Motherhood Series- On Being a Single Parent
Being a Single Parent
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As a mother, I have always wanted to protect my children from the things I faced in my childhood. One of those many things is having to deal with the lack of a sense of belonging. I want my children to know that they are loved and wanted. I want them to know that they are special and to never feel worthless or rejected. Unfortunately, I had to learn that it doesn’t end with me. The moment I found out that I was pregnant with AJ, I knew that I had to leave Wisconsin, or she would never have been born. My mom wanted me to have an abortion and as usual, my dad came to the rescue. AJ was born in Alabama, and my dad was great for her. We made a family out of my closest friends and we loved her so much. I had never experienced a love like that.
Being a teen mom, I was often confronted with dilemmas surrounding AJ’s real family. I wanted her to know her father’s family. He lived with his aunt and she was stern, but we never really had a heart to heart. I did write a few letters informing them about AJ’s birth, but I never heard back from them. We moved back to Wisconsin when AJ was about one year old. I contacted her father again, and he agreed to meet me at the mall. I was surprised when he came. I was ecstatic when he picked her up from her stroller and cradled her like the daughter he had always wanted. Being the dreamer that I am, I thought that he would be there for her. I was wrong. That was the last time I saw him until she turned eight years old.
If I had been patient and wiser, I would not have had premarital sex, and I would not had been a teenage mom stalking her daughter’s father. It was harder back then, there wasn’t internet to do the work for me, I had to become a real sleuth. When AJ was eight years old, I found Bo online and gave him a call. He actually sounded relieved and asked if I could pick him up from Green Bay, Wisconsin. It was about an hour and a half away, but I wanted him to meet AJ so I did.
All contact that they had from that point on was because of his girlfriend. She did most of the shopping for AJ, answered my calls and allowed AJ to get to know her little brother, Jacob. I was grateful for this time, I had never seen AJ so happy. I felt complete, but it was short lived. Bo soon went back to his elusive ways and AJ suffered yet again. I could not have been more disappointed in myself. I had finally had enough. My daughter deserved to have a loving family. She needed this. I put my pride aside and prepared myself to meet with Bo’s aunt. She had not moved and I was ready to help cultivate the family AJ never had.
I knew I would not be enough for her, and she needed someone; hell, I needed someone. I walked up the infamous red stairs, my palms were sweaty, I had rehearsed this moment over and over again. There was no time like now. My heart was in my chest. AJ was safe at school. I had all of the time in the world. I was ready. When I rang the doorbell, it took forever for Shirley to answer. When she opened the door, she recognized me, and she knew why I was there. I can’t remember if she had asked me in or not, but I knew that I was going to talk to her even if I had to stand outside in the cold November weather.
I showed her a picture of AJ, and before I could say a word, she said, “Is that Bo’s little girl?” I told her that it was and I went on to explain that I really wanted them to be a part of her life. She nodded while I spoke, not in agreeance, but in acknowledgement. I gave her my contact information, but I never heard from her. I had considered contacting her again, but I’m not a fan of constant rejection. AJ is now twenty-four years old and she still wonders about them. I was never enough for her. I couldn’t have been. That’s why God created laws to prevent situations like these.
I wasn’t designed to parent alone, neither was my mother, or her mother, or my father. We were designed to have two parents and to share the joy and the burden of raising children together. I see that now, and so does AJ. I could not provide a father for her. I could not give her what she needed. Even today, I am not enough, but I am thankful that I no longer have to be. I give my children to God daily and I pray that He fills the void that tugs at their hearts.
His Promise: Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. - Psalms 27:10
My Promise: I promise to love that teenager that needed to be loved back then.
From the book: Picking Up the Pieces to 100 Broken Promises
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