Page 4
Page 2
Denise's Story, Page 3
Denise's Story, Con't.....

colored line

Moving in, counselors and more...

Moving out of the familiar surroundings of my home and into a new environment was… difficult? …scarey? …frightening? …lonely? …all of those …and more. I was unceremoniously dropped off at the front door of the Maternity Home by my Mom and Dad. No kiss good-bye, no hugs… just a mediocre wave from my Mom as my Dad drove the car away. I gingerly opened the front door of the massive, brick building and was ushered inside what was to become my *home-away-from-home* for the next several months. One of the staff members showed me around the home… the living room, the dining room… the break room… and then she escorted me to my room where she silently shut the door behind me and left me alone with my thoughts. I looked around the barren room, with its cold linoleum floor and antiseptic white walls and within a few moments, the tears began. And… once the tears started, they didn't stop... for a long, long time.

In the evening, I sometimes would sit on the end of my bed and crank open the window so I could smell the cool autumn, evening air. I glanced out the window and if I cupped my hands around my eyes, just right, they would block out the street lights just enough so I could make out the silhouette of some of the college buildings. Why my interest in the college buildings? That’s where Paul was in school, living in one of the dorm rooms… living the highlife of a college student… free as a bird… no worries, no obligations… no nothing. I would think 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 at the home to keep myself occupied and to make the time go faster. You see, I moved in on the 24th of Oct, so the first celebration was Halloween. Then Thanksgiving, then my Uncle Rex died in November... my only Uncle... the Uncle that I adored. I remember exactly how I found out about my Uncle’s death. I happened to be at home with my parents and the phone rang. My Dad answered and he immediately pressed his fingers to his forehead as if he had a headache. He asked a few hushed questions and then tears streamed down his cheeks. (my dad showed very few emotions and NEVER cried, so I knew instinctively that something was terribly wrong) After a few minutes, he hung up the phone, cleared his throat and looked directly at my Mom and I and said, “Rex is gone”. “gone? you mean, died? , I asked incredulously. The tears welled up in my eyes and I could hardly breathe. My Uncle Rex was the only Uncle I had and I adored him. When we went to visit him at his home in Grand Rapids, he always greeted me with a huge bear hug and a kiss on my cheek. My Mom and Dad would go and visit with my Aunt Pauline and Uncle Rex always made sure I was entertained with the TV or radio, or shooting darts at the dartboard in his family room. (He taught me how to play cribbage and we would play for hours) Dinner was always at the Country Club… and I always rode in the passenger seat in his Cadillac. Just the two of us. When we said our goodbyes at the front door, he always gave me a huge hug goodbye and slipped a 5 or 10 dollar bill in my pocket. (yay… spending money. what fun.) I loved my Uncle Rex very much and wanted to say goodbye to him in my own special way… I wanted to slip a dollar bill in his coat pocket, with a message written on it. I’ll do that at the funeral home during visitation… yeah, that’ll work It wasn’t meant to be. A few days later, I overheard my parents making plans for attending the funeral and was shocked to learn I wasn’t to be included in the trip. My parents forbade me to go. why? why can't i go, I pleaded. "Because," my mother said, "the other family members don't know about your condition and it would be an embarrassing situation. for who? i wondered? I felt so isolated and alone. I sat in my room and grieved for my Uncle Rex only imagining what the services were like. Not one of my family members ever talked about the funeral or shared any details of that day. I was totally alone with my thoughts… I really never had a chance to say, good-bye…

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 that was in her late 20's. Ann and I became roommates, soul mates, 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 that would visit 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 my 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... my baby.

Continue to the next page...

colored line

[top of page]
Return to: Denise's Story, 1st page / 2nd page
Return to:Denise's Home-Sweet-Home Page
This page was created 7 Jan 1997 and updated 9 Oct 2005
Design and updates of this page are by Denise Frederick
Copyright © 1997-2005
This Page Has Been Visited times.... since 4 Jan 1997