So, starting where I left off, I'll continue with another part of my story. As you can imagine, being pregnant at 18 years old, and being unmarried, is kinda scary. It's horrifying actually. So many things change and your life is flipped upside down. When I found out I was pregnant, I was barely into my senior year of high school, and still 17. I turned 18 on December 5th, 2009 and was grateful that I'd at least be having my baby as an official "adult". Now, when the world stereotypes pregnant teens, they paint a certain picture. Usually that of a rebel. Some one who strays from all the rules. Well, I wasn't that person. In fact, I still have a hard time believing I got pregnant. It's so surreal to me and almost everyone I know. It was the last thing anyone expected. A fact that actually made it harder, my shame was deeper and my guilt to the extreme. Because I knew that news of my pregnancy would be a shock to the system, I kept it quiet for a VERY long time. About five months actually. My siblings knew, my parents knew, and my bishop knew. But that was it. Until one day, I just couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't keep lying to all my friends and remain cooped up in my house every day, all day. It wasn't working. I was going insane. So, I taught myself not to care what other people might think, and I stepped out into the world little by little, ready to "face the music", as they say. I was utterly shocked at the results. People were so kind and so supportive. I had several "why didn't you tell me earlier!" remarks from many close friends. Not once, have I been judged or put down. My ward has become one of my greatest support systems. I am forever grateful to the wonderful people who have popped out of the woodwork and offered to help. I am especially grateful for my parents, some special sisters in the ward, and my friend Erica. They have been my undying support.
It's amazing what you learn, sitting on the other side of the fence. I remember being the gossip hungry teenager anxious for big news. I never thought about the other person, until I became that big news. Now I know that we never have all the facts. We never have the whole story. So why make someone else's mistake, the topic of all our discussions? It's wrong, and I regret ever doing it. I guess it takes a major event to change us sometimes. To open our eyes to what really matters. I feel like a whole new person. I could write pages and pages about what this experience has taught me. As well as given me.
Anyway, in January (I believe), I contacted a family that lives down in southern Utah. I had searched through several online adoptive family profiles, and they were my first choice. To make a long story short, I continued to e-mail them for a couple months. I even met them face to face a few times. They were wonderful, everything I wanted for my little girl. However, something just didn't feel right. I couldn't place my daughter in the hands of another family if I didn't know and feel 100% ok about it. For weeks I prayed my heart out, begging for help with my decision. One day, I went in to see my case worker and told her, "I'm done. I can't place with this family. I can't place with any family. This is too hard. I'm keeping her." I was stressed out and scared. I felt like I'd hit a dead end. Jan helped me calm down and rethink my decision. She let me know that there were hundreds of other families just dying to take care of me, as well as my daughter. I knew in my heart, right then, the reason I didn't feel right about the other family. They weren't as open as I wanted and I knew that if I were to place with them, I wouldn't be ok. My daughter would, but I wouldn't and I firmly believe that adoptions are to bear win-win-win results. Win for the baby, win for the family, and win for the birth mother/parents. They just weren't the type for me. I felt like I was pulling teeth every time I asked for more contact with my daughter. They were pretty closed, which is ok. That will work great for someone else, just not for me.
Until next time!