“You live under my roof, you live under my rules.” I’m sure I’m not the only one who has heard this. I’ve always been taught to respect my parents, even if I don’t agree with them. They accommodate me so I’m not homeless; I respect their requests. Seems pretty fair. But what happens when it’s no longer about whose house it is, but who the parents are?
When I found out I was pregnant, I waited a few days to tell my parents. It was the middle of the workweek and I wanted to give them time over the weekend to process the information without freaking out in front of the wrong people and losing their jobs. I knew instantly that I was going to place my child, but I had no idea what I would say to my parents. Those two or three days leading up to telling them were excruciating. I felt ill from morning sickness and anxiety, so I let them think just that; that I was ill.
It took a lot of thought as to how I would tell my parents not only that I was pregnant, but also that I was placing my child, their first grandchild, for adoption. I concocted a plan that I felt would make things go as smooth as possible. I decided to tell each parent individually, starting with the one I felt would handle it the best.
That particular parent worked close to home, so I offered to pick them up that Friday and drive them to their car that was across a very busy and dangerous street. When we got to the lot, I parked behind the car. I remember I kept it short and to the point. I told them I was pregnant and I had already made up my mind to place the child. It was about five minutes of silent tears before they said anything. They told me they supported my decision and would help in any way they could.
Once I got home, I brought my other parent into the living room and did the same thing. I got right to the point and just came out with it. I was pregnant and was placing my child for adoption. As their eyes grew wide, face turning red with anger, a conversation flashed through my mind that we’d had only a short time before: “If you mess up again, you can’t stay in my house.”
This reveal did not go as well as the other. I was instantly bombarded with furious questioning. After tearfully answering each one as honestly as I could, I was told to abort my child. Again, I was always told to respect my parents, even when we disagreed, and up until then, I’d been very good about it. But this situation was different.
I was no longer going to make decisions based on someone else’s rules; I was going to make decision based on what was best for my child. The tears stopped as I told them I would never abort a child under any circumstances. I was going to carry that child and place them in a good home. As my parent pushed back saying I was going to abort the child, both parents now in the room, I stood my ground and told them that this was my child, and I was going to do what I knew was right. The three of us yelled and cried at each other until we realized we weren’t getting anywhere. It had quickly turned into a losing battle for everyone.
Over the course of the next few days, I was escorted to various homes to inform other relatives of my situation. Each one stood behind my decision and offered to help in any way they could. But things changed in our own home after that. For nine months, there was an underlying feeling of tension. It was a long road to gaining back the trust of both my parents. I had betrayed them, and needed to work for their forgiveness.
I can’t call myself an honest person and say everything was okay and went back to normal after my son was born. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I had some friends and family that struggled with the placement immensely. Some still don’t agree with my decision. But I have yet to allow someone to remain a part of my life that didn’t absolutely adore my son. Even those who don’t appreciate adoption like I do still love that little boy unconditionally. Both my parents are completely smitten by him, and treat him like they would if I had decided to parent. He’s still their grandson, and they’re still his Grandma and Papa.