Thursday, January 29, 2009


It's funny how something can be such a huge part of your life, yet so many people who know you so well still have never heard anything about it before. Even now as I write this, my heart is pounding, I'm getting cold sweats, & I feel a ton of butterflies in my stomach. It's like this is a big deep, dark secret...but it's really just something I haven't learned how to share well. I can never seem to find the right moment or the right context to bring it up...I don't want sympathy from anyone, I don't want to come off as sad or depressed about it because I'm not...I don't want to make people feel awkward, so sharing just usually doesn't happen no matter how close I am with the person.

When I was 16 years old, I found out I was pregnant. A junior in high school, about to have a a guy I knew deep down would probably not make a good father, who probably wouldn't even be able to support a baby, or me, someone I would most likely never marry. At the time it seemed the best option for me was to go be somewhere away from him & away from the judgement of the other high-schoolers. So that's what I did. I ended up spending the next 9 months in Warren, Ohio at New Life Maternity Home where I lived with 4-8 other pregnant girls, some in the same position as me. I learned so much from the other girls there, my experiences, & the entire stay overall. One of the most important things that I learned was that adoption IS an option. I ended up making the decison to place my baby girl with an adoptive family when I was in my 8th month of pregnancy. At first it was terrifying...the fact that you choose a family based on a piece of paper with a picture of them & their profile on it, the fact that I still had to go through the actual childbirth part of it, the fact that I would no longer feel like just a regular teenager. But in the end, I knew it was what I had to do, for myself & for the baby. So I made the choice & went through with it as planned. It was a semi-closed adoption, which was how I thought I wanted it to be at the time. This meant that for only the very first year I would receive contact from the adoptive family, picutures & updates, & then after her first birthday, nothing else.

Little Morrigan Renee will be 8 years old on May 18th of this year. I have spoken at the New Life Maternity Home banquet about my experience & even gone back several times to speak to their adoption classes about what I went through & how I was coping. But then when I came back home to PA after my stay there, everything changed. I became embarassed & ashamed of what had happened & that really stuck with me for many years...even after having the support of all my friends & finding an amazing man who understood & didn't care & loved me anyway. It became not painful, but almost scary to talk about with new people. But I want all of that to change. My experience had it's hard moments to say the least, but I grew so much from it & it was an overall very positive step in the right direction for me. That is what everyone needs to know. Girls who are in the same situation I found myself in need to hear my story...& I want to share it.

So I will consider this the beginning...the beginning of a journey out of shame & embarassment into something hopeful for other young women. I have already written down several phone numbers for local pregnancy resource centers & am now simply praying for the courage to make the call. I want to be involved & share my story with anyone I can...if it can help one person make the right decision for themselves, then it is worth everything to me! This can be another New Year's open up & to become a volunteer who can bring a positive light to others by sharing my past experience .