oz. 21inches long... the adopting couple named her..

the next day i was allowed to spend some time with her alone.. she was the most beautiful and precious thing I'd ever laid eyes on.. signing the paperwork was hard.. and watching the couple take her away from me wasn't exactly easy.. i just had to keep telling myself that what i was doing was what was best for her.. that regardless of my own feelings i needed to do it for her.. these people would be able to give her a life, and provide for her in a way that i couldn't.. i wanted her to have a mother and father.. something i had never had..

the first year was rough.. everyday i felt like part of me was missing.. i was very sad.. i was lonely.. something I'd had with me for 9 full months was no longer there.. and i felt empty.. my girlfriends couldn't sympathize.. and i wasn't about to talk to any boys about it.. i wanted absolutely zero to do with them.. my mom and dad didn't really want to talk to me about it either.. i started writing a lot and keeping to myself mostly.. i would say that year changed me a lot.. i closed down quite a bit..

my baby was born in may.. in December the couple had their own baby girl.. it was hard to accept the fact that they were pregnant when they adopted my daughter and hadn't told me.. they were worried that i would change my mind and not allow them to adopt my daughter.. something i would never have done..

the couple sent me a lot of pictures of the baby.. it was good to see her grow, to see her smile.. and to know that she was happy and healthy.. after a year.. the pictures, phone calls and letters all stopped.. and for the next 13 years there has been no communication.. before they cut ties, they told me that if i wanted to write to her or send her birthday cards, i should just keep them for her and one day if she chose to find me, i could give them to her then..

this Sunday that little girl will be 14.. the age i was when all of this began.. its a hard thing to think about.. and i still worry about her everyday.. i know that i made the right choice.. i know what i did was a good thing.. it was probably the single hardest thing i have ever done in my entire life.. I've never loved something or someone so much.. it was a completely selfless act.. i pushed all of my feelings aside and thought only of this baby and what she needed and what someone else could give her..

i wonder if she will ever look for me.. if she will ever understand how i came to the choice that i made.. if she hates me for having placed her into this other families care.. i wonder what she will think of me if she ever does choose to meet me.. i wonder if i will ever have a chance to be a mommy again.. and if i do get that chance, i wonder if I'll be a good one..

the combination of my daughters birthday always falling on or close to mother's day and always being away from my own mother makes mother's day usually a difficult day for my heart.. this year, I'm going to make the most of it.. I'm going to smile and know that i did what was best.. I'm going to keep my head held high and know that i am strong woman with a heart so full of love..

(i realize its a sad story,  but its also full of happiness.. i made a loving couple happy, and they in turn raised a happy little girl.. and as long as she is happy and healthy.. that is what is important.)


India Daisy said...

I have no doubt that she and you will one day re-unite! xoxo

lauren said...

thank you for posting this. you are a better person because of what you've been through.

(p.s. i will remove the link if you want me to)... <3

Shpeen said...

I realize this post is old but I just read it, I hope you don't mind.

I really have tears..
I think you are amazing & strong for what you did... no doubt that I can feel your heavy heart. I'm sure it will mean a lot to your daughter that you carried that heavy heart for her.
I hope your parents have realized now, just how heavy that situation was... and appreciate you for your compassion & strength.

I am sure your daughter will want to know you.
Never stop loving her... or sending your energy to her... she will feel it.

When she turns 18, I think it is legal for you to look for her... if you choose to.

Thanks for sharing your story. It's beautiful.