Once upon a time there were a mother and father. When their 15 year old daughter confided to them that she was pregnant, they were devastated. They had invested much in being good parents to all their children, spending time with them at home, church, school, and sporting events. They had dreamed dreams for all their children, and especially for this, their youngest. She would go to college, become a doctor, marry a wonderful man, have beautiful children...SOMEDAY. Right now, she was only in high school--a freshman! It was too soon for her to be a parent!
As they struggled with the reality of their daughter’s situation, they learned an important lesson. It truly was “their daughter’s situation” not their own. They had ideas about what was best for all the various persons affected by the pregnancy, but they recognized that their daughter had taken a major step into adulthood by choosing to become sexually active and the consequences of that action were actually hers to deal with. Accepting this, they did their best to provide her with information that would help her to make a wise decision, and the assurance that they would continue to love her no matter what.
As the days turned to weeks, their child grew in maturity before their very eyes. She assumed responsibility for her pregnancy, making doctors appointments and such. When the baby’s father left town, she began to seriously look at the possibilities before her. She considered but decided against abortion, leaving parenting or adoption as the only actual options. When she looked at her own goals and abilities, she realized that she wasn’t yet ready to parent, and so, in her seventh month of pregnancy, she began to talk to professionals about adoption.
As she did so, her parents agonized. They agreed that she wasn’t ready to parent, but the thought of losing their first grandchild broke their hearts. They discussed providing the care for the child until their daughter was old enough to assume the full responsibility, and they offered this option to her. After days of anguish, she told them that she felt it would be best for her child to have a stable, secure home with one set of parents as soon as possible. She chose to place her child in the home of a couple recommended by their pastor.
When the baby was born, a perfectly beautiful 7 pound 9 ounce baby girl, they bid her “hail and farewell” in one sitting. They held her and kissed her and prayed for her, committing her to the God to whom they had committed their daughter. When they took their daughter home after the birth, they took, not a rebellious, angry adolescent, but a woman who had faced her responsibilities and accepted her consequences. While they missed the child she had been, they were proud of the woman she’d become.
To be continued.
HINT: While we could call the things we don’t like in our life “crap”, we can also view it as “fertilizer”--a medium for growth. By allowing their daughter to face the consequences of her own actions, these parents allowed her to become a dignified, self-determining adult.
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