It’s not an uncommon story; an 18-year-old gets pregnant during her senior year of high school. A few weeks earlier, she was crowned homecoming queen and had dreams of a college swimming scholarship. Now everything had changed. Teenage pregnancy happens all the time, but for some reason I never thought it would happen to me.
In 2005, I found myself facing the most difficult decision of my life. It was an experience that forever changed me. This picture was taken on July 11, 2005 at WakeMed Hospital in Cary, NC. Looking back at this photo still makes me sad. All of the emotions come flooding back. The joy of finally holding my newborn baby girl in my arms. The grief of knowing that I wouldn’t be able to keep her. And the uncertainty of not knowing whether I would live with regret for the rest of my life, or if I could somehow come to terms with the decision to place her in an open adoption with a loving couple that I had chosen.
Thankfully, the story didn’t end there. In fact, it was just the beginning.
Today, I’m 31-years-old and married to my wonderful husband, Aaron. We have two beautiful kids, Teague (2.5) and Hadley (7 months). And yes, I still have a relationship with my sweet birth daughter, Deanna (12), and her amazing parents Don and De.
Everything was going pretty great until last August when my life was interrupted again – my job was eliminated due to layoffs while I was out on maternity leave with a five-week-old-baby. This wasn’t just any old job; it was a career I truly loved, a company I had been with for more than eight years, and team of coworkers whom I greatly admired. Completely blindsided, I found myself at a crossroads, trying to juggle the demands of parenting a toddler and a newborn and searching for a new job. I’m still trying to figure out what’s next career-wise, but for now I’m trying to enjoy this time at home with my kids. I know God has the perfect opportunity for me and that He will open the door when the timing is right.
Life hasn’t exactly gone the way I had planned. But then, when does it ever?
Disappointments litter our paths. Failures test our faith. And sorrows scar our hearts.
But the Bible reminds us that we are not promised an easy life. In fact, we know that we will go through trials and challenges. But they are necessary to refine us, to make us more like Christ, and to bring us closer to Him. An opportunity to KNOW our God.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. – Romans 5:3-5
My husband’s mom, Myra, used to say that “easy lives don’t make great stories.” If this is true, then I guess I have more than a few good stories up my sleeve.
I’m so excited to get back to writing and sharing this journey with you.