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Have you ever looked at someone else’s situation and thought, “That wouldn’t ever be me”? Well if not, I did. All the times I’d hear about this girl or that girl that was pregnant, and I’d think “How stupid can she be?” But when it happened to me it blew my hair back.

It all started when I was 15 years old. I had met a guy at a friend’s party; we exchanged numbers and started texting and calling each other. After a while I thought that I was in love and we’d be together for a long time. One time I told my mom how much I cared for him and she told me to be careful. Then, one night he called me and I knew I didn’t have any business trying to sneak out after curfew, but I just had to see him. Not only did he want to see me, but he wanted something so valuable and precious...

I felt so guilty afterward for taking advantage of my mother’s trust, sneaking out and most of all for giving away my husband’s wedding gift. We stayed together until three weeks later when I got locked up for stabbing a girl during a street fight. At that time I didn’t think things through and I thought that what I had done was the only solution to my problem. I got locked up two days after I found out that I was pregnant. I thought I was going to die! I cried and cried until there wasn’t anymore tears left. I finally convinced myself that I just didn’t want it, it’s not like it was an actual baby right? Ha! Wrong. I talked to my mother and she was so supportive of me. If it wasn’t for my mom and God helping me through those three long months in the Juvenile Center I wouldn’t know what to do.

About the middle of April 2010 I was sent here to Gateway to start over and take time to become a better person, prepare to become a mother and most of all to realize the seriousness of my actions. When I first got here, my mind was set to make good choices and do it not only for me, but also for my baby boy. I had a lot of challenges, like where am I going after this? And how do I get there? I wasn’t perfect and I had my share of temptations and issues, but I worked through them to the best of my ability and I made it through. It’s like God opened my eyes to let me know it’s time for a change in my life and it starts right here.

Five months after I came here I gave birth to a healthy, precious baby boy, the love of my life. I decided to take responsibility for my actions and raise him, not because I had to but because I wanted to. I’ve never had a single regret that I chose to keep him. I can have one of the worst days ever, but all I have to do is look at him and his pretty eyes and smile and I get the biggest grin on my face. Just thinking of him warms my heart.

I know soon I’ll be on my own and it won’t be easy, but I’m willing to give it my all. Over the last nine years so much has happened in my life, whether jumping from foster homes to residential placements or getting molested by my sister’s father. Sometimes I would just sit back and wonder why would God allow me to go through this? But it’s not God, it’s sin. And there’s always a reason. I’m just a walking proof that anything is possible through Jesus Christ. Don’t give up or give in just keep pushing because there is a light at the end of each tunnel. Just trust and believe.

Mercedez, former GW resident