The room was tense as John and Mary came into the office with their daughter Susan. Tears were pooling in Mary’s eyes before a word was spoken, John’s fists were clenched and Susan didn’t make eye contact with anyone.
Susan was their only daughter, their hopes for her were shattered when they learned she was pregnant at 15. They questioned themselves; where did they go wrong? They were a Christian family, traditional values, sex was for marriage. What now? How could she raise a baby and finish school at 15? The baby’s father was too young to provide for a family at just 15 himself. What about her future? Were they prepared to raise a grandchild? Why did she hate them so much? Why did she put her future in jeopardy? Didn’t she know how much they loved her? They had a lot of questions but Susan didn’t have any answers.
A teen pregnancy isn’t something any parent wants to face but it’s not the end of the world. It will be difficult but it’s not the end. The three of them sat in the office and we discussed options for the baby, for school, for facing their friends and dealing with reactions. Fear was driving much of their anger and being able to discuss those allowed them to think about how they could handle situation in a calm and forward thinking approach.
Susan still hadn’t said a word. When we had the chance to talk alone she confided how disappointed she was in herself and letting her family down. She wasn’t ready to be a parent and had already thought about placing the baby for adoption. She wasn’t sure how her parents would react to that since it was also their grandchild. I encouraged her to write out her thoughts so she could present them clearly and talk with her parents. Even though they were angry, scared and hurt they loved her and wanted to support her. The key would be communication.
A few weeks went by when Mary and Susan stopped in Life’s Options again. Susan inquired about adoption agencies and how that process might look. They had talked about her decision and wanted to investigate that option. We watched a DVD highlighting other teens who chose adoption for their child, provided her with agency referrals, and went over a questionnaire regarding adoption. Susan felt confident to take the next step.
Susan kept us updated as her pregnancy advanced. She chose an forever family for her baby and an open adoption plan so she could keep in touch with her child. Placing her child for adoptions wasn’t an easy decision but one she knew would provide the best life for all of them.