“You don’t even look like you’re old enough to have a 16 year-old-daughter!” “Are you two sisters?”
I get that a minimum of 10 times a week from my clients at work and it never bothers me. Actually, I smile and give a little chuckle!
I was 18-years-old and thought I had my entire life figured out (at least so I thought). I mean come on, who doesn’t have the whole world at the tips of their fingers or is ready to conquer the world at that age? My goals were: 1. College 2. Get married 3. Buy a house and 4. Start a family.
That changed when I found out I was pregnant in August of 1998.
I graduated high school in May of 1998. I felt like my life came crushing down. I didn’t know how in the world I was going to raise a child while attending college and working two jobs on top of that. My life dramatically changed and I didn’t know what my future had in store. This wasn’t the vision I had for my life, especially at 18! So many thoughts were flooding my mind.
I grew up with a strict mom who expected a lot out of me. I was always obedient and very respectful. Yes, I was a handful at times, but I knew to never sass back. That was a huge no no! She taught me the basics of life and so much more. And the last thing I had ever wanted to do was disappoint her. Telling my mom, ‘I’m pregnant!’ was the scariest and hardest thing to do.
How do I even begin? What will they say or do? When I told my mom, she took it rather very well. She was disappointed, but very supportive, as well as my dad. What a huge relief that was!
My daughter, Michaela Anne, was born on March 11th, 1999. My mom and I counted her tiny little fingers and toes just to be sure. She was perfect in every way! She changed my life in more ways than anyone will ever know. I was still in college full-time and went to work after she was born. I will not lie, being a single mom sucked! To parent an infant into toddler stages was so tough. If it wasn’t for my mom, dad and brothers, Michaela and I wouldn’t have made it. I am ever grateful for the support from my family. As Michaela grew up, I kept the relationship open about her biological father (against my family’s wishes). I felt in my heart that it was the right thing to do. As Michaela grew, we were inseparable (which we still are) and she amazed me every day with everything she was learning!
Michaela was 2 1/2 years old when I met my future husband and her future daddy. We were so blessed when Jason came into our lives. We were married on April 13th, 2002 and Jason adopted her on July 16th, 2002. One of the happiest days of my life; my baby girl FINALLY got her daddy and Jason got his daughter! Michaela has never been treated any differently than her two sisters, Kristen and Alyson. Jason and I, with the guidance of God, have always made it a team effort when it comes to parenting our children. They are our world.
As I reflect back on my life, I am now 35-years-old with not one, but three beautiful daughters who continue to rock my world. I remember a time during a car ride with my mom a year before I met Jason. I told her I wasn’t sure I’d ever find a soul mate to not only love me, but my daughter too. I thought that maybe God just saw me raising my baby girl alone.
She told me, “God will choose the right one for you and you will know deep in your heart if he’s the right man. You just need to be patient and pray.”
My advice to those who are single moms or dads – be patient and trust your intuitions. Love will come to you when you least expect it to. God places people in our lives for a purpose, whether good or bad.
I thank my everlasting God for all He has given me. When I get so consumed in wanting bigger and better I have to take a few steps back and realize where I was and how far I have came since August 1998. And I think, ‘WOW… I have come a LONG way from where I was!’ Let God guide your path and He will greatly enrich your life.