Nineteen is not too young to be a mother. If you are just looking at years, it’s not. But if you were looking around me–at my life–it was. My life at the time of my unplanned pregnancy was why being a birth mother was right for me.
Standing in the Air Force doctor’s office discovering I was pregnant in the middle of basic training was quite a shock. My first reaction was, well, curiosity. How did this happen? What happens now with the Air Force? What is my ex-husband going to say? What is my mother going to say? It never occurred to me to think about how I felt about being pregnant.
Of course, the Air Force discharged me. I went from knowing what I was going to do with my life to having no direction at all.
My ex-husband decided the baby wasn’t his. After all, we had been married less than a year and divorced more than two months. I hadn’t ever heard of DNA tests so it didn’t occur to me that I could prove the baby was his and he would have to take some responsibility.
My mother–oh, my mother. I had been adopted when I was seven and never bonded well with my mother for many reasons. I had no intention of letting her take control of a little life and make a baby feel the way I did.
Where did that leave me? No way to support myself or a baby. No support from baby daddy or family. No insurance for health care for baby.
Friends suggested abortion. Although not very religious at the time, I immediately felt there was life within me and discarded the suggestion immediately.
I never felt anything about being pregnant except maybe panic. I only knew I had to come up with a solution to a situation and move toward the solution.
Somewhere I found an 800 number to talk about adoption. It turned out to be the 800 number for the Edna Gladney Home in Fort Worth. I spoke with a birth mother who talked about how families were chosen. I could even give guidelines on what kind of family I wanted the baby to have. I would have good health care during my pregnancy, and I would have a place to live. This seemed to meet all my most basic needs at the time.
Being a Birth Mother….
Looking back, I think there was some divine guidance in finding the solution I did. I did not abandon my baby. I provided for him in the best way I could possibly do at the time. I also had time and support to find and work through the emotions that come with such a big decision.
When the day came to relinquish my rights–to sign the papers that would take this little boy I had just held and give him to some other woman–I was sad. I was also calm and sure that I was doing exactly what was right for him.
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