It might seem crazy that within 30 seconds of meeting someone, you can know that these people were meant to raise your baby, but that’s how it was for me. I just knew. On Christmas day I called them and asked if they would take this baby in and raise her as their own.
When I was 16 years old, I was sitting in the ER at Primary Children’s Hospital.
I had been very sick, so my mom brought me in to see if they could figure out what was wrong. I didn’t think in a million years that I’d be having a doctor tell me those words that forever changed my life: “You’re pregnant.”
I was the junior class president of my high school; I got good grades; I had lots of friends. I wasn’t perfect by any means (obviously, I’d been making really dumb choices), but I was the last person that anyone thought would be “that girl” to get pregnant in high school. I was naive, selfish, and I thought I was invincible. I was so scared, so embarrassed, and so, so sick.
When I told my mom what the doctor had told me, she hugged me. She cried and made sure to tell me first that she loved me. She assured me that she was there for me and that she’d support me with whatever I decided to do. I don’t know how I got lucky enough to have a mother who stayed so calm and cool during her youngest child’s teen pregnancy, but I am forever grateful to that woman.
I had been dating a guy on and off for over a year when I had found out, and after abortion was ruled out, we decided to keep the baby. We got engaged and made a plan to parent. His family was excited for us, my family encouraged us to consider adoption. I thought of a tiny baby to dress and play with, and dreamed of being the couple that would “make it” and stay together forever. I wanted to prove my family and statistics wrong.
My mom brought me into LDS Family Services and set me up with a case worker so I could review my options. At this point in my life, I wasn’t sure how I felt about my religion or even God for that matter. I was frightened and overwhelmed. The relationship I was in was less than healthy. I had been dead set on parenting, but decided to take the advice of my case worker: “Take yourself completely out of the equation and just think about this sweet baby growing inside of you.”
I knew she deserved two stable, loving parents who were prepared to raise her. I could give her love, but I couldn’t give her the life she deserved. I made the decision to have sex and it was my responsibility as this baby’s mother to provide her with the best life possible. I knew that would not be with 17-year-old parents.
I said a sincere prayer for the first time in a long time and asked God if adoption was the choice I needed to make. In that moment, I had never felt more peace and comfort in my entire life. I knew I had my answer.