I never thought it would happen to me. I had an amazing boyfriend who I thought hung the moon. I was a junior in high school — a girl from a small town in Georgia. Everything was perfect, until my whole world came crashing down.
I got really sick one night and told my younger sister I thought I might be pregnant. A few days later, July 4, 2010, I told my aunt. She said to stay calm; it was all going to be okay. She suggested I tell my dad’s girlfriend, so that night, I did. She bought me a home pregnancy test, and it came up positive.
I have never wanted anything more than to be a mother. I knew I was great with kids, and while I knew I wasn’t ready, I was willing to give up everything for my child. That night, I told my boyfriend I was pregnant, and he was not happy at all. He cussed me up and down and repeatedly said I should have an abortion. I had just turned 17 and really didn’t know much about abortions, except for what it meant would happen to the baby. I told him I wouldn’t have one, that he could leave me, but I was having the baby with or without him.
I didn’t grow up in a tight-knit household. My dad raised my sister and me, and as a man, he really had no clue how to talk to girls. When I told him, he didn’t say much. He just shook his head and told me to call my Nana (his mom, who played the role of my mother my whole life). She wasn’t mad – just disappointed in me, and that hurt worse than everything else. The woman who meant the most to me was disappointed in me. But I went to bed thinking everything would be fine.
The next morning, my dad still didn’t say much to me, but I just thought he was in shock. My boyfriend continued telling me he didn’t want me to ruin his life and that I needed to abort the baby. I still told him no over and over again. That afternoon, my dad called me into the living room, and I had no idea what I was in store for.
He sat me down and told me I needed to have an abortion. My whole world came crashing down again. I have never cried so hard. I was lost, and the only man I knew truly loved me was telling me to do the same thing the boy I thought loved me said to do. I stood toe to toe with my father and told him no. I had more respect than that for myself and for God.
When my dad kicked me out, I had no idea where to go, so I called one of my aunts whom I’ve always loved and looked up to. Aunt Angel and I had a close relationship, but she lived in Texas. Within that phone call, she said I could live with her. I didn’t waste any time at all and booked a flight to Texas that night. It all happened so fast, and the plane ride to Texas was difficult. When I got to there, Angel let me call my dad and tell him I had arrived. That was the last time I spoke to my father for months.
Angel had some friends whom she had gone to church with for a quite a while. This couple had been trying to have a baby for a long time. She asked me if I had ever thought about adoption, but I had no clue what to think about that. She asked if I would meet them and just have dinner with them, so I did. They were the sweetest people in the world, and I fell in love with them. The next day was a Sunday, and while I have never been super-close with God, I knew in a hard time like this that He would take me under His wing. I prayed and prayed about what to do.
Do I keep this baby? Do I have an abortion? Or do I go through with adoption?
For some reason, I heard a voice in my head say, “Amber, this is not your baby. Your day will come, but this baby is Shari’s and Joey’s.” I cried and cried, but I knew what I had to do. God had spoken to me, and I knew I had to obey. I asked my aunt if we could have them over to her house for dinner, but I hadn’t told anyone I was choosing adoption yet. We ate, it came time for dessert, and I knew I had to tell everyone what I’d chosen to do.
I looked at my aunt and uncle, then told Shari and Joey, “The Lord spoke to me, and he told me this was a baby for you.” They lost it. Tears were everywhere. I was crying, because it felt so right, and I had no regrets. They left that night, and I lay in my bed, praying that God would hold my hand and guide me the whole way through the process. He spoke to me again. He told me how proud he was of me and how I would continue to be blessed.
The next week, my aunt called my dad and told him what I had decided, but he still wasn’t happy, because it was not what he had wanted for me. I had been in Texas for about a month and hadn’t talked to my baby’s father, so I called him and told him what I had decided to do. He also fussed, but I did not care, because I knew that God was on my side. That was the last time I spoke to the baby’s father.
A week later, I started attending a group called Embrace Grace. The girls in the group looked so scared. They looked as if they had no idea what to do. I remembered when I was like that not so long before — lost and thinking I had no one. As we met every Monday, we all started to become like sisters. We helped each other; we talked to each other; we were all there for each other. If it had not been for Embrace Grace, I don’t think I could have made it through my pregnancy.
On October 23, 2010, I had a beautiful baby boy – 9 lbs., 4 oz., and 21 inches long. Shari and Joey were there for me the whole time. My aunt was there, as well as my nana, who came from Georgia. Shari and Joey named him Brett Miles, and I have never seen two people so happy as when they saw him. I had just given away the greatest gift — Life.
As they were getting ready to take me to recovery, I asked Shari why she hadn’t been to see her son. She told me she didn’t want to leave her baby girl. She was torn between her son and the person she now thought of as her daughter (me). I am thankful for them and the ladies in Embrace Grace. They are women of God, and I love each and every Embrace Grace leader and member.
Today is Brett’s 2nd birthday, and to this day, I have never seen him in person. I don’t think I’m strong enough yet, but I know one day God will give me the strength to see him. Until then, I’ll keep admiring his smiling photos and praying for him.
I’m so glad I chose life and gave Brett a chance at a good and happy life. He is a gift to everyone, and even though it was hard, I would never take back the journey I went through. I’m stronger because of it.
Written by Amber Hill