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Denise's Story, Page 3
Denise's Story, Con't.....

Moving in, counselors and more...

Moving out of familiar surroundings and into a new environment was difficult? scarey? frightening? lonely? ...all of those and more. I was tucked in the backseat of the car, my Dad driving and my Mom in the front seat of their car. It didn't take long to drive the three miles and before I knew it, my Dad was pulling up along side the curb. I took a deep breath, glanced out the window and saw a two-story brick structure. Without so much as a 'good-bye', I was unceremoniously dropped off and ushered inside what was to be my *home* for the next several months. I was shown to my barren room and I unpacked.

The staff left me alone to absorb my surroundings and the tears began, and once they started, they didn't stop... for a long, long time.

I remember looking out of my bedroom window at night, towards the college where Paul was and thinking how much I wanted to talk to him, to let him know how lonely and scared I was. I felt unwanted, unloved and isolated. Even at dinner, there were separate tables. "No-salt" and "salt". If your ankles were swollen, guess which table you sat at? Guess which table I sat at?

I participated in activities that were generated because we were coming into the Holidays. You see, I moved in on the 24th of Oct, so I had to make it thru Halloween first. Then Thanksgiving, then my Uncle's funeral in November 1971... my only Uncle... the Uncle I adored. My parents forbade me to go to the funeral. why? why can't i go? "Because," my mother said, "the other family members don't know about your condition and it would be an embarassing situation". for who? i wondered? Christmas came and went, then the New Year was right around the corner. I kept thinking how I'd be bringing a *new* life into this *new* year. What would the new year hold for either of us?

As days turned into weeks, I met other girls, but I kept my distance. Most of them were younger except for one very special gal who was in her late 20's. Ann and I became roommates, soulmates, card partners, confidants and friends. Because we were able to share so much together, it made the days tolerable. I was also befriended by one of the sweetest ladies put on this Earth. Bea, a social worker who visited the *home* quite often, became my friend. She guided me and told me I was special. We would talk into the wee hours of the night. Actually WHAT we talked about became unimportant, it was the mere fact that she cared and took time for me. She respected me, when my self esteem was at its lowest and she never judged me. She held my hand and gave me encouragement when I needed it the most. Bea has remained a life-long friend. She was an angel... in disguise.

Despite Bea's friendship, the staff members at the *home* were guided by an unwritten policy of brainwashing all of us into giving up our babies for adoption. This process of brainwashing was carried out, too, by the caseworker assigned to me by the Adoption Agency. She would visit each week, never once, missing an appointment. I always believed her mission, in life, was to coerce me into thinking that, without help, it would be next to impossible for me to raise my baby by myself. She NEVER gave me any kind words of encouragement. She NEVER said, "You can do this"! Our conversations always took on a negative tone because IF she gave me options [outside of adoption] and I actually considered keeping my baby, she would be out of a job. how can i give up my baby? i love my baby, i feel it moving inside of me, it's a part of me. "WHO would watch the baby, if you were working? Your parents?" no, i would have to do it alone, i don't have their support "WHO would get up at 2AM to feed the baby? How would you afford to buy anything? Will you go back to work? What about college? If you started dating, would that boyfriend accept your baby? i don't know, i'm still not sure and i don't want to make any decision until i've really sorted this all out "But, Denise, what options do you really have...?

She worked for the Adoption Agency and it was her job to be sure that I GAVE up my child for adoption. How else could she counsel me in any way than what she was taught to do? I just wasn't going to give up so readily, what she wanted... this precious baby growing inside of me. Deep down inside, I KNEW what I needed to do. I knew it would be difficult, at best, without my parents' financial and emotional support. I knew out there, somewhere, there was a couple just waiting for my baby. When it came right down to it, I only hoped and prayed I would be making the right decision. Yes, I'll give her the answer she's looking for. I'll tell her what she wants to hear and I'll go through with it, even though it will tear me apart inside. I was determined to drag my decision out as long as possible... and I held out 'til a week before I delivered. During the third week of January, I told my caseworker that, out of love, I'd be giving her a precious gift.

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This page was created 7 Jan 1997
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Copyright 2007, Denise Frederick
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