It is my mother’s weeping that awakens me. She quietly sniffles as the teardrops roll down her face.
Mom is in the corner of my hospital room, holding my two-day old daughter. Today is the day that I go home. And my little girl will go to another home. Soon, her adoptive parents will come and I will release her. And so, my mom is saying good-bye as well, her hurt intensified by knowing how my heart must ache, as well as having to bid her first grandchild good-bye.
My pregnancy wasn’t a huge surprise. I had been remorseful as soon as the deed was done and had begged God to forgive me. Of course He had. But actions always have consequences and that was how I found myself pregnant my senior year of high school.
I had gone to Mom as soon as I mustered up the courage to tell her. She looked at me for a long moment and then swept me into her arms.
“Oh, Kayla,” she murmured. She stepped back and placed her forehead against mine. “We’re going to get through this, ok?” she promised me. And I believed her.
My boyfriend broke up with me as soon as I told him the news. Mom consoled me by pointing out that that choice revealed his character. I just wish it hadn’t hurt so badly.
I spent the first few months trying to act like a normal high schooler in-between bouts of vomiting and attempting to hide my expanding shape under baggy clothes. I finally shared my secret with my cousin, Mandy. I figured my mom had probably already told her mom and Mandy might be mad if I didn’t tell her sooner than later.
Mandy had a little boy last year when she was only sixteen years old. Logan is the cutest toddler with his blond curls! We sat together on the floor, watching him play.
“Ooh!” Mandy squealed, “This is so neat, Kayla! Our babies will be cousins! We can have play dates and if you have a boy I’ve got all kinds of stuff you can use.” She bubbled with enthusiasm.
I was a little stunned. I hadn’t thought of my pregnancy yet as being good news. The way Mandy talked reminded me of when we were little and used to play dolls together. Except, our babies now weren’t just dolls.
Responding to my silence, Mandy asked, “Well, you’re not thinking about giving it away, are you?” The truth was I hadn’t thought about adoption yet. I hadn’t thought about keeping it, either. I didn’t know what I was going to do.
“There’s all kinds of help you can get,” Mandy offered, “Being a single mother you can get food stamps and other stuff. I can give you the name of my caseworker, if you want.”
I left Mandy’s, mulling over her words. The thought of keeping my baby was really appealing. Every day that passed I grew more and more comfortable with the idea of this child. If I kept the baby, it would never lack for any love. I knew Mom would help me raise it. I could do it, especially with the help Mandy said was available to me.
But yet, my baby wouldn’t have a father. And I knew that was unfair. My own left when I was tiny and I knew all too well the hole that kind of loss leaves in the heart. My mom was wonderful and she did everything she could to compensate for my father‘s absence. But some vacancies just can’t be filled.
It was that night that I wrote the first letter to my baby. I told her about the dilemma I faced, how my heart was beginning to war against my conscience. I told her that I loved her and how I prayed God would help me make the right decision for both of us.
“Kayla?” The social worker knocks on my door as she walks in, followed by a nurse. “Are you ready?” Although I know I will never be ready for this moment, I nod. It’s time to go.
That day I said good-bye, my heart silently shattering as I placed my baby in her new mother’s grateful arms. I kissed my sweet girl one final time and then I handed her new daddy a manila envelope full of letters -- a lullaby from me that explained a decision and told of a love big enough to say good-bye.
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