Dear New York,
You let fear win. You let fear of the unknown and the desperation of circumstances win.
These are not the things to base a life changing (life ending) decision.
I can say this because I’ve been there.
I remember being a scared, pregnant seventeen-year-old. I’ll never forget the look on my mom’s face when I held up that stick with two pink lines.
I remember the shame, I remember the hopelessness. I remember desperately wanting help.
I remember wanting a way out, any way out.
I remember one of my teachers telling me she was going to fail me no matter what. She didn’t want my pregnant belly influencing my classmates.
I remember the doctor pressuring me to abort my daughter.
I remember him telling me something was very wrong with her to begin with. He predicted Down Syndrome and being a teenage girl, that I would be ill-equipped to take care of her.
I remember the fear and desperation that clawed at my heart.
I remember the voices in my head telling me this was the way out—listen to the doctor.
Everyone predicted a bleak future. “You made your bed, now lie in it.”
“You’re a failure.”
“You’ll never amount to anything.”
“You’ll never be successful.”
“You’ll never be anything more than a teenage mom working at the grocery store.”
Everyone said I couldn’t give her a future or create my own.
But here’s the thing, SHE CHANGED MY FUTURE. She gave me a future. She healed the shame. She became the face of hope. She pushed me to be better, work harder.