Thursday, September 29, 2011

My story

I've contemplated creating a blog for single parents for quite some time now and have finally brought it to fruition...I look forward to sharing my knowledge and my heart with my readers and hope that I can make your journey through single parenthood a little less "lonely." 

I suppose I should start out by explaining my own journey to single motherhood.  About 7 years ago, I was living the good, free-spirited college life.  Typically a "goody two shoes," I had finally let myself go, so to speak.  It was a summer of drinking and partying and the best part was I was doing it alongside my high school crush!  Things seemed so good.  It all changed when I made a fateful decision to go to Florida with him and his friends to celebrate our last "summer of freedom" before we all became victims of grueling grad school summer schedules.

Without going into detail, I'll just say that I brought home a little souvenir from that trip in utero.  I shared my fear with my hs crush that I could potentially be pregnant and we were both mortified.  I didn't want to take a pregnancy test because I truthfully didn't want to know.  But, as we always do, I had to face reality...I went to a free pregnancy clinic and my fear was confirmed - I was pregnant.  I met up with my hs crush that afternoon to break the official news to him in person.  Sharing that news with him made him become someone I'd never known before.  Instead of stepping up to the plate, which is what I'd always known him to do, he ran the other direction.  If I wasn't going to give the baby up for adoption, he clearly stated that he could not stand behind me.

Devastated, I seriously contemplated placing my baby up for adoption.  But deep down, I remembered that growing up, all I'd ever wanted was to be a mother.  These weren't ideal circumstances but this was still my child and, while I think that adoption is very noble and I know several families that have been blessed through adopting a child, I knew that I couldn't house a baby in my own body for 9 months and then hand her to someone else.  So I made the decision to become that "one and lonely parent." 

It was the best decision that I've ever made but also the scariest.  I didn't have an easy pregnancy - there were fears of a fetal heart defect (thankfully it was eventually ruled out), pre-eclampsia, and bed rest - but it was all worth it.  I even went through a period of deep shame during the initial stages of my pregnancy, humiliated by my own actions that led me to become pregnant, ashamed to show my face in front of family, friends, and church when the news was out or when I could no longer hide the growing bump I was sporting.  But that baby made me re-evaluate my life and my priorities.  My partying days came to an abrupt halt as soon as I found out I was pregnant and I began living the life that I should have stayed on track with in the first place.

On March 22, 2005 my beautiful daughter was born and my heart melted.  It was just me and her versus the world.

Life hasn't been rainbows and butterflies since, but I've come to realize that I'm not really as "one and lonely" as I once thought.  Over the years, I've been comforted by meeting so many other single moms and dads and hearing that they too have battled through their own difficult journeys.  I have also learned that just because someone is married, it doesn't mean that they aren't lonely too.  Unfortunately, many people feel "alone," even when they are in a relationship.

I believe that everything happens for a reason and I now have a tremendous passion for helping other single parents come to the realization that we aren't truly alone - we have each other and we have an amazing God who is looking out for us.  And by telling our "stories" about our own journeys, we might just be that little boost of encouragement that someone else needed to hear.  If you haven't told your "story" or at least written it down, I encourage you to do so.  In fact, why not share a brief version of your story here?