The first person . . .
My life changed my life forever on March 7, 1992. My daughter Hannah was born.
I was 23, working two jobs. By day I worked for a property developer who bought apartment buildings and converted them to condos. By night, I worked in a local bar.
I “dated” the assistant manager there. I use the term “dated” loosely, because while we didn’t exactly have a monogamous relationship (for me yes, for him, no) he would always come back to me if other relationships didn’t work out. He wouldn’t keep coming back if he didn’t love me, right?
So I discover I am pregnant. I am living with my twin sister at the time, and my parents live about six blocks away. I tell my brother and my sister-in-law, and they plead for me to tell my parents. Well, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I figured I’d just think about it for a while, discuss it with the father, etc.
So I invite the father over, tell him I am pregnant, to which he responds “are you sure its even mine?” I tell him he doesn’t have to make a decision that second, to go home and think about it.
Well, he thought about it for 7 months! Never returned phone calls, until one day in early January he calls and asks “What are you going to do?” I tell him “I’m keeping it.” To which he replies: “you will never have a boyfriend, you’ll never get married and your life will be miserable.” (He couldn’t have been further from the truth – I have an AWESOME husband, a beautiful daughter, a handsome step-son and a wonderful life!)
So after saying I am keeping it, I start to panic. Now I have to tell my parents! And its not that they were not approachable or anything, it was just the disappointment they would have for me. I am sure you are wondering how I kept this “secret” from them for so long, but it was winter, I wore big clothes, etc. I had steadily gained weight ever since I stopped playing field hockey, so I think they just didn’t want to bring the subject up!
So my brother and sister-in-law come to town to celebrate their January birthdays, and my sister-in-law says she is not going home until I tell them! So we invited my parents over for the taco fiesta birthday celebration. I know tonight is the night I have to tell them.
I am in my kitchen, chopping up lettuce, when my mom comes in the back door, extra chair in hand. She walks over, gives me a kiss, and looks down at my belly and says “if I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were pregnant!” At which point I say: “I am.”
Well the color went out of her face immediately. Then in comes my Dad, all happy, another extra chair in hand and takes one look at my mom and says “What’s wrong?” My mom said “tell your father what you just told me.”
Okay, in all the conversations I had in my head about how I was going to handle this, this was definitely not one of them!!
I start to cry, my sister-in-law starts to cry because she’s been holding onto this information for so long. We ate tacos in tears. My parents finished eating, they got up, and went home.
But the next day, I get a call to come over. We sit around the table trying to figure out what to do. We know the father isn’t in the picture. It’s too late for an abortion. What about adoption?
We didn’t know anyone personally who had done that before. Did they regret it? So we go to a support group for women who had given their children up. My parents are the only ones in attendance and asked lots questions. The girl sitting next to me was 25, but her son was 10 and she only got a short letter and picture every year on his birthday.
Well, listening to all these girls stories was heart wrenching. Either they were going to get kicked out of their houses, or they had an interracial child. Bottom line was, they didn’t think they had a choice to keep their baby!
But I did! And after that meeting, one girl in particular came up to me and said “if I had even 10% of support from my parents, I’d have my baby.”
So its decided! Since most of our family lives out of state, my mom had to write a letter to everyone. Basically said “Biz is having a baby and not marrying the father.”
And six weeks after that meeting at the adoption center, my life changed forever. In the most indescribable ways! I can’t even imagine not having her in my life.
And now, she’s 16,
17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29! I love the fact that I can make her laugh by just one crazy look, the way I can embarrass her (one time a couple years ago put her in the “kid cart” at the grocery store and started putting groceries all around her. So we are standing by the deli, when she looks and sees one of her teachers. I immediately start “petting” her head and loudly say “you’re mommas special girl!” It cracks me up whenever I remember that one!)
So even though it was a difficult time in my life, it was just a moment. But a moment that changed my life in the best way!
Things are always going to come your way to knock you down, you just have to learn how to keep getting up!
Thank you for being such a great daughter Hannah! And if I don’t say it enough, I LOVE YOU!!!!!
UPDATED: My favorite recent video of Hannah! You deserve it baby!