23 years ago today…I was 21 years old, unmarried, and had just given birth. I was not to be her mother. I had already carefully chosen who would mother & father her, love & nurture her, feed her spirit and soul, and pretty much give her the life I knew I was incapable of providing.
23 years ago plus 7 months, I was sitting in Chili’s with her…sperm donor…sorry, but that’s the truth. He was trying to convince me to have an abortion. ANY feelings I had left for the schmuck died that instant. died. never to be resurrected.
Raised how I was, without much – of anything – especially guidance – opened the door to my being easily swayed by someone handsome & employed. Nothing really showed what a terrible person he was – oh, there were signs – but, me, young & hopeful…well, you know how that goes. He was abusive, of course. Pretty text book situation of a young girl with no one looking out for her; no one telling her to RUN the other way. The closest I came to someone caring about me in that situation at that point was when Bill, my manager at Sonic, where I worked when I was 16/17, saw that I had a black eye. The look of horror on his face said so much about what I was feeling inside. He asked. I lied. That was it. I was too weak of a person at the time to do much more than be carried by the current of a crappy relationship.
Anywho. So, we ended up in beautiful Winter Park, Florida. I worked and went to school. Got a little more backbone. Moved out. Tired of getting the crap beaten out of me. Still weak, tho. Gave in. Obviously. Found out I was pregnant. And I was happy. He…not so much. Then the whole Chili’s episode which transpired the same day I moved back in with him. dumb, dumb, dumb. I dropped my classes for that semester and worked a second job at Burdine’s. I don’t know why I did that. I would have been better off continuing my classes, which I ultimately did pick back up later…
So, after the conversation when I realized he was not going to be struck by a lightning bolt pointed at him straight from God’s finger into Chili’s, and he was NOT going to embrace fatherhood, I started looking to find out about adoption. I found a couple through an attorney and they lived in my hometown, which was what I wanted for my baby. The top of my list of things that I wanted the adoptive parents to agree to was to send my baby to Roman Catholic school. They assured me that they would.
The months went by and my belly grew. The first time I felt Alex move was while I was at work. I was walking out of our accountant’s office and I stopped in my tracks! I told him what happened and he, older, wiser, wonderful father & grandfather, smiled from ear to ear, “Isn’t that great??” “Yes!!!!”
I remember thinking I wanted to stay pregnant forever. Just to keep her with me, in this little cocooon, safe.
I approached my due date. My last doctor’s visit was on a Friday. Well, it was scheduled for the Friday. Of course, control freak sperm donor said I couldn’t go. Douche. So, naturally, I didn’t.
Monday morning, I woke up with huge pains, starting at my spine & wrapping around my belly and scaring me! I called the doctor. Come to find out, I was in labor. Parents to be were in Louisiana. I know that if I had made that last appointment, there probably would have been signs of me beginning labor and Lousisiana parents could have gotten there in plenty of time. The things we remember.
It was an amazing event. My doctor met me at the hospital. My room was for everything – I never had to leave it to have her. There was even a whirlpool tub to help with cramps!
My boyfriend was there for all of it. The parents from Louisiana were on the cell phone and were able to at least have that. And then, after just a little pushing, there she was! Beautiful! Dark skin, dark hair, dark eyes…what a life-changing experience.
I held her and never wanted to let go. I just wanted things to be different. I wanted to be the one to give her continuity, security, and love. But, I knew I couldn’t. With me, she would have to go to daycare. With them, she was completing a family, with a mother who wanted her so badly. She would never have to witness the things in her life that I had. As much as I loved her in my arms, I loved her enough to place her in better, capable arms.
So, I did.
And she has had the life I prayed she would. She’s beautiful. She takes my breath away when I think of how beautiful she is. And not just on the outside. She is kind, thoughful, and has such a heart for God. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. She is truly amazing. I love her so much it hurts.
I am so grateful that I made the choice I made for her. I think our lives run parallel. I don’t see her very much at all, but we do keep in touch on Facebook 🙂 and through texting. When I dig a little deeper in myself, I am faced with knowing I still feel unworthy of her. And, really, I am okay with that. I am happy knowing she has had the life she deserves.