Saturday, September 25, 2010

Never Say Never

Thursday morning I got to do another round of school presentations - three classes in a row, starting at 7:50am. I am not precisely what you would call a morning person. If I'm awake at 5am, I'm more likely to still be awake than I am to have just awoken. But I love doing school presentations, so I woke myself up, made myself presentable, and headed out.

I took the 60. Why did I take the 60? The 60 is almost always a bad idea. But Google Maps told me the 60 would save me six minutes over the 202, and I live much closer to the 60 than the 202. In the end I was only five or so minutes late, but I could have done without the stress of stop-and-go traffic (mostly stop) and having to repeat to myself, "It's okay, my brakes worked, I'm not dead yet."

I digress.

This was my first school presentation in several months and I felt a bit rusty. I think I did okay, though. Well, actually, I think I did terrible, but I always think I've done a terrible job. It's so hard to tell with teenagers. You don't get much of a response from them. It doesn't seem to matter what you say; they just sit there and stare at you with bored looks on their faces. I feel like I need more feedback than that.

I found myself mentioning irrelevant or unimportant parts of my story just for comedic effect. I got a few perfunctory laughs for them, at least. After I talked, there were a few minutes for questions. The first class was silent. I don't even know if it registered that I'd finished talking. The second class had no questions but a few comments. Three comments, in fact, all from girls. All of them said the same thing when Calli (the LDSFS caseworker) asked if anyone had any thoughts or experiences about adoption.

"I could never do that."

Have I mentioned before how much I loathe that phrase? I believe I have. And I do. Loathe it, that is. I don't believe there's a woman in the world who thinks they could do it. I sure as heck didn't think so. I said as much to the girls. I told them that when I'd heard about adoption before I was pregnant, I thought, I could never do that. But never say never, right? Because not only could I, but I did.

When I spoke to the third class I changed up the conclusion to my story. I told them, "So many girls hear I'm a birth mom and say, 'I could never do that.' But I didn't think I could do it, either. No one does at first. What it comes down to isn't so much, 'I could never do that, it would be too hard for me,' but, 'I have to do it, because it's not about me.' Motherhood is about making hard choices and doing what's best for your child."

This time, when Calli asked for comments, a girl in the back raised her hand. "I think that if I was pregnant and I didn't know what to do, I might think about adoption," she said. "I mean, I wouldn't want to or anything, but I think maybe if I was in that kind of situation I could think about it."

I could have kissed her.

I hope this young woman doesn't face an unplanned pregnancy. I hope none of the girls I spoke to ever has to, really. But odds are if this young woman doesn't, one of her friends will. And what she realized is all I ever want these teenagers to get out of a presentation - adoption is an option. It's not for everyone, maybe it's not for you, but it's an adoption. It's a possibility. It's worth looking into. Never say never.

I never thought I could do it, either. I never thought I could place my precious little baby for adoption. But I did, and I am so glad! I hope that someday Roo will be glad I did, too.

(I'm sure she'd be happy about it now if she weren't preoccupied with things like learning to walk properly, and growing teeth, and being adorable.)


Mongoose said...

I certainly could place a baby, seeing as I know I can't parent one. In fact, some times I think maybe I should get pregnant anyway and place the baby, just so I would at least have the experience of pregnancy and childbirth. And then I'd be somebody's mother, even if no one knew it but me.

Obviously I'm not gonna do it, because it would be stupid, but I'm quite sure I could have a baby fully intending to place it from day one.

And I hope your daughter won't be too glad you placed her. I hope she'll love her parents and have a great childhood, but I hope she'll tell you some day that she wishes you could have parented her anyway.

Lara Zierke said...

It's so brave for you to go and face all those apathetic teenagers. I'm sure your presentation won't matter to 99% of them. But, it will matter to someone, someday. And it will make an eternity of difference.

Keep up the good work.

LeMira said...

That's just the thing with teenagers, you never know how much they're soaking in via osmosis. Chances are, though, they ALL heard their peer's comment about thinking about adoption. They usually hear each other, and they may not remember where they got the idea, but they'll have it now. (I'm sure you do wonderfully in your presentations.)

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

I love how you changed up your presentation on the fly like that...and what you said is so true. Good job. :)

Shian said...

What a great way to end your story. It helped to avoid getting that comment, but also got them thinking (at least one of them) that adoption is an option.

April Morgan McCoy "Auntie April" said...

I so need to get in on these presentations. I told someone (I don't remember who) when I first started going to group that I was interested. I then got crazy busy with school and such and as you know have not gone to group in a long time. I would still love to go and talk. I don't know if they would want me to seeing as how I have not been to group in a long time. I think I would have a lot to offer not only personally but from a professional social work student aspect as well. You are so amazing for doing this and if you have made an impact on one girl then it is so worth it. You rock girl!

CCmomma said...

Fabulous!!! I am so excited to do this with a birthmother soon. Wish i could just fly you up:) You are awesome and everything you say hits m right on! Thanks!