by Bridget Kowalski

On the day of her twentieth birthday, my step-sister, Jordan, had to tell her dad that she was seven months pregnant: she believed that the father of the baby was unknown and she had not planned on having a baby. She approached the situation with as much maturity as a pregnant twenty-year-old could be expected to have and she got in touch with adoption agencies in San Diego and arranged to meet potential adoptive parents.
    On Oct. 15, 2009 Jordan gave birth to a baby boy, Maxwell; he was 7 pounds 12 ounces. After a few short hours with her son, Jordan handed Max to his adoptive parents. After Jordan gave birth, I began talking with my mom about how I knew that I never wanted to be in a similar situation.
    I am very maternal; I fall weak at the sight of a baby and cannot control the urge to lock eyes with one of those tiny wonders. My goal in life is to be a mother. It is amazing that women take on the responsibility to create a life and then have the courage to lovingly raise a child.
    I have always seen myself becoming a very involved mom: the mom who goes to all the PTA meetings, sports games and ballet recitals.
I want to have an intimate relationship with my kids; I want them to confide in me. I want to find purpose in making a life; I want to be a mother that my children will be proud of. But I know for sure that these achievements will only come many years from now when I am old enough, experienced enough and have lived long enough.
     But with all of these plans for my kids and my future as a mom, I never accurately respected all the responsibility. I never thought it was easy, having a baby, but I had never thought about the consequences that would go along with an unplanned pregnancy either.
    When I found out Jordan was pregnant, I was not envious; I didn’t find myself wondering how she was going to deal with being a mother or how she was going to find the means to raise a child: all I felt was scared. Scared for the life she had created, and scared for her to be brave enough to know that she wasn’t ready to be a mother.
     I started to do a lot of thinking about that aspect of my future; the part of me that always thought I’d be able to find fulfillment being a mom. I realized how far from ready I am to have a baby; how young I am to imagine such a responsibility; how even in my most responsible moments, I still need my mom there by my side.
    I continue to want to be a mother; I still want to be there for every moment of my son or daughter’s life. But now I have the ability to keep all that in perspective; I am 17 years old and I am totally unprepared to raise a child.
    I could never have the courage to do what Jordan did. The thought of someone else raising my child makes my heart ache. But that little ache helps me keep my head on straight until the day I’m ready to claim the title Mom.