I almost gave my daughter up for adoption. Many people do not know this...or maybe the people that do know have forgotten because in the end it really didn't matter since I kept her. When I first told one of my mentors that I was pregnant, she told me I should consider adoption. She wasn't being cruel, for she knew what it was like to be a pregnant teenager. She had also mentored other pregnant teenagers. She told me, "You're the first one I've mentored that's considered adoption...this will be an interesting experience." I remember this was the only time she ever offended me...speaking of my predicament as if it were going to be a science experiment that she was heading up. I didn't stay offended for long, because I knew that she knew we had the same thing on our minds. I was mentally and verbally abused....what kind of parent would I be especially at the age of 18? She was also afraid that I would expect my child to love me straight out of my womb....a thing she explained to me wouldn't come for a while. I'd be responsible for loving my child.
For many weeks I put off thinking about the end result of my pregnancy. I finally did make the decision to visit a Christian adoption agency....well, I went there to set things up or whatever it is that one does when relinquishing their child. The woman there showed me family books, scrapbooks put together by families desperately wanting a child. I looked at one or two of them. My heart was in my throat and it made it so I could hardly breathe. I looked at the woman square in the face and asked her, "Do you believe every girl who walks through these doors is meant to give up her child?". She sighed sympathetically and said, "No, I certainly do not believe that." I thanked her for her time and shot through the door like a bat out of hell.
During that time, I had been speaking to the wife of one of the ministers at my church. She had been praying for me. One night after service she told me she had someone she wanted me to talk with. I knew something was up. She took me to a dark corner of the sanctuary. There I saw a familiar face of a woman that all knew about was that she had an abortion that messed up her reproductive system permanently and she desperately wanted kids. I sat down in front of her. She said, " I just want you to know (with tears in her eyes), that I just knew that God did this when I heard about you being pregnant. I promise, I'll take good care of your baby...I just want you to think about this." At that point, I thought I was going to blow a gasket. This lady just told me it was God's will for me to give her my child! I went home and my parents were just as angry as I was...although I do admit I felt sorry for the lady.
During my pregnancy, I was constantly insecure about whether I'd be a good mom or not. I'd park my car, cry, and talk to my precious unborn Laurel. I'd contemplate adoption again. I'd apologize to her for already making her life a mess before she was born and apologizing to her for the mess I'd make later. I was bewildered. But....it's funny how becoming a mommy gives you such clarity on what needs to be done. I knew I'd have to learn how to say sorry. It's one thing that none of my family ever did. My dad would never apologize to us after his hurtful words. I just assumed that everything was my fault. I knew I'd have to say sorry. I knew I'd have to learn control.
Well, here in the present...I can honestly say that my child understands that I'm not perfect. That's one thing I always thought about my parents...they didn't apologize...so that must have meant that they were doing everything right. My expectations were too high. So, I always explain to my daughter about the hurtful things my parents would say to me and how those kinds of things tend to come out in me sometimes even though I truly try hard for them not to. I explain how I learned to forgive my parents although, it's never ok for anybody to hurt her with words. I explain to her how I'm constantly trying to better myself and that she can help me by speaking up when I say the wrong things. I found myself in that position today...needing to apologize. Laurel explained how I hurt her feelings and I apologized and explained how truly wretched I feel when I say the wrong things. She smiled and said, " Mommy, yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift. You'll do better tomorrow and I forgive you." I said, " Wow Laurel, that is so wise...wherever did you learn this?" She says, " I heard it on Kung-Fu-Panda." LOL....from the mouths of babes. I told her thank you for the profound wisdom she shared with me and kissed her good night. I googled this saying and found the full version (modern English since it is an ancient saying apparently). The full quote often reads: "The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."
It's amazing to me how wonderfully and fearfully our babies are made. It's good to know that even on my worst days, that God somehow always rings His wisdom loud and clear to me. I thank my lucky stars everyday that I chose to keep my daughter...she teaches me something new everyday.