Friday, December 03, 2010

Adoption Diaries Part 2- Birthmother "Finding Out"

I've sat down to write this post several times now. A few times I even started to type and then erased what I'd written and walked away. I have so many memories and thoughts in my head that it's hard to organize them in print, so please bear with me. I'm going to break up my story into several installments as I have too much in my head for just one post. I've always said I should write a book about my experiences with adoption both as a sister and a birthmom. Perhaps one day, I still will. Adoption Awareness month has now passed, but I would still like to share my story in the hopes that someday a scared, lonely pregnant girl might come across it and feel a bit of hope whether she chooses adoption or not. Here is how I became a birthmom...

My legs were shaking and I kept glancing at the clock as I sat in my Accounting class that evening. I swear the second hand was moving backwards, but maybe it was my eyes playing tricks on me. My parents wouldn't be home when I got there as it was my mom's birthday and they had gone out to celebrate. My best friend at the time was babysitting my younger brother and sister, so she would be there with me. I had no idea where my older brother was...probably out with his friends. I was so anxious I had butterflies in my stomach and I would glare at anyone who dared ask a question to prolong the class. Finally, after a small eternity our professor dismissed us. I shoved my books in my back pack and dashed to my car and sped all the way home.

When I got home, Morgan had just finished putting my brother and sister to bed and she came down the hall to greet me. She had a thoughtful look on her face. Half sympathy. Half fear. I think we both already knew. I took the small white bag (that I bought in a neighboring town so I wouldn't get recognized) out from its hiding place and walked to the bathroom. I think there was lead in my feet as time seemed to stand still. I fumbled to open the box and read the directions and then for the first time in my life I peed on a stick.

There is something completely unnatural about peeing on something when you are a girl. Guys pee in the woods, on trees, in parking lots, and on bugs, but think nothing of it. Trying to angle a stick in your stream of urine is an artform I'll never do well. After I was done I laid the test down on the kitchen sink, squinted my eyes shut so I wouldn't peek at it while I washed my hands, and bolted out the bathroom. Longest. Three. Minutes. EVER. Morgan said it was time, but I couldn't do it. I couldn't go back in there. She did. She picked the test up from the counter and sat down on the toilet dumbfounded with her hand over her mouth. I begged her to tell me the results praying that it was just a false alarm. I could tell by her look that it wasn't. She just said, "I can't be the one to tell you this. You HAVE to look at it." and shoved the stick in my face. There they were. Two dark pink lines. "Maybe it's wrong." she said, "Do you have another one you can take?" Of course I did, but I didn't have to pee anymore. There was no denying the result of this test, but I would end up peeing on at least a half dozen more sticks before I accepted the result. Positive. I was pregnant and only 17. My boyfriend lived almost 600 miles away. I felt so alone.

I stumbled out of the bathroom that night with the stick in my hand and laid on my brother's bed and just sobbed. Morgan patted my back. She didn't know what to say or do. Thankfully, my parents were running late and wouldn't be home for another few hours so I could compose myself. I hear a gentle whisper, "Heather you need to call him. He needs to know." My fingers shook as I dialed his number. His mom answered the phone. I asked for him and soon I heard his voice say hello. Our conversation went like this:

Me: "I need to tell you something. Are you alone? Can you sit down?"

Him: "Ya, whatever. We've got company, what's going on I need to go."

Me: "Just call me after your company leaves, okay?"

Him: "No, tell me what's wrong."

Me: "I'm pregnant."

Him: Silence. "Are you sure?"

Me: "Yes."

Him: "Can I call you back later?"

Me: "Sure." Click.

I honestly never thought I'd hear from him again. I couldn't hold back the tears and asked Morgan to come get me if he called and went outside to where I felt most at home. My horse, Dan, looked up at me with hay hanging out of the corners of his mouth as I rounded the corner of the barn. He was in his stall for the night eating his evening snack. I opened the door and he turned and looked at me as he chewed away. Dan was great for hugs and tears and he never told my secrets. I hugged his neck and cried into his silky fur as he nuzzled my back pockets looking for carrots. "Not tonight buddy," I said as he proceeded to swish his tail, snort, and go back to his hay. He listened as I talked to him and his huge brown eyes showed concern whenever he looked up to nuzzle me. If he could speak, I'm sure he would've said that I would be okay and everything would work out even if the road along the way was bumpy.

I have no idea how much time had passed, but Morgan came rushing around the corner and breathlessly said, "He called, Heather. He called." "He asked if you were ok and I let him have it. He never should've hung up the phone before. The bastard. I never liked him. " I hugged Dan goodnight and rushed back to the house to speak with him. I sobbed on the phone. He asked again if I was sure and told me he threw up after he hung up the phone with me. I told him I'd do another test in the morning, but I was sure. He told me he'd send the money for an abortion and come down to be with me for the appointment if that is what I wanted. I told him I couldn't do it. There was a life growing inside me and I couldn't be the one to end it. It just wasn't something I was comfortable with emotionally. We talked some more about keeping the baby and adoption and he promised to call again the next day to check on me and asked me when I was going to tell my parents. "Not tonight," I said. "Not on my mother's birthday. I'll wait and tell her this weekend."

My brother came home as I was hanging up with Him and asked Morgan and I what was up. I told him and he gave me the best hug and offered me a beer. No joke. He had some warm ones in his trunk that a friend bought for him. I had never seen this side of my brother and actually took two sips before realizing that I was pregnant. The fear came crashing down on me again and silent tears streamed down my face. I handed him back the can and he said, "Oh ya. I'm sorry Sis." We sat in the carport for awhile and chatted, so we wouldn't wake our younger siblings. He reassured me he'd keep the secret and that everything would work out. I went to bed before my parents got home so they wouldn't see me so upset. I know my mom would realize something was up.

The rest of the week dragged by and I just couldn't wait anymore. One afternoon, I asked my mom to walk to the mailbox with me because I wanted to talk to her. She agreed and off we went. I think we took maybe three steps outside before I just blurted out that I was pregnant and started crying all over again. I started apologizing to her for not being more careful and telling her so close to her birthday. I was so scared of ruining her memory of her birthday that year I forgot to realize that she was my mom and her love was unconditional. My mom teared up and said, "I know. I've suspected for over a week. Remember when you were telling me you were so tired and you didn't know why? It kind of dawned on me then that a pregnancy might be the cause." My own mother knew I was pregnant before I did. She later told me that she and my dad had a few scares before they got married and she was going to talk to me about the pill, but never got her nerve up to actually follow through. We cried together and she hugged me close and tight and told me it would all work out no matter what I decided. We agreed to tell my Dad that Saturday. Together. Thank. God.

I remember that the day we told my father it was gorgeous out for a fall day. We were in jeans and short sleeves and the three of us started talking in the drive way. I told my dad while my mom held my hand, but then instead of yelling or calling me careless he hugged me. Tight. When he let me go there were tears in his eyes and he said that I would be okay and so would the precious baby growing inside me. He assured me that we'd figure it out and if adoption was my choice he would be okay with it since they knew what joy a baby could bring to a family, but he asked me to please not abort and thanked me for telling them before I went that route. I assured him abortion was never an option for me. He hugged me tight and thanked me for choosing life.

Next installment: "The Decision"


~Jaime~ said...

I'm so happy that your parents were so supportive. Tears in my eyes just reading!

Amanda said...

Oh Heather. I totally had tears in my eyes through most of this post, especially in the part where you were talking to your horse. (BTW, I didn't know you used to have a horse!) I know exactly what you meant by how good of a "listener" Dan was and they always seemed to know when something was wrong.

Kasi said...

You have amazing parents.

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