One of the reasons that I think this whole issue -- teenage pregnancy -- is difficult is because nothing is happening the way it is supposed to happen. The news of our first grandchild is supposed to be a wonderful revelation (and the child part of it is, but...) I'm supposed to hear about it FIRST, not because my daughter told her boyfriend's mom's sister who finally told his mom and then forced my daughter to tell me. My daughter is supposed to be married, with a college degree, in the midst of a successful career with a job that offers maternity leave. When she gets sick in the morning her husband is supposed to be dealing with that, as well as her moods. We're supposed to be discussing whether she'll choose to stay at home with the baby or return to work after maternity leave, not which alternative high schools offer childcare (her plan not mine).
But just like so many of the other scenarios in the world of older child adoption, things aren't the way they are supposed to be. Babies aren't supposed to be born into families where they are wanted, attached to, and cared for. They are never supposed to be abused or neglected. In a perfect world are supposed to grow up with the people who gave them birth and spend their lives looking like their parents. They are not supposed to be born with brain damage already because they had a birthmom who drank or did drugs. They aren't supposed to watch a sibling or parent die at the hands of someone else. They aren't supposed to move from home to home to institution. But it's not a perfect world.
So just like every other situation we have dealt with, we have to once again alter our expectations. Our bright and beautiful daughter suddenly has completely altered her future and limited her options. History rears it's ugly head and taunts her -- begging her to follow the path and repeat the cycle.
And we, as well seasoned parents, know that the choice is hers. We can offer her alternatives and show her the way, but she will be the one to decide which path she will follow.
And for the next 18 and a half years, we will watch the story unfold, attempting to be at least one constant in the life of this child. And even though it may not start the way it is supposed to, even though it is starting out much like the generation before it, maybe our presence will be the one thing that will guide things in a different direction. That's our hope, that's our prayer, that's our goal, and that's our purpose.