Well from the start my parents always let me know that I was adopted. I remember being around 5 years old and them buying me a book which I actually remember was called "Why was I adopted?" The writer of that book was genius and probably went a long way in shaping most of my teenage life. I will never forget a paragraph that explained to me that adopted kids were extra loved because they brought me into their lives on purpose. Maybe thats not so important or even trivial and petty to most adults, but to a very young girl it was really important to me to know that my parents went out of their way to get me and bring me into their home.
My Dad is what every little girl wants. He is my Daddy. At 34 I still call him Daddy when I talk to him on the phone. He is a hardcore italian with a soft spot rarely shown to anyone but his littlest daughter. At this point in my life I can now see that my Mom is the strongest woman I have ever known. At the time when I was a teenager we clashed badly. We had a lot of serious problems in our relationship, but she was always the rock in the house. No matter what, my parents NEVER did some of the things I know I wouldnt have been lucky enough to escape had I been brought up in Bobs home. My parents NEVER once called me any derogatory names. They never held me back. They never failed to give me as much love or as much punishment as I was asking for.
Though my early childhood was a little rough with not having a mother who was also my friend, by the time I was 10 years old I was trusted and mature enough that when my sister had a baby I was the one who babysat while she worked. My parents are far from the type of people who ever break any laws or harm children in anyway, it wasnt that at all. It was that I was a VERY mature child, at least outwardly.
The one thing that I lacked that left the hugest spot on my heart was the primal need for blood ties. That really hurt me badly. Whenever kids in school would make references to 'blood brothers' or some such reference to how much of a bond they felt with another soul, I always ached a little bit inside.
'You cant miss what you dont know.' Even right now I want to agree with that. It sounds like it should be true. But to a 15 year old who just found out she was pregnant. It was everything. I never once considered an abortion, and when adoption was brought up to me I nearly lost it. Once I knew I was going to have my son, all those references to blood ties and strong bonds became the most important thing to me on earth.
When I look back on it, my 15 year old teenage self, SO smart, so much common sense but still lacking the most important thing that only time can give you, wisdom. Then I start to wonder, you know.. What the hell is a 20 year old man doing with a 15 year old girl anyway. Of course when I first found out, my parents, my Daddy especially, just wanted the guy in jail. After we worked that out we all decided that it would be best for me and the baby if I just went ahead and moved in with the father of the baby.
So I did. And through all those months where he had played on the emotions of a young girl who desired nothing more then to be loved by someone other then her parents, he showed his real self all too soon.
The pregnancy was hard. I was a very small 15 year old. Very athletic but just too tiny still to be carrying a baby. The high risk pregnancy was also riddled with some ridicule. I was 15 and I finished my 8th grade year, but not without some amazingly horrible dirty looks and a lot of embarrassing moments when I had to repeat to people how old I was.
By the time I was 7 months pregant he showed me what kind of human he really was. I was 15 and 7 months pregnant when a man first decided to hit me. I recall my son being about 2 months old when one of those assaults happened to me, out in the front yard, in front of his whole family. When he decided to stop beating me in the head with a brick, I staggered to my feet, with them all still watching, not offering a lick of help. And when I passed by them to get to the front door, his father told me "ya know honey, you really shouldnt make him so mad." The physical abuse in that situation paled in comparison to such ignorance. Even at 15 I KNEW I hadn't 'asked for it'. I knew that it wasnt acceptable no matter what I had done.
When my son was only 3 weeks old I found out I had gallstones. I was immediately admitted to the hospital through the ER and in surgery within an hour. It was about to kill me. It was also incredibly scary for a 15 year old. Still sore and exhausted from childbirth. Now I had a 6 inch scar on my belly, with 60 staples holding me together. Even with all that going on I was an anxious mother. When my baby moaned or sighed or didnt breath when I thought he should be I would be up and at him. I recall when he was around 3 months old one time that the exhaustion took over and when he woke one morning I never heard it. After I had gone to the bathroom his mom thrust a baby at me and told me she couldnt believe I let that baby cry like I did which is why she had come and got him. And I laughed to myself thinking, Wow! and I thought I was alone before.
I finally left his father after one of his abusive incidents. I had no where to go at that point and ended up living with his cousins who lived just down the road. When my son was 8 months old he came after me. While I was standing near an alley which was in the back yard of his cousins house, I seen headlights coming for me. I gripped my son a little more tightly and moved out of the direct headlights and seen who it was. By then I had only the amount of time it took to literally throw my son to a by stander and within seconds his car ran over me.
After the police were called and my Daddy showed up ready to kill him, I decided it would be okay if I moved back home. So I did. I cant even describe the blessing my parents were, have been, and still are, all these years. But they were there for me. I was lucky enough that I was able to be a mother, be responsible, work and my parents were right there begging to watch the baby while I went out and enjoyed what was left of my childhood.
A month before I got my very first apartment my best childhood friend died in a car accident that I felt soley responsible for. It was amazing to me everytime I thought to myself that things couldnt get worse. And they did for a very long time.
I cant explain how lucky I feel through all of it. But the universe or God or whatever the highest power calls itself, has always had an eye on me I believe. For every thing that it ripped away from me, it has tried to give it back. Sometimes though, you cant see the forest for the trees, and sometimes, hurt and scared teenage mothers cant make out a face that is looking at her with love, because the tears make it impossible to see.