I’m not sure where to start, but here it goes. Around this time last year, my senior year of high school, I found out my girlfriend was expecting. Although we had been dating for over two years and planned to live the rest of our lives together, her becoming pregnant was certainly unexpected.
In fact, not only was it unexpected, but it was shocking, scary, and to be frank, it seemed unfair. Both my girlfriend and I were overall good high school students who were both on track to go to college. We both stayed out of trouble, had a good balance between school, family, and friends, and felt like we were on the right path in order to be successful.
I didn’t know how to react. I didn’t know what to do. I felt lost, and I blamed God for that feeling. Not only did I blame God for that feeling, but I felt as if God was punishing me.
Just to be clear, I was excited for the birth of my daughter, Adalina. As soon as I found out I was going to be a father, I was overcome with joy and love, but the realities and stress of being a teen dad would often outweigh those feelings.
I didn’t feel ready to be a dad in so many ways. First of all, I had no idea how to take care of a baby or how to raise one. I didn’t know how to change a diaper or how to give a baby a bath or how to make sure that my daughter would know right from wrong.
Secondly, I didn’t know how I could financially support my daughter at the age of 18. How could I go to college, work, and help take care of my daughter? With all of these worries constantly going through my head, I slowly began to stop blaming God and believing that he was punishing me, and began to wonder if God was even there at all.
Why would God task me to raise one of his children at the age of 18? How could this possibly be part of His plan?
As the weeks passed, I began to realize this wouldn’t be an impossible task. New moments started to melt my worries away, giving way to the joy of knowing I would be a father. Hearing my daughter’s heartbeat during the ultrasound, finding out her gender, and feeling her kick for the first time were all great moments and memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I knew I was in love with my girlfriend and was genuinely excited to start a family with her.
That said, midway through summer, I still wasn’t sure if I believed in God anymore and if He really did have a plan. As summer ended, and we transitioned to commuting to the University of Delaware, we were overjoyed with excitement.
When it finally was time for our daughter to be born, my girlfriend had to overcome a difficult and scary delivery process that lasted over 24 hours.
It was during those 24 hours that I rediscovered my relationship with God.
During the whole delivery, I prayed for God to protect both my girlfriend and my daughter. And when Adalina finally arrived, I not only felt an overwhelming sense of relief, love, and happiness, but also His presence.
Since then, in her first four months of life, I have never been happier. I have recently become engaged to Adalina’s mom, and every moment I have spent with them has been precious.
Even though the difficulties of being a teen dad remain, I know that I can get through them with God watching over us, and with the love that my fiancée and daughter bring into my life.