Updated: Dec 27, 2019
And so, it was time for me to have a baby. Made sense to me, and so many other girls before me for that matter. A baby was a tiny human being that wouldn't abandon you. A baby loved you unconditionally. They wanted you. They weren't going to ditch you because someone better, hotter, more fun, more talented, wealthier, sluttier, skinnier came along. They would love you. UNCONDITIONALLY. A baby was clearly the correct answer to my problem of loneliness.
My friend Kristy confirmed this to me. She, after all, had done it just the previous year. Her daughter was so beautiful and sweet, soft, cuddly, perfect. She loved her. She loved her so much. So UNCONDITIONALLY. She knew she had found perfect love. I wanted that too.
What a dangerous mindset I had found myself in, and yet isn't this the exact same place so many young women end up. Looking at a child, a precious little human life, like this is the thing that is going to complete me. How shocking it is when that poor young girl has that precious little life in her arms, then in her home, then in her hair, then up her butt, and she starts to realize that yes, this precious sweet little thing loves me, but OMG, I wasn't expecting this! They are expecting the late night cuddles and the early morning tickles. They are expecting the laughs and the hugs and the joy. They aren't anticipating the 4 am vomit, and the 4 pm tantrums. They are surprised by the complete loss of independence and the fact that this little life is completely and solely dependent on you and you alone. I didn't know all of this walking into this decision. Even as a full grown adult of 30 making that decision for a second time I didn't realize the full capacity of what I was getting into, until I was in it!
And yet there I was, 18 years old, determined to get pregnant, determined to have a baby. So, I continued to visit my boyfriend in Pennsylvania, and before the semester was finished I was pregnant, excited, doing everything I could to transfer and move to Pennsylvania to be with him, and I was hiding it from my parents.
You see my parents had raised me in the church. They had raised me to be that perfect Christian girl (we talked about this right?). They knew nothing (turned a blind eye) about my romance with my boyfriend in Pennsylvania. They knew nothing and it would stay that way. Because they had a reputation to uphold in the church and amongst their friends and family. A pregnant out of wedlock daughter didn't fit the mold of the perfect nuclear Christian family. A "single" mother raising a child out of wedlock DEFINITELY didn't fit the mold of the perfect Christian family. My parents had talked to me since I was born about the beauty of adoption and the tragedy of abortion. I knew that if my parents found out, they would steal my precious little bundle of bouncing baby antidepressants and give it away for adoption. (I know that sounds like a strange thing to say, that they would give the baby up for adoption, when they have no legal rights to the baby so legally they cannot give up my baby for adoption, but I will talk about that in a later blog).
I moved home temporarily between semesters (it was summer 2005 at this point) and waited for the new semester at my new college in Pennsylvania to start. I was excited. I was going to move to Pennsylvania and start college. I was going to have my baby. I had the whole thing planned out. My "mother-in-law" would take care of the baby during the day (she was more than willing to quit work to take care of kids) and I would have the baby in the evening at home with us. When I had to come home to visit my parents I would just leave the baby with my boyfriend. Between him and his mother he could handle the baby by himself for a few weeks. I had somehow talked my dad into allowing me to stay off campus and he had decided, after doing some research, that it would be cheaper to buy a small basic house for me to live in. PERFECT! I would have a secure home to move my baby into.
You're asking yourself how exactly I was planning on getting away with having a child and not telling my parents about that child, like at all. Well my 18 year old brain did have a solution to that! I wasn't going to NOT tell them I had a baby, EVER. I was just going to wait, like 1 or 2 years, until the baby was a toddler. See, if that baby was a toddler and had been mine for a few years when they found out about it, there was no way they could take it away from me. They wouldn't be that cruel. (I'm not saying any of these plans made sense, I'm just letting you know as an 18 year old girl in the situation I was in, this made the most sense to me!).
Well, even the best laid plans have their flaws, and mine was not without it's flaws. The most obvious detriment to my plan was having to hide a pregnancy from my parents, during my third trimester, while I am living at home and waiting for the new semester to start. As blind eye as my parents had been, they couldn't really turn a blind eye to their daughter visibly pregnant with milk stains on the front of her shirt. They confronted me, and I ran. Running was one of my specialties (still is now that I think about it, one of those things God is working with me on). I ran and for hours I was gone. I finally called my mother, broken and crying and in tears and hurting and I said to her "I don't want you to take it. I don't want you to take my baby."
Whatever was said beyond that, I know, I remember speaking those words to my mother, and I remember her hearing me and understanding. That was the reason why the next chapter of my story is about two equal items: adoption and bitterness.