First off, we had nine months, not nine minutes. There was time to breathe, time to think.
Secondly, we were alone. We were still kids, but not exactly. We didn't live with our parents or even near them. My roommates didn't say anything. They either slept through the home invasion or chalked it up as an argument. This was the space we needed to let the pieces settle before sorting through them.
In the meantime, life continued. We still had class to attend, exams to take. Bills to pay.
We confirmed the pregnancy, did the check-ups and brought home the prenatals. Now it was real. What were our options?
Parenting. I was struggling with my own life. It was going to take years to figure my own shit out. Throw a newborn on top of that and we both go under. Heather wasn't ready, either. She was 21 years old. Our relationship needed time to build, to become stable and healthy. It wasn't ready for a baby.
There was also the issue of the third party. I might not be the father. That was a wrinkle. Steve didn't know about this yet. We would eventually cross that bridge.
Could we raise a child? If we had to, we could feed and clothe him, send him to school, sure. But getting married, staying married, being happy... all of that looked choppy. We could be parents, but not the parents we wanted to be. Not good parents. We needed to figure out our own lives first. After that, get our relationship working. If we get to that point, we have something to share with a child. It was clear we weren't there.
So parenting was out.
And that's what made our next decision. Abortion was out. We supported a woman's right to choose. We were choosing not to. The answer came easy for both of us and, in that regard, we were lucky. We seemed to fall in step with our decisions, both landing on the same squares as we went along. Abortion was out, case closed.
We didn't know anything about adoption. We had friends that had been adopted in the late 60s. They didn't know their birth parents and neither did their adoptive parents. All transactions were made through a third party. A birth mother placed her child with an agency and the agency placed the child with an adoptive family. Nobody knew anybody.
We weren't sure we could do that.
One thing had become clear, a factor that was guiding all our decisions. The health and well-being of this child was first and foremost. He was top priority. What was best for him? It was why we couldn't parent, why we couldn't abort. And it was why we couldn't drop him off at an adoption agency and hope for the best. We were out of options.
Until we met with an adoption case worker.