On 1/3/1979 I had a curly haired (lots of hair!) beautiful, baby girl that I named Sara. As anyone who has their first baby, my life changed. Only I was 16 and unmarried and totally lost. Sara’s dad was 18 and had just graduated from high school. I didn’t tell anyone that I was pregnant until my 5th month and that is only because I had no choice as I was unable to physically hide it. What I feared most was my mom. Mostly because I would have disappointed her and also because I knew her reaction would not be good. I was right.
They sent me to a foster home for pregnant girls in Lacrosse Wi. I hated it there. My roommate was 26 years old, pregnant and unsure what she was going to do now that she was pregnant. I found it odd at her age that she could not handle her situation. All I wanted was to be home where I wished I would be more accepted. I wanted to see Sara’s dad, Dave, but I was not allowed to. In order to bathe in this so called foster home I had to remove the soiled diapers that the foster mom would throw in the tub from her own child. There was no communication, not that I wanted to communicate. I walked around the city of Lacrosse in a daze. Then one night I took a babysitting job. I babysat for a inter racial little boy who was adorable. His mom told me that she adopted him and that his dad was a professional football player. My first thought, another adult who could not handle their situation. Unreal to me at the time. His parents left for the night and I just looked at this little guy who had the cutest, darkest eyes. After he was in bed I called my mom. When she answered the phone I simply told that if she did not come and get me I would find my own way home. I told her I could not stay there. I would not stay there. Before I called her I had called a family that I worked for that summer as a nanny to their two little boys and asked them if I could stay with them since I knew I wasn’t going to be welcomed back at my home with my own family. I told them I would continue to watch the boys at no charge because I really had no where to go. It was not a problem. So I told my mom this when I called her. I had to have a plan, because I knew in my heart I could not go home.
In the next couple days, my mom and my stepdad came to get me. Only they were not alone. They had Dave with them. Really! I thought I was never to see him again. Later when I thought about it, I knew for sure that when I told my mom if they did not come and get me, and that I would find my own way out of there, she probably thought I would call my real dad to get me out of there. Actually I think I would have. I knew if I called Dave he would be there. But if I did that he would be in such trouble. And if I called my real dad My mom would be so mad because we weren’t allowed to see him. So they came and got me and I stayed with the family I worked for that summer. I was tutored most of my sophomore year through their school district until I had this little girl.
She was born via C-section because I was overdue. It was so cold outside. I remember the cars wouldn’t start and I actually changed my appointment because of the weather. Dave took me to the appointment and the C-section was scheduled for later that night. I called my mom and she was there for the birth. It was in the Wausau Hospital on Grand Ave. And I was in the maternity ward as they called it back then. There were three beds and my bed was closest to the door, I was in the hospital about nine days and it was nothing but turmoil. I was suppose to give Sara up for adoption and at Dave’s parents request it was to be handled through Lutheran Social Services because they had adopted all three of their own kids through this agency. I was not suppose to see Sara, but I needed to see her. She was beautiful. I just loved her. I held her for hours, just staring at her. I may have been only 16, but I knew I could raise her. But I never said a word. My mom would visit and get so mad at me. I could see in her eyes that she adored this baby girl, but yet she was so mad. She was so frustrated when she would visit. The one day she stood in my doorway and just yelled at me. I was sobbing and if you have ever had abdominal surgery, sobbing is not easy. She finally left, and I looked at my roommate at the opposite side of the room and I could see she felt horrible at what had just happened. Later I found out she was a social worker and I believe to this day she had my back.
The day before I was released my brother came to visit with my mom and stepdad. He looked at that baby and looked at my mom and he said to her, “Can’t she just bring her home?” My mom looked at me and asked me if that’s what I wanted. I shook my head yes and I brought her home. I dressed Sara in the mint green and yellow baby clothes that I had bought for her, and wrapped her in the mint green and yellow comforter with a giraffe on it. To this day those two colors for newborns are special to me. And I brought her home, to my mom’s house. We had nothing for a baby at home. But it all came together real fast. Many people brought gifts. My girlfriends had a small gathering at my house and brought gifts. People were so kind and I was so happy that my baby girl and I were going to be accepted. Acceptance, something I would long for well into my forties. And the happiness wouldn’t last long. Life was not always good. I will write more on it later.
Sara Jayne was my sunshine and still is. I believe in my heart she saved me. She defined me and gave me strength. Because of this innocent baby girl I was reunited with my Dad and his family. Because of this baby girl I grew into a woman who would get through many obstacles. And as this baby girl grew into one amazing woman herself. She continues to teach me things, and she has made me proud beyond words. Granted I have two other beautiful daughters and they are just as important to me and I have stories to share about them as well. But the story I share with Sara is like no other.
My mom handled this situation the only way she knew how, or the way she was taught as I would learn later and it would all be validated. We all have a story and we all have to own our story. I believe until you own it, you will lie to yourself. And if you are not honest with yourself and your feelings, life will be a lie. My relationship with my mom is at a distance only because it is easier. Some people have the ability to let go, to grow. To be healthier. To figure themselves out without the conflict of others. It is not easy by no means. It is actually very sad. But as you continue to read my blog you will learn things about me that you probably never knew.
I share only my story.