Friday, June 27, 2008

Life as a Single Mom-Jenny's story

Being a single mom can be a rewarding experience for some mothers. For me, it was not. I did not have as good of a support system as I thought when I decided to become a mother. My boyfriend and I had been dating for a year and I believed he was going to be around forever. I also had tons of friends and my family that all said they were going to be there to help me. So, when I was pregnant, I was not worried very much about how hard it was going to be, being a teenage mother.

My boyfriend was around during the pregnancy, but said that doctors freaked him out so he didn’t go to the appointments with me. When I went into labor, my mom was there for the whole thing, but no one else showed up. The next day, my mom had to go back to work and I was lying in my hospital bed holding my new baby. It was the scariest moment of my life. I had no one!

My boyfriend slipped out of my life slowly. He still offered to buy diapers and formula occasionally. I was able to live with my parents, but my mom and dad were busy with their own lives. They helped out when they could, but I was my daughter’s parent and she was my responsibility.

Because of my parents, I was able to finish my high school degree and work part time in the evenings. If they were not around to help me financially, there is no way I could have finished high school. My part time job barely paid for my daughter’s necessities, so I was never able to go out and do anything.

Emotionally, I was always exhausted. I had to manage my parents constantly telling me how to parent, my ex-boyfriend who never wanted to be a dad, my schoolwork, and my job. My parents both worked, so I had to get up with the baby every night and that made me sleep deprived and cranky.

It took me 5 years to finally be able to move out of my parent’s house. I got a job as a receptionist at a local dentist’s office and found a small apartment nearby. Now my daughter has to go to daycare before and after kindergarten and I work from 7am until 4pm, Monday thru Friday. I have to pay so many bills that I still can barely afford to put gas in my car, let alone go see a movie or go out to dinner.

The last time I saw my ex-boyfriend, he was walking with his new girlfriend who looked like she was about 6 months pregnant. I sometime wish that someone would have told me how hard being a mom was really going to be. Everyone kept saying how it was going to be great and I had nothing to worry about.

But, here I am 5 years later and I am still struggling every single day just to make the ends meet. I just wish I would have heard a story like mine, and then maybe I would have thought through some of my options a little more clearly. There are so many families out there just waiting to have a baby, I think I might have looking into that as an option for me.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Is Adoption Right for You?

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, this quiz may help you determine if adoption is the right choice for you.

Where are you in your life right now?
Living Arrangements:
1.Could you stay living where you are now and take care of a baby?
2.Would you want to raise your baby in the environment you live in now?
3.If no, are you willing and able to move?

4.Could you continue to do what you are doing now and take care of a baby? If not, who would watch your baby while you are working or in school? Would you be able to stay at home if your baby got sick?
5.Would you be able to get up with your baby at night and then function the next day at school, work or caring for your child?
6.Do you have friends or family members who will help you care for the baby?
7. Are you ready to care for a child on a day-to-day basis – including feeding the baby, washing dirty clothes, picking up toys, playing with the baby, caring for the baby when the baby is sick etc.?

Supporting Your Child
8. Can you afford to support a child right now (for example, buying food, formula, diapers, clothes, medical care, toys etc.)?
9.Do you have friends or family who would help you with the cost of supporting a child?
10.Do you have or are you eligible for WIC, welfare, Medicaid or other assistance that might help you cover the cost of supporting a child?

Your Personal/Social Life
11.What do you like to do in your spare time?
12.Will you be able to do those things while caring for a child?
13.Are you ready to give up being able to do what you want when you want? 14.Will the people you spend time with enjoy having a child around?

What are your goals and dreams?
1.What are your educational goals?
2.What are your career goals?
3.What are your family plans? Do you want to get married? Do you want to raise children some day?
4.Before pregnancy what did you think you would be doing?
a.Next year?
b.Five years from now?
c.Ten years from now?
5.How would raising a child change the plans and goals you just listed in questions 1 through 4?
6.What do you want out of your life right now?
7.What do you want out of your life in the future?

What do you expect from and wish for your child?
1.Do you expect your child to make your life happy?
2.Do you want your child to have opportunities and materials things that you didn’t have? Can you provide those opportunities and things? How?
3.Do you have special desires or hopes for your child?

Would you enjoy parenting? Would you be a good parent?
1.Do you like children?
2.Do you have experience caring for children? If so, do you enjoy it?
3.Have you ever cared for a child 24 hours a day? If not, is that something that you feel ready to handle?
4.Are you patient enough to deal with the noise and stress of everyday parenting?
5.What kind of time and space do you need for yourself and how would you arrange to have that time and space while caring for a child?
6.What do you do when you get angry or upset? Are you likely to lose your temper?
7.How would you discipline a child?
8.Are you good at setting limits and sending a consistent message?
9.How would you take care of your child’s health and safety?

How will you feel if you choose adoption?
1. Do you know anyone who has placed a child for adoption? Could you talk to them? If you would like to speak with someone who has placed a child, please call us: 1-800-923-6784.
2.How do you think you will feel if you pick the adoptive parents for your child?
3.How do you think you will feel if you leave the hospital without the baby?
4.Would you be interested in talking to an adoption counselor about your feelings?
5.What will you want to know about your child in a year? Two years? Five years?

If you would like to talk to someone about making an adoption plan, you can call Lifetime Adoption at any time: 1-800-923-6784.

Friday, June 13, 2008

In College & Pregnant: 3 A.M. Feedings and 8 A.M. Exams

Few things are more difficult than caring for a baby while trying to finish college. Taking care of a new baby is very time consuming, and raising a child on your own successfully is a full time job.

Imagine trying to get to early morning classes after being up most of the night with an irritable baby. When you are done with your class load for the day, you spend 8 more hours at a job. Once you get off work, you pick up your baby from childcare. Then you go home and start the process all over again. In this scenario, you are not really raising your child—the childcare provider is doing most of the nurturing and caring for your child. Though this daily routine may be necessary, it is not the most ideal way for a child to start out in life.

Statistics show that many young women who become pregnant while attending college and choose to parent their child will quit school and often never return. Many unmarried mothers become dependent upon welfare programs to help raise their child.

Without a college education her wages will likely be low and inadequate, keeping the cycle of poverty at her door.

If you are pregnant and in college, this scenario may seem extremely depressing when only a short time ago you were living a life of freedom and had your future pretty well planned.

Of course you want to do what is best for you and your baby. Is it possible to provide the best life for both your child and yourself?

You do have options that will allow you to set your world right, and, at the same time, do the most loving thing you can do for your child. If you have not given much thought to the idea of adoption, now may be a good time think about it. Your decision either to parent or to choose adoption for your child is one you want to consider carefully.

With today’s popular open adoption alternative, you can actually select the parents who will raise your child. You will have opportunity to choose the type of home your child will grow up in, and you will even have choices regarding future contact and updates about your child. Some open adoptions even allow for occasional visits.

With adoption, not only can you finish your education and better your own life, but you can give your child a mother and a father who will provide a stable and loving home. You will be able to go on towards your future knowing that your child is in the best possible home that you could provide for him or her. And, you can always know how your child is doing.

You are the only one who can make this important decision for you and your child. Consider all options carefully before making your choice. If you need to talk to someone who will understand, we have staff available 24 hours a day to help you, whatever your decision may be. Just call us toll-free at
1-800-923-6784. To find out more about your options, visit these sites:

Friday, June 06, 2008

Is Your Guy Cut Out for Fatherhood?

Ask yourself a few questions about your guy before deciding what to do. Don’t just determine what he says is what he is going to do; no man should force a woman to do something she doesn’t want to do, like parent a child alone or have an abortion. You have options, so find out what needs to be done, let the dust settle on the facts and then make the decision based on what is best for everyone, especially for your child. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

-Is the father of this baby one that you would want to grow old with?
-Does he have the qualities to be a good role model for your child and future children?
-Is he responsible? Does he have a job?
-Does he party, drink too much, or do drugs?
-Has he been faithful to you? Where is he now?
-Does he have any other children? What kind of father is he to those kids?
-Do your family and friends like him? Or do they think he is a loser?
-Does he have a past you know of or maybe suspect is not very good?
-Are you putting your child and your life at risk by parenting this child?
-Would you want your child to grow up and marry a man just like this guy? If your child is a boy, would you want him to grow up and be just like him? Children learn from the people they are around.
-Does he have a respectful relationship with his parents?
-Does this man have any background of verbal or physical abuse or sexual misconduct?

Women constantly make the mistake of not truly seeing who their boyfriend or husband truly is. They look at the man they wish their partner was, instead of the man that he really is. So look at your man right now. Look at his personality, the way he treats his family, the way he treats you, and you will know what kind of father he is going to be.

Don’t let your optimistic outlook cloud your view of who your man truly is. It is not fair to you, it is not fair to him, and it is definitely not fair to an unborn child. Understanding who your man truly is will set you free to make decisions about your relationship and about parenthood with a clearer perspective than you ever thought possible.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Have you been involved with Child Protective Services?

Lifetime Adoption Center, Inc. has a unique program that offers families an alternative to CPS and Foster Care.

• You may make the choice of the adoptive family for your newborn or older children.
• You are able to receive letters and photographs and, if desired, contact with your child.

If CPS or drug use has been a concern of yours, consider giving your child the gift of a lifetime. Get private, confidential, non-judgmental answers to your questions by calling
1-800-923-6784, open 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Call us before your choices are no longer yours to make.

• No fees involved.
• Attorneys available.
• No foster care. Private, independent adoption.
• No court appearances.
• No embarrassment.
• Counseling available – Statewide services
• Caring assistance

Lifetime Adoption Center, Inc.
Providing safe adoptions since 1986