Charlie never kept any promises. He didn’t call me that night, nor any night. I waited for weeks, but I received nothing. I had fallen for a man, but I wasn’t devastated because of him; I was pregnant. The one thing I never considered had happened.
I met with a doctor to understand my alternatives. Instead I received, “Miss Smith, if you play with fire, you get burnt. Now is it an abortion, or are you having it? I don’t have time for kids who fuck around, and the state always seems to pay for it!”
Tears were rolling down my eyes and I blurted out, “No abortion!” With that, he slammed the door and I wept for what seemed like hours.
My future was over. All the college work I’d done was for nothing. I spoke to my parents separately. I really thought my dad would understand and support me. I explained the love I seemed to have been searching for, and all he did was turn his back on the problem. He broke my heart. My mom, on the other hand, never let go of me.
Months went by, and I began to panic. I knew I couldn’t keep this blessing. I was alone a lot; I couldn’t eat, and kept dreading the day my baby would be leaving me. I also cried for Charlie. I still missed him and couldn’t understand why he let me go.
Baby Hannah was born. In the Bible, Hannah was a woman who prayed for years to have a child, and finally God gave her one. Yet this 20 year old was not going to be able to take care of Hannah. I just hoped she would forgive me.
A lot of thought had gone into my decision. Babies are conceived out of love. Love is a 4 letter word and doesn’t mean anything unless it is mutual.
I held her for hours, cried over her, and tried to remember every scent on her. When I handed her over to the deserving couple, I asked them for one thing. “Can you please keep her name Hannah, so I know a part of me stayed with her?” We all cried and they promised me they would. With that, I gave away something more precious than life itself.
When I returned home my Mom said, “Joni, I have something to tell you. The next few weeks, even months, are going to be the hardest, but what you did was selfless.” I couldn’t stop crying. Mom continued.
“Joni, Charlie sent you a letter. I hope you don’t mind, but I opened it. He said he’s been trying to get in touch with you for a while now. I don’t want to tell you what to do, but would you like me to contact him and tell him about Hannah?”
I thought about everything. I remembered the beautiful time we had. The promise he made, and broke: the love I thought we had, there were no excuses. “No Mom. We made a beautiful baby and now…” I broke down. “And now she has a wonderful mom and dad. He’s out of my life forever.”
With that I ripped the letter in pieces, left the room and cried.